How does linguistic knowledge of phonics apply to everyday life?

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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The linguistic knowledge of phonics is essential for everyday life. it entails the three most important actions to make our brains understand the world, as we know it: recognition, reproduction, and comprehension.

As a cognitive skill, phonemic awareness the most essential step for learning how to read our alphabetically-written language. Without this skill, reading and reading comprehension will not be achieved. As we know, reading is more than an academic requirement: it is a life skill used in everyday communication, in academic settings, in work settings, and in our everyday social life. If reading were not a life skill, just imagine what could happen if you confused the sentence "the ruler is unfair" with "the ruler is on fire". Hence, it actually would be much easier to list how a lack of phonemic awareness can hinder our life. This is because this skill is actually that important.

A student who lacks the skill of phonemic awareness struggles with reading and spelling, making the student prone to failing within an academic setting across the curriculum. After all, don't we need to read in every single subject, even Math? As a result, frustration and low self esteem hinder the student even further, setting him up for failure. Families of struggling children often suffer the same amount of frustration, especially if they cannot help the student succeed. It is a problem that affects equally everyone who is actively-involved in the academic life of the student.

Not having the skills to decode and encode language in a way that brings about comprehension is also a hindrance at the work place. It annihilates any opportunity for professional success by rendering the employee only able to complete menial and non-intellectual tasks. Moreover, the assumption than an adult cannot comprehend reading may lead to the wrong assumption that there is an overall lack of ability to comprehend, per se. Imagine the frustration of an adult that is thought of others to be mentally challenged when the causative factor of the hindrances at work are completely different.

Now, let's discuss what happens to good readers that achieve comprehension through fluency and phonemic awareness: better grades, which lead to better academic performance. This academic performance solidifies the students' determination to succeed at many other tasks, since the most important component, comprehension, is essentially a cross-curricular strength.

As a result, the phonemically-aware student is more likely to succeed in life, armed with the superbly important life skill that is reading. This equates success in family and social life, as this is a skill that, once mastered, can be passed on with the same strength to the future generations. Hence, the more academically prepared an individual feels, the more chances for success he or she is likely to have in just about every other setting whether it is at work, with friends, and at school.

Last but not least, think about the myriad of missed opportunities that result from not being able to comprehend or manipulate reading: no poetry, no stories, no novels, no self-analysis through text. The list goes on and on. Phonemic awareness is just crucial for a much better life.

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