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I am always bemused that the phonics versus whole language debate is, well, a debate. Education systems swing back and forth between the two, much to the annoyance of many educators and the detriment of children. First I will give you an overview (admittedly simplified) of each approach.
In my job teaching the American accent, I advise and coach many people who were born in India but now work in the US. Thousands of Indian born professionals living in the US have amazing technology, engineering and medical skills. American companies value their professionalism, knowledge and work ethic.
Pronunciation is an important aspect of learning English. If you learn the incorrect pronunciation of a word, you may not understand it when someone pronounces the word correctly.
The answer to this question is plain and simple: very, if not the most important thing. You see, English is a stressed language as opposed to others that are considered syllabic languages. It means that stress is what carries most of the meaning in spoken language, rather than syllables. There is a very practical way of getting to understand this.
According to recent research, 60 percent of English speakers now speak another language as their native tongue. This group of people learn English as a second, or even third, language. As a result, the way people use and speak English is changing. More and more English speakers use it in a way that is particular to their region.
Learning phonics is time consuming but it is something your child has to do to be able to read properly. Phonics are the foundation of reading and without them your child will have problems when learning to read. On the internet and in the bookshops there are many ways to learn to read.