Rules (and exceptions)
Learning other European languages has only served to convince me that learning English is comparatively easily. When you look at the variety amongst verb conjugations in French, Spanish and German when compared with English, for example.
However approaching phonics with young children by looking for patterns in terms of word pronunciation has taken me in the other direction.
Yes, there are patterns to be observed and rules to be followed, but there are also many exceptions where pronunciations diverge from the norm.
It is rewarding to see students grasp these differences and to start to explore as well as observing those well-used patterns. When they start to question and absorb information and understanding, this is really encouraging to see from a practitioner’s point of view.