In Singapore, pure phonics enrichment classes used to be the go-to solution of most parents for their preschoolers’ language-learning needs. However, students of these curricula eventually ran into unforeseen difficulties, which necessitated the development of more holistic reading programmes. Although Singapore still teeming with phonics classes, modern modes of teaching how to read make a good case for why reading programmes will serve as better springboards for your infant than phonics classes.
Many Phonics Classes in Singapore Have Limitations
An integrated reading programme takes into consideration that English is a multi-faceted language with many exceptions.
Although it is important to understand and master phonics, phonics has its own limitations.
enlightens Heather McCloud, Senior Manager, MindChamps Reading & Writing. “Not all words in the English language can be pronounced phonetically, such as ‘who’ and ‘was’, along with many other words. If you’ve never seen these words before, you might guess that they are spelt ‘hoo’ and ‘wuz’. Therefore, phonics won’t help you decode these words.”
A tenured veteran in linguistics education, McCloud also chimes in that children learn better through music, such as intuitive and steady beat responses that enhance listening, which is backed up by scientific findings. “Hence, MindChamps has a unique approach towards learning phonics – Say & Sing Phonics. This method is a revolutionary method in learning phonics,” she elaborates.
“Research has shown that children learn better through music, such as intuitive and steady beat responses that enhance listening. This aids the learning of vocabulary, sound and pitch discrimination, while drawing on emotional and creative responses, committing them to memory. These specially crafted interactive eBooks enable you to sing songs and interact with a number of activities, all of which reinforce the phonetics focus of each eBook.”
Individual Language Learning Journeys
Besides learning off various platforms, McCloud is also an ardent proponent of understanding a child’s individual language learning journey from all aspects, she proffers MindChamps’ multi-prong approach of fostering sturdy reading and writing skills in toddlers, which includes actively engaging each child to develop the love of reading and writing through fun learning activities, developing a child’s active understanding for effective learning in reading, writing, speaking and listening, so as to support the development of his or her analytical and high order thinking skills, as well as other aspects like narrative intelligence, phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary building and structural awareness.
Furthermore, reading skills are not enhanced by memorising the alphabet, which is a widely chorused observation vouched for by experts such as Associate Professor C. Raver of the University of Chicago and Professor Emeritus Edward Zigler of Yale University. An immense booster of brain growth, reading is a natural way of increasing a child’s intelligence and mental skills.
English Enrichment Classes for Toddlers
More and more parents are becoming proponents of integrated reading curricula as English enrichment classes for toddlers, ahead of phonics classes, for these reasons and their proven results. Vast improvements in writing and comprehension skills are often noticed by parents of preschoolers who make the switch to integrated reading programmes, as well as improved vocal expression, confidence in decoding the print environment and the visible enjoyment of the child when embracing it.
To find out more about integrated reading programmes with phonics classes and how well your child is reading and writing: