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What are phonics?




What Is Phonics And How Does It Work?

It's no secret that kids love to read. But sometimes they just don't know where to start.


Phonics instruction helps kids unlock the world of reading and writing.

Phonics is the link between spoken and written language. Children first use it to “crack the code” of print so that they can begin to read words. Later they use it to spell words as they are learning to write.

Phonics is one of the five pillars of early literacy, and understanding the sounds of each letter makes all of the difference in reading success. 

 

What Is Phonics?

Phonics is the process of breaking down individual sounds in a word and then blending those sounds together to make words. For example, the sounds in happy are /h/, /ae/, and /ppy/. By breaking down the word into its individual parts, a child can easily blend those sounds together. This helps them read a new word without having to read the whole thing one letter at a time. It makes learning how to read much easier!


When children are taught phonics, they learn how to read words by sounding them out, instead of trying to memorize whole words. A child who has learned phonics will be able to read most words that he or she encounters.


This approach is often contrasted with the whole-word method. The whole-word method teaches children to recognize words without needing to understand their individual letter sounds.


Studies have shown that teaching phonics to young children in early literacy has a number of benefits. For example, children who learn phonics are more likely to read at a higher level by the time they reach third grade. They are also more likely to enjoy reading and have a better understanding of what they are reading.

 

How To Teach Phonics

When you’re teaching phonics, remember that it’s not just about sounding out words.

The goal  is to help children decode new written words by sounding them out. The word “cat” is a good example of a word that can be decoded. It uses knowledge of letter-sound correspondences:: c says /k/, a says /a/, and t says /t/. When they are blended together they produce the word “cat.”


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