Phonics instruction helps kids learn the relationships between the letters of written language and the sounds of spoken language. Children are taught, for example, that the letter b represents the sound /b/, and that it is the first letter in words such as bubbles, ball, and baby. These Phonics Apps for Kids help kids practice with basic phonics skills, including recognizing the letters of the alphabet, alphabet matching, and word building.
Some people think that teaching letter names is essentially teaching their sounds, but unfortunately that is not the case in English. Some letter names don’t have a sound commonly associated with the letter at all. Neither Hh, Ww, nor Yy has its commonly associated sound in its name (e.g., there is no /h/, as in happy, in the name of the letter Hh (“aych”)). Knowing these letters’ names definitely does not lead children to know their associated sounds. Some other letters’ names contain one of the sounds commonly associated with the name but not the other. For example, Cc has one of its common sounds in its name (/s/) but not the other (/k/).
abc PocketPhonics app covers all the sounds and children have the opportunity to practise blending and segmenting to read and write words. It teaches students the sounds of different letters and basic words. This app uses the Phonics method (phoneme-centered approach), as taught in UK schools, to develop reading skills. It also closely matches the order in which schools will usually teach the different sounds, as defined in the National Curriculum.
Short vowel+consonant patterns involve the spelling of the sounds /k/ as in peek, /dʒ/ as in stage, and /tʃ/ as in speech. These sounds each have two possible spellings at the end of a word, ck and k for /k/, dge and ge for /dʒ/, and tch and ch for /tʃ/. The spelling is determined by the type of vowel that precedes the sound. If a short vowel precedes the sound, the former spelling is used, as in pick, judge, and match. If a short vowel does not precede the sound, the latter spelling is used, as in took, barge, and launch.
Historically, a range of less systematic approaches have been popular. Typically, these approaches do not have a clear scope or follow a sequence but instead address letter sounds only as they arise incidentally in interactions with children or are needed to read words within a specific text. So, if a teacher is reading the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, she will teach the ee sound because it is found in the word see. The problem with this kind of serendipitous approach as the driver of phonics instruction is that information is not presented logically to the child and information gets missed. Of course, children should read connected text as they are learning phonics, and teachers should point out words they are reading that match taught patterns. But the scope and sequence of phonics instruction should not be based primarily on opportune moments in text reading.
For lots of children, their second year is the time when they really put all the phonics they know into practice, and learn to read longer and slightly more complex stories and non-fiction books. The focus in year 2 is not so much on using phonics for reading, as by now many children know most of the phonics they need. There’s more of a shift to using phonics for spelling, so that children use the phonics they know to help them work out how to spell a wider range of words.
Alphabet key words also need to be depicted clearly in a photo or drawing, not easily confused with other items, and they should be words that are known to or can be readily learned by children. We recommend two alphabet key words for the letters c, g, a, e, i, o, and u—one for each of their two common sounds. Caution should be exercised in using children’s names as key words, as some do not make a sound typically associated with the letter in English (e.g., Juan). In these cases, we suggest using the child’s name to show the shape and name of the letter but to focus on a different alphabet key word for the sound.
Diphthongs are linguistic elements that fuse two adjacent vowel sounds. English has four common diphthongs. The commonly recognized diphthongs are /aʊ/ as in cow and /ɔɪ/ as in boil. Three of the long vowels are also in fact combinations of two vowel sounds, in other words diphthongs: /aɪ/ as in "I" or mine, /oʊ/ as in no, and /eɪ/ as in bay, which partly accounts for the reason they are considered "long".