In 2017, research published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology has shown that learning to read by sounding out words (i.e. phonics) has a dramatic impact on the accuracy of reading aloud and comprehension.  It concludes that early literacy education should focus on the systematic approach in "print-to-sound relationships" in alphabetic languages, rather than teaching "meaning-based strategies", in order to enhance both reading aloud and comprehension of written words.
Phonemic awareness involves the understanding of the relationship between sounds and words. It explains how words are made of sounds that can be used, like reusable building blocks, to construct words (h + at = hat, f + at = fat, etc). Phonics goes one step further by connecting those sounds to written symbols. It involves learning how letters or letter groups represent unique sounds, and how those sounds are blended to form a word.
Our field has long had a problem with teachers devoting an inadequate amount of time to phonics instruction. Although some children will pick up word reading with little instructional effort, many require considerable instruction to master the complex task of looking at a series of lines and curves to ascertain the spoken word they represent. In languages in which there is a relatively simple relationship between letters and sounds, such as Finnish and Spanish, by the middle of first grade, children are able to read real words and pseudo-words in the language accurately almost 100 percent of the time.* In languages in which the relationships are somewhat more complex, such as Danish and French, children are about 70 percent accurate by that time point. In English, in which the relationship between letters and sounds is extremely complex, children are about 40 percent accurate at that point.2 Put another way, English word reading requires a lot more effort to teach and learn than many other languages.
Your child will probably learn phonics in kindergarten through second grade. In kindergarten, children usually learn the sounds of the consonant letters (all letters except the vowels a, e, i, o, and u). First- and second-graders typically learn all the sounds of letters, letter combinations, and word parts (such as “ing” and “ed”). They practice reading and spelling words containing those letters and patterns. Second-graders typically review and practice the phonics skills they have learned to make spelling and reading smooth and automatic.
More recently, with the appointment of the academic Jean-Michel Blanquer as minister of education, the ministry created a science educational council chaired by Dehaene. This council openly supported phonics. On April 2018, the minister issued a set of four guiding documents for early teaching of reading and mathematics and a booklet detailing phonics recommendations. Teachers unions and a few educationalists were very critical of his stances, and classified his perspective as "traditionalist", trying to bring the debate to the political sphere. But Blanquer has openly declared that the so-called mixed approach is no serious choice.
Endless Alphabet is a simple and very creative app with cute monsters and clever animations that provides interactive learning opportunities in reading, spelling, and vocabulary for toddlers and early learners. The app allows children to practice their alphabets and learning new words with animations demonstrating the meanings of the words in an unforgettable way .
Systematic phonics instruction is designed to increase accuracy in decoding and word recognition skills, which in turn facilitate comprehension. However, it is again important to note that fluent and automatic application of phonics skills to text is another critical skill that must be taught and learned to maximize oral reading and reading comprehension. This issue again underscores the need for teachers to understand that while phonics skills are necessary in order to learn to read, they are not sufficient in their own right. Phonics skills must be integrated with the development of phonemic awareness, fluency, and text reading comprehension skills.
As a licenced teacher and later as a principal, I have successfully educated more than 300 students ranging in age from 5 to 20 at a private school I founded and operated for 9 years. All my students were failing in either public or private schools when they came to me. The one main thing that all my students had in common regardless of the medical designation they had was that their reading comprehension skills were extremely weak. This is a common occurance for a full one third of the population. Hence my brand name...One Third.
Your child’s reception year is the time when they will learn a lot of phonics fast! Schools use lots of different phonics programmes and systems – some common ones are Jolly Phonics, Read Write Inc, Big Cat, Bug Club and Oxford Reading Tree. So the exact order in which different letter sounds are introduced may vary depending on the scheme your child’s school is using. But most of the phonic schemes used in school are based on the Government’s own guidance, which is called Letters and Sounds.
4. See, for example, Heidi Anne E. Mesmer, Letter Lessons and First Words (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, forthcoming); Donald R. Bear et al., Words Their Way: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling Instruction (New York: Pearson, 2015); and Sharon Walpole and Michael C. McKenna, How to Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction (New York: Guilford Press, 2017).
Phonics is one of the primary building blocks of reading. Without an understanding of the relationship between letters and sounds, reading cannot occur. This multifaceted connection between print and pronunciation is an important component of any instructional program in reading because it provides readers with tools for discovering new written words.
Jolly Phonics is a comprehensive programme, based on the proven, fun and muliti-sensory synthetic phonics method that gets children reading and writing from an early age. This means that we teach letter sounds as opposed to the alphabet. These 42 letter sounds are phonic building blocks that children, with the right tools, use to decode the English language. When reading a word, they recognise the letters and blend together the respective sounds; when writing a word they identify the sounds and write down the corresponding letters. These skills are called blending and segmenting. These are two of the five skills that children need to master phonics:
The goal of phonics is to enable beginning readers to decode new written words by sounding them out, or, in phonics terms, blending the sound-spelling patterns. Since it focuses on the spoken and written units within words, phonics is a sublexical approach and, as a result, is often contrasted with whole language, a word-level-up philosophy for teaching reading.
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We often observe phonics instruction that has some strengths but also some gaps. Effective phonics instruction is multifaceted. You’ve likely already heard about the need for explicit instruction. Explicit instruction is direct, precise, and unambiguous (e.g., telling children what sound the letters sh represent together, rather than making the connection indirectly or asking them to figure it out themselves). You probably also realize the need to apply general learning principles (e.g., specific feedback). Some other facets that must be present are:
"Overall we conclude that the synthetic phonics approach, as part of the reading curriculum, is more effective than the analytic phonics approach, even when it is supplemented with phonemic awareness training. It also led boys to reading words significantly better than girls, and there was a trend towards better spelling and reading comprehension. There is evidence that synthetic phonics is best taught at the beginning of Primary 1, as even by the end of the second year at school the children in the early synthetic phonics programme had better spelling ability, and the girls had significantly better reading ability."
Phonics for Reading has three levels and contains placement tests that can be used for program entry or to measure growth at the end of the year. Level I of Phonics for Reading contains 30 teacher directed lessons with a focus on short vowels, consonants, consonant blends, and digraphs. Level II contains 32 teacher- directed lessons and progresses with vowel combinations, r-controlled vowel sounds, common endings, and CVCe words. Level III contains 36 teacher directed lessons and expands concepts with vowel/letter combinations, common prefixes and suffixes, minor consonant sounds for c and g, and minor vowel sound combinations. Levels II and III have fluency-building activities and directions for assessing fluency. Each level of Phonics for Reading has ten activities that can be used to formally measure growth through the program.