Learning how the 43 sounds of English are formed by the 26 letters of the alphabet simply has
to be easier and faster than
tedious and futile attempts to memorize an entire vocabulary.
Besides, nearly all adults and children detest rote memorization.
Don't you? What happens instead is that
the lucky/talented students learn to recognize and decode the most
common spelling patterns on their own. These children are counted as
instructional "successes," when in fact, they
are merely survivors. The less fortunate students never even learn
to read from left to right consistently, so “DNA” often looks like
“AND.” Their reading comprehension is zero,
so they are eventually forced to drop out of high school.