National Library of Australia

You must be logged in to Tag Records
Phonics Rules. Topics in Early Reading Coherence [microform] / Sebastian Wren
Bib ID 5686264
Format BookBook, MicroformMicroform, OnlineOnline
Wren, Sebastian
Online Versions
Description [Washington, D.C.] : Distributed by ERIC Clearinghouse, 2001 
6 p. 

Some writing systems, like the traditional Chinese writing system, represent a whole word with a single symbol--writing systems like these are called logographies. To learn to read in a logography, students must memorize the whole symbol for each new word they learn to read. Learning to read a logography is a lifetime endeavor. Other writing systems represent word parts with symbols rather than representing whole words with symbols, such as Cherokee, where there are only about 65 unique syllables. Most languages of the world, however, like English, Spanish, German, etc., contain considerably more than 65 unique syllables, and the syllables do not follow a regular vowel-consonant pattern. In these languages, it is more efficient to use a symbol to represent the phoneme, and to assemble written words at the phonemic level. English, which has thousands of unique syllables, only contains between 39 and 47 phonemes. In Spanish, there is nearly perfect one-to-one correspondence between the letters and the phonemes. Spanish words sound the way they are spelled--this is what linguists call a "shallow orthography." English, however, does not have one-to-one correspondence between letters and phonemes, and is an example of a "deep orthography." A problem facing teachers is whether they should teach the rules of English pronunciation to children learning to read, given that there are exceptions to every rule. Children need to be taught that there is some consistency between the letters and the sounds, but that it is somewhat limited. Arguably the greatest weakness of phonics instruction is its dependence on explicit instruction of "feeble and abstract" rules. (NKA)


Availability: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, 211 E. 7th St., Austin, TX 78701-3281. Tel: 800-476-6861. Web site: For full text:

May also be available online. Address as at 14/8/18:

Reproduction Microfiche. [Washington D.C.]: ERIC Clearinghouse microfiches : positive. 
Subjects Beginning Reading.  |  English Instruction.  |  Phonemes.  |  Phonics.  |  Primary Education.  |  Pronunciation.  |  Reading Instruction.  |  Spelling.  |  Written Language.  |  Logographic Writing Rule Learning Southwest Educational Development Laboratory
Form/genre Opinion Papers.
Other authors/contributors Southwest Educational Development Lab., Austin, TX
Available From ERIC 


In the Library

Request this item to view in the Library's reading rooms using your library card. To learn more about how to request items watch this short online video Help Video.

Details Collect From
mc 2253 ED458560 Main Reading Room - Newspapers and Family History
This item may be online. Please search the ERIC website prior to requesting this microfiche item.

Order a copy

- Copyright or permission restrictions may apply. We will contact you if necessary.

Help Video To learn more about Copies Direct watch this short online video Help Video.
close Can I borrow items from the Library?

You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video embedded.

You can view this on the NLA website.

close What can I get online?

You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video embedded.

You can view this on the NLA website.

close Can I get copies of items from the Library?

You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video embedded.

You can view this on the NLA website.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flags
Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and other First Nations people are advised that this catalogue contains names, recordings and images of deceased people and other content that may be culturally sensitive. Please also be aware that you may see certain words or descriptions in this catalogue which reflect the author’s attitude or that of the period in which the item was created and may now be considered offensive.