Why adults should study phonics?


Phonics as a "sound" solution for adult English learning

It is the "sound" of English that adult learners of English tend to trip over.

No matter how much you memorize words or learn grammar, you will be in trouble when it comes to actually using English and communicating.

"The grammar is correct, but I can't tell the other person what I'm saying."

"I can't hear the other person's words and I can't understand the meaning well."

Isn't the hurdle related to "sound" in speaking and listening becoming more prominent?

In qualification tests such as TOEIC and TOEFL, which are inevitable for English learners, and in daily communication, there are many situations where sound is important other than paper learning such as listening and speaking.

Phonics is useful for adult learners who are not good at such English "sound". You may not be familiar with it, but in fact, it is a basic discipline that is inevitable in English-speaking countries and is indispensable for infant language education!

What is phonics in the first place?

So what exactly is the shadow actor phonics for such adult learners of English?

Phonics is a discipline that enables correct pronunciation by learning the regularity of spelling and pronunciation at the word level. If you master this regularity, you will be able to easily understand the pronunciation of words you see for the first time and the spelling of words you hear for the first time.

Phonics is a must-have in early childhood education in countries where English is the native language, just as children learn hiragana and katakana characters and readings in Japan, but it is surprisingly well-established in compulsory education in Japan. It is a knowledge that I would like English learners who find it difficult to pronounce and hear because it is thin and take the initiative in incorporating it.

What can you learn with phonics?

The main premise that can be learned with phonics, which is indispensable for learning English, is "rules and rules of spelling and pronunciation in English".

Let's take a look at what you can actually learn from phonics here.

First, the starting line of phonics, how to read the phonics-style alphabet. The way you learn is surprisingly different because you don't learn it in normal English learning!

For example, the alphabet "a, b, c" is read as "A [eɪ], B [biː], Sea [siː]". However, the phonics reading is completely different, and you will be taught the pronunciation of "ea [æ], bu [b], ku [k]". In this reading, the way of behavior in the word where each alphabet is set is the sound as it is.

As a concrete example for reading a word, "p, i, g" is "Pi [piː], Ai [aɪ], Gee [dʒiː]" in alphabet reading, but "Pu [p [p]" in phonics reading. ], I [ɪ], Gu [g] ", and if you apply the phonics reading to the English word" pig "as it is, you can read it as" Puig [pɪg] ". If you pronounce this simply, it becomes "pig", and the English word "pig" that didn't come to you just by reading "PIG", but if you apply the phonics reading, it immediately means "pig". You can understand that!

Now that you have memorized the pronunciation of the 26-letter phonics reading, the next thing to remember is the reading rules. There are many rules depending on the combination of adjacent alphabets, but the following three are typical.

・ "Magic e (silent e)"

・ "How to read when vowels and vowels are continuous in a word"

・ "How to read when consonants and consonants are continuous in a word"

Among them, "magic e", which is easy to make mistakes if you do not know it, is a rule that when vowels + consonants + e are lined up, the vowel letters are read alphabetically and the last e is not pronounced.

For example, "cake" would be "ku [k], ea [æ], ku [k], e [e]" in normal phonics reading. However, when he noticed that the "magic e" law of a (vowel) + k (consonant) + e was applied, he changed "a" to the alphabetical reading "ei [eɪ]" and changed the final "e". , And the correct pronunciation can be derived as "ku [k], ray [eɪ], ku [k]".

In addition to these, there are rules for reading depending on the combination of consecutive alphabets, and of course there are exceptions that cannot be explained by the rules alone, but I am worried at this stage because I will be able to remember naturally as I learn and use it. It's useless.

In this way, once you know the pronunciation and rules of the alphabet in phonics, you can predict the pronunciation of any difficult English word just by looking at it!

There are three benefits to incorporating phonics into your English learning.

[Advantage No.1] The accuracy of word pronunciation is overwhelmingly improved.

The main cause of the trouble that "the grammar is correct but the other person cannot understand what you are saying" is mainly due to the incorrect pronunciation of the spoken word.

In fact, even if the grammar and conjugation of words are not perfect to the native level, if you can speak the correct pronunciation of the words in order, you will be able to understand the essence of what you want to convey. Even in Japanese, if you read words differently in everyday conversation, you will not be able to understand what they mean, and you will gradually lose track of the entire content of the story. The same thing has just been replaced by the alphabet. Correctly learning the pronunciation rules of English letters is more important than learning grammar and increasing vocabulary, and above all, it is the basis of learning English and pronunciation.

Phonics can also be a great help in learning romaji reading and pronunciation of words that are not pronounced in katakana!

[Advantage No.2] You will be able to predict the pronunciation of words that you see for the first time.

Of course, if you don't understand the meaning of a word, you can't understand everything, but being able to follow a sentence without getting stuck is also helping to keep you motivated in language learning. In compulsory education in Japan, you will learn by practicing pronunciation of English words in English reading aloud and vocabulary learning to increase experience points, but by learning phonics, you can learn the rules in the first place. It will end up.

This is something that you definitely want to incorporate when learning English from an early age, and you can acquire essential skills in learning English to check pronunciation such as reading aloud.

[Advantage No.3] English listening and comprehension are greatly improved.

One of the causes of the trouble of "I can't hear the other person's words and I can't understand the meaning well" is that there is a gap between the pronunciation of the words I learned and the pronunciation of the words spoken by the other person. ..

If you have a solid input of how to read the phonics-style alphabet and have learned the rules, you can imagine the spelling of the English words you heard for the first time with the "sound you heard", and as you get used to it, the actual spelling. You will also be able to drop it into. By matching the visible words with your vocabulary knowledge, you can instantly understand the meaning.

It takes some training to quickly recognize the connection of the sounds you hear and put them into English words, but once you get used to it, your listening will definitely improve!

Did all the adult English learners who heard about phonics for the first time also get interested in phonics as a solution to the problems of "English sounds" such as pronunciation and listening?

There are many rules to remember, and learning phonics does not mean that English pronunciation will be at the native level, but if you know the rules of how each spelling sounds, you will be able to see the pronunciation at a glance. The number of mistakes will decrease.

Knowing the "relationship between spelling and pronunciation" in phonics is also a shortcut for making mistakes in pronunciation!

Discovering Sounds may also hold phonics seminars for adults upon request. Please contact us if you are interested.