Phonics and the code of English orthography

  • John Downing


In Chapter 4 we described ways in which children can form the first group of concepts that are necessary for understanding the task of learning to read — concepts about the communication functions of written language. In this present chapter we turn to the other important category of concepts that are a prerequisite for understanding reading instruction — concepts of the features of speech and writing that are needed for reasoning about their technical relationships. According to the cognitive clarity theory of learning to read it is essential that this reasoning process should be based on a clear understanding of the relevant linguistic features. This is because when the child does not understand the logic of letter-sound relations he becomes not only confused but also self-conscious about his confusion. This feeling of inadequacy becomes generalized and he is unlikely to be able to cope with the task of comprehending what he reads. Therefore, it is important to consider the problem of teaching phonics with understanding.


Lexical Representation Writing System Psychological Reality Alphabetic Writing English Orthography 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© John Downing 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Downing
    • 1
  1. 1.University of VictoriaCanada

Personalised recommendations