There is much controversy over whether a child should be taught reading with a Whole Language approach, or a phonological approach. This debate has been an issue since the term phonological based reading was started.
As far as a phonological approach to teaching children there are two types of instruction that can be done. One is analytic, and the other is synthetic. When teaching an analytic form of phonics, the child must learn to read the word in specific parts or syllables. When teaching the children phonics in synthetic form, the entire word is broken apart by letters and the child must sound out the word that way. So many times you will hear a reading teacher say sound it out, and this is what they are referring to.
Some children who are more advanced will learn the analytic form of reading but it takes some synthetic information to be able to do this. In order to be able to sound out the words by syllables, the students must have a basis or background of the entire alphabet and the sounds that make up each letter. They must also know that vowels make different sounds based on what letter is in front of it, or behind it. A good reader at ...