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The quicksand of confrontation in phonics methodology has been the either-or dichotomy exemplified by the nature-nurture controversy of yesteryear. The proponents of heredity as the prime dictator of human growth and development had well-polished arguments for their position and so did those who believed in the preeminence of environmental factors. In the phonics controversy the oversimplification of viewpoint was equally clear-cut. Either we teach phonics as synthesis or we teach phonics as analysis, but we cannot do both. However, modern phonics instructional theory and practice indicates that perceptive teachers are taking both handles and doing just that up to a point.

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