When it comes to reading education, the term "phonics" often takes center stage, but what is phonics? And why does it matter so much in children’s reading? In this article, we will explore the significance of phonics in children's reading development and discover compelling examples that illustrate why it plays a crucial role in their journey toward literacy.
Phonics instruction starts by teaching children the sounds associated with each letter of the alphabet. Readers then progress to blending these sounds together to form words. It then progresses to teaching phonemes that are represented by groups of two or three letters (such as “sh,” “tch,” or “ow”), and from one-syllable words to two-syllable words. With direct, explicit phonics instruction, a young reader isn’t left to guess or infer the patterns or rules that govern English spelling, which enables them to unlock the mysteries of written language and tackle progressively difficult texts.
To be frank, being able to answer the question, “What is phonics?” is the easy part. As with any instructional methodologies, the real challenge is determining the most effective ways to implement phonics instruction in the classroom and at home. While that’s a topic for another blog post, here are a few simples strategies to try out:
Phonics is the cornerstone of children's reading proficiency, enabling them to decode words, comprehend texts, and foster a lifelong love of reading. Phonics instruction provides children with the essential skills they need to become confident, independent readers, paving the way for their academic success across subject areas. And the Read With Ello app provides parents and teachers with an easy, effective, and fun way to infuse more phonics into reading time.
1. The Science of Learning to Read Words: A Case for Systematic Phonics Instruction by Linnea C. Ehri https://ila.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/rrq.334
2. Teaching and Learning bySpelling Rebecca Treiman https://srcd.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/cdep.12292
3. The Impact of Explicit Phonics Instruction and Decodable Text on Fluency with Third-Grade Students by Megan Bitney https://minds.wisconsin.edu/handle/1793/82440
4. The Science of Reading Comprehension Instruction by Nell K. Duke https://ila.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/trtr.1993
5. Effectively teaching phonics to promote proficient, strategic readers and writers by Cassy Hinderman https://minds.wisconsin.edu/bitstream/handle/1793/80271/Hinderman,%20Cassy.pdf?sequence=1