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How Phonics Make Reading Super Easy for Your Child

As parents, we tend to learn anew when our children begin their learning journey at school. Exploring the wondrous world of reading with your child is a thrilling adventure like no other. However, the next step, of turning them into independent readers and writers, can prove to be equally exciting or turn into a herculean task. Phonics methodology facilitates the reading process to a great extent. It instructs young learners to read and write in the English language systematically. Silverline Prestige School, in this blog, discusses key points, that shed light on how phonics forms an integral part of learning for primary year students.

What is Phonics ?

The English language is made up of 26 alphabets, also referred to as graphemes, and 46 sounds, referred to as phonemes. Phonics methodology establishes the relationship between the graphemes and phonemes.

Each alphabet emits singular or multiple sounds. Children develop recognition of alphabets, following which they learn the corresponding sounds these alphabets produce. Additionally, the blended letters produce specific sounds. Memorization and repetition of these sounds help form a word by combining the sounds in a word. Reading is also accomplished by separating the sounds forming a word.

It is important to note that the order of producing sounds is dependent on the order of the letters. Changing the order results in altering the meaning of the word.

So, essentially, phonics enables reading by bringing together different sounds (blending) and also by fragmenting these sounds (segmenting).

Importance of the phonics methodology

The phonics methodology is a widely used method of learning to read and write. Its efficacy is backed by proven research. Yes, there are alternate methods of learning, but none have proven to be as effective as the phonic method. Learning a new language for children can be daunting. Even if English is the spoken language, reading it is an altogether different ballgame.

Phonics provides students necessary tools they require to learn, read, and eventually write in the English language.

Here are a few of the top reasons why phonics is such a popular and effective reading and writing method.

  • Phonics is a systematic learning program. There is no guesswork involved.
  • It is an analytical way of presenting a reading task to a child.
  • Phonics enables the reading of unfamiliar words by the application of letter-sound relationship principles.
  • Phonics facilitates comprehension and memorization of spellings. By the order of the sounds, a child can learn to spell most words.
  • Phonics turns children into confident readers and fosters early literacy skills significantly.

understanding the phonics terminology

  1. Phoneme: Phoneme is the smallest and most distinguishable component of a sound. There are 44 phonemes. These encompass 24 consonant sounds and 20 vowel sounds. These phonemes are written with slash marks. To cite an example, the word HAT has three phonemes in it. These are /h/, /a/, and /t/.
  2. Grapheme: Grapheme is a letter or group of letters. Graphemes are a representational form of phonemes. For example, the word flat has three graphemes- FL, A, and T.
  3. Digraph: A digraph is a blend or combination of two words that produce a single sound. Examples of digraphs are CH, SH, TH, etc.
  4. Vowel Digraph: A vowel digraph combines two vowels that produce a specific sound. For example, the digraph “OA” gives a long “o” sound.
  5. Split Digraph: A vowel digraph that is split by a consonant forms a split digraph. For example,  in the word Tube, U and E are separated by the consonant B.
  6. Trigraph: A trigraph is a combination of three letters, vowels, or consonants, that produce a single sound. The word hatch has the trigraph TCH in it.
  7. CVC Words: CVC words are a composite of consonants, vowels, and consonants. Examples are BET, SAT, ZIP, etc.
  8. Blends: Blends are formed by combing two or three consonants. These are also known as consonant clusters. The order of the blend is followed and sounds are heard separately. For example, in the word “trap”, TR is the consonant blend.
  9. Tricky words: Tricky words do not follow phonetic principles, and the sounds do not match the spelling of the word. These words do not follow the regular blending or segmenting rules.  Examples: one, who, once, etc.

How are phonics taught ?

Learning phonics begins with letter/alphabet recognition. The sound or sounds that each alphabet produces is then learned by the child. Once this process is ingrained through iterative learning, the next step is mastering the varied phonic rules.

The recognition of each letter-sound relationship leads to the blending or combining of different letters. The sound produced takes into account the order of letters that constitute the word.

The next learning step constitutes registering the cluster rules for consonant and vowel combinations like CVC, CVCC, and CCVC. The children then move on to memorize varied forms of digraphs.

Learning through phonics also needs to be supplemented with the learning of sight words. Additionally, many words are not phonetic and do not follow the phonic rules. These need to be comprehended separately.

Though there is no stringent step-by-step rule, the above-mentioned order is the general norm for teaching phonics.

What if your child struggles with Phonics?

There is no singular reading methodology that would suit all children. This is the case with phonics too. Phonics is widely successful in building confident readers. However, if your child does not understand phonics methodology, let it not make you feel dejected.

There are other reading methodologies like the whole word approach, sight words, and natural reading that can be applied.

Silverline’s Unique Classroom Strategies To Teach Phonics.

Robust literacy and numeracy skills are the bedrock of primary education.  The approach with which the phonics methodology is weaved into the curriculum becomes an essential aspect of learning the English language. Our aim is always to impart the phonic lessons engagingly and not burden the child with excessive phonic rules.

We design activities around phonic rules that ensure that reading remains a life-long joy. These activities employ multi-sensory techniques to keep the curious minds immersed. Let us have a look at a few of these engaging activities:

  • Colour the beginning sounds.

 

  • Phonic stories of letters and the sounds these letters produce.

 

  • Phonics Bingo game.

 

  • I Spy activities.

 

  • Matching words to their sounds worksheets.

 

  • Letter Sound flashcards.

 

  • Build a word using individual letter cards.

 

  • Simon Says.

 

  • Finding phonics words in a puzzle.

 

  • Phonic Cootie Catchers and many more.

Phonics Methodology, also known as synthetic phonics, has been around since the 1900s. It requires repetition and memorization. The phonics method is used commonly and widely in many schools across the globe. It is successful because it is systematic and its logical approach makes learning to read and write in the English language seamless.

Like any new concept, do not be hasty in unloading all the phonic rules. It might make reading dull and drab. When done right, phonics will make reading easy and usher children into the enchanting world of books, that they can themselves read and explore.

Happy Reading!

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