Problems With the Alphabetic Principle
The strictly scientific component of neophonics is based entirely on the premise that there exists an “alphabetic principle,” and that children need to be taught this in order to become readers. The alphabetic principle is “nonnegotiable” (Testimony of G. Reid Lyon, 1997, par. 11). It asserts that “written spellings systematically represent phonemes of spoken words” and, “unfortunately, children are not born with this insight, nor is it acquired without instruction” (Testimony of G. Reid Lyon, 1997, par. 8; Foorman et al., 1997, par. 5).