What Is Phonics?
Phonics is the study of the relationship between sounds and letters. It is an essential component of reading and writing practice and instruction in the primary grades. Phonics knowledge leads to word knowledge. Along with plenty of experience reading, students begin to read words fluently with little effort.
Phonics teaching helps students to learn the written correspondences between letters, patterns of letters, and sounds. It should be noted that phonics is one part of a comprehensive literacy program that must also include practice in comprehension, fluency, vocabulary, writing, and thinking.
When Are Students Ready to Learn Phonics?
There are several things to consider before involving children in a formal phonics program. Language development is the first thing and children need an ability to recognise and produce speech sounds, and use language appropriately. Phonics works alonsdide with all these language systems.
Phonological awareness is a particularly important language skill to acquire before phonics instruction begins. Phonological awareness includes the ability to separate spoken language into syllables and individual phonemes, the distinctive sounds for the language the student is learning to read. Phonological awareness is learned through singing, tapping syllables, rhyming, and dividing words into individual sounds.
When children are ready to, and with support from home and school, they develop concepts of print that can be huge, such as learning the purposes of writing and illustrations; understanding what an author is; and identifying text features including the front and back of a book, uppercase and lowercase letters, reading top to bottom, reading left to write, return sweep at the end of a line, and the meaning of punctuation.
After students have heard stories read to them repeatedly, they try to point to the words as they say out loud their favorite memorised parts. Students develop a concept of word in text when they point accurately to the words as they recite the text. Concept of word in text develops in parallel with students’ phonics knowledge of letter–sound correspondences (e.g., learning that the letter b makes the b sound by repeatedly seeing b words in a text)
What is Letters and Sounds?