What is Phonics?
Phonics is defined as our knowledge of the relationship between letters and sounds. This widely-used, research-based approach acts like training wheels to help these children acquire literacy skills (spelling, reading and writing) at a faster rate, and with more ease. Children are taught how the letters, or combinations of letters, represent spoken sounds.
This program improves the following skills, which are known as the building blocks of literacy:
• Reading fluency
• Phonemic Awareness
• Reading comprehension
Who is it for?
Ideally this approach is taught to children in kindergarten through to Year 1 or 2. However, children who are having difficulty learning to read, may be taught phonics at a later age.
How does phonics instruction work?
Children are taught how the letters, or combinations of letters, represent spoken sounds. For example, lets consider the word know. Successful readers see the letters kn automatically think of the n sound. However, children learning to read have to be explicitly taught that k and n together make the n sound. In fact, they have to be taught up to 46 letter-sound combinations, even though there is 26 letters in the alphabet.
How often, and for how long, is Phonics taught?
The amount of time and intensity varies greatly depending on your child. Your Speech Pathologist will consider: how much support your child needs, what they already know, and what they have already covered in class.
Where can I get more information?
• Reading Rocket's Phonics Page
• Phonics Explained by PBS