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Phonics: An Effective Way To Improve Kid's Vocabulary And Reading Skills

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Last updated date: 28th Feb 2024
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What are Phonics?

Phonics is a way of teaching children how to learn and write. The phonics learning process helps children to understand the relationship between the letters of written language and the sounds of spoken language.


In other words, phonic teaching aims to help children know that there is a predictable and logical relationship between written letters and spoken words.


Knowing that there is a predictable relationship between written letters and spoken words allows children to apply these relationships to both familiar and unfamiliar words they use. This also enables children to read with proper fluency.


For example, children are taught that the letter ‘m’ represents the sound /m/and that the letter ‘m’ is the first letter of the words mice, monkey, money, mouse, etc.  When children understand that the written letters and spoken words are similar, they can intercept or read new words with fluency.

Why is Phonics Important?

When children are learning to read, they must be able to connect the sounds of the language with the letters that represent those sounds. This skill is known as phonics. Phonics is essential because it helps children to decode words. That is, it helps them sound out words they see in writing.


In other words, it helps them to read. Research has shown that children who receive straightforward instruction in phonics are more likely to become successful readers than those who do not receive this type of instruction.


Furthermore, phonics instruction can improve reading fluency and comprehension. For these reasons, phonics instruction is essential to any reading curriculum.


How to Teach Phonics to Children?

Following are the different methods to make children learn phonics:


Synthetic Phonics Reading

Synthetic phonics is a way to help children know that all words can be split down into small units of sound known as phonemes. These words can be further represented in a  written language using groups of letters called graphemes.


By knowing the relationship between phonemes and their graphemes, kids will be better able to join phonics sounds in their spoken and written forms.


Synthetic Phonic is also known as “Systematic”. It is because children learn about all the different sounds, spellings and grapheme-phoneme similarities in a specific way.


Children are taught how to break up words into individual sounds. Then, they can blend all the sounds together to read the entire single word.


For example, In the word“dog”, children will b asked to identify three individual phonemes separately using synthetic phonics.


If children are asked the word “dog” separately into single phonemes, they end up with the sounds /d/, /o/ and /g/. Further, they will be asked to blend these sounds again to produce the word “dog”.


Analytic Phonics

Analytic phonics is another method to help children read and write. It is a method,  that starts at the word level rather than the sound (phoneme) level. Unlike synthetic phonics, it doesn’t ask children to blend the sounds together.


For example,  if the child knows ‘cake’, ‘bake’ and ‘stake’, then the word ‘gate’ will be easy to read, even if it is the first time it has been seen.


Analogy Phonics

Analogy phonics is a teaching methodology that uses an analogy to help students learn how to read. The goal of analogy phonics is to help students identify the relationship between spoken and written words. Using an analogy, students can discover pronunciation and spelling rules.


For example, when presented with the word "cat," a student might first say the word ‘cat” loudly and then look at the spelling. They would then notice that the letter "c" makes the "k" sound and that the letters "a" and "t" make the short "a" sound. The student could learn how to pronounce and spell the word quickly.


In addition, by using an analogy, students can learn more complex pronunciation and spelling rules. For example, when presented with the word "ought," a student might notice that the letters "ou" make the long "o" sound and that the letter "gh" is silent.


This knowledge would help them pronounce and spell words like "thought" and "bought." Ultimately, analogy phonics is an effective way to help students learn how to read.


Embedded Phonics

In embedded phonics, children are taught letter-sound relationships while reading connected text. For example, a child might learn to understand the term “sharks” in terms of a short story about sharks and other ocean life. This approach help children experience several different letter-sound relationships as they begin reading different stories.


How Learning and Reading Phonics is Beneficial for Children?

Following are the different benefits of phonics learning:

  • It is observed that children who start learning phonics at a younger age get excellent phonemic awareness. This increases their ability to hear, identify, and manipulate letter symbols with appropriate sounds.

  • Through Phonics education, children become more active with their reading. This enhances their achievements not only in English but also in other subjects, not just English. Phonics learning help children grasp different types of knowledge across their syllabus.

  • Reading phonics on a regular base enhances children’s vocabulary and general knowledge.

  • Phonics learning enhances students’ reading comprehension, They can decode new words as they read. This practice helps them to understand the overall meaning of words while reading quickly.

 

What are the Different Resources Available to Help Children Teach Phonics?

The different resources available to help children teach phonics include the following:

  • Free flashcards, posters, bookmarks and playing cards.

  • Quick-fire phonics games for children.

  • Digital Flashcards

  • Animated songs for both revising and teaching letter sounds.

  • Fun, physical games to help children engage with phonics practice.

  • Phonics Worksheets

  • Phonics Video Tutorial

  • And more.


Conclusion

Phonics refers to the method of teaching children to read by improving their phonemic awareness and making them understand the relationship between the letters of written language and the sounds of spoken language. This understanding is not only essential for children to read but also bridges the gap between reading and writing.  With a good foundation of phonics knowledge, students can quickly improve their word recognition, spelling, and reading comprehension skills.

FAQs on Phonics: An Effective Way To Improve Kid's Vocabulary And Reading Skills

What is the use of phonics?

Phonics teaching helps children hear, identify and use different sounds that differentiate one word from another in English.

How many types of phonics are there?

There are two types of phonics. These are:


Implicit Phonics: Implicit phonics is also known as analytic phonics. This type of phonics moves from the whole to the smallest part.


Explicit Phonics: Explicit phonics is also known as synthetic phonics. This type of phonics moves from the smallest part to the whole.

How many levels of phonics are there?

There are three levels of phonics observed in Phonics Hero resources. These are:

  • Basic

  • Advanced code

  • Complete the code

How many phonics sounds are there in the English language?

There are 44 phonics sounds in the English language. The order of letters is as follows:

  • s, a, t, i, p, n.

  • ck, e, h, r, m, d.

  • g, o, u, l, f, d.

  • ai, j, oa, ie, ee, or.

  • z, w, ng, v, oo, oo.

  • y, x, ch, sh, th, th.

  • qu, ou, oi, ue, er, ar.

Who first presented the principle of phonics?

John Hart first presented the principle of phonics in 1570.