There is the small problem of having to explain the "a" as the one used in big people's books so they don't confuse it with "o"! I have contacted the makers of the wheel, and depending on the costs involved in being able to modify the spinning wheel font to Comic Sans MS, change will happen soon... or never!
I see phonics as a very useful tool to teach pronunciation. It offers both teachers and students a fun learning environment. This year I am working with Spanish four-year olds, who, since November, have learnt the first three groups almost completely. They also have the five vowel names (ai, ee, ie oa, and ue), ou and oi. As they have not started writing yet, we have not touched a pencil. However, they recognise most of their letters as we practise our sounds. They can blend some CVC words in groups and are slowly building up their vocabulary.
One aspect of English pronunciation that I work hard on in my classes are the eight silent sounds (f, k, p ,s, t, sh, ch, and th) and what I call their cousins, or voiced versions (v, g, b, z, d, zh, j, and th). The silent sounds require a lot more air than their Spanish equivalents. This air pushes out the vowel sound in the CVC words that we practise. As Spanish is extremely poor when it comes to final consonant sounds, phonics helps students to focus on this complicated aspect. How often have you heard radio announcers invite you to visit somerandompage.con? I hear it all the time and it makes my ears bleed.