English has absorbed many words from other languages throughout its history, usually without changing the spelling of those words. As a result, the written form of English includes the spelling patterns of many languages (Old English, Old Norse, Norman French, Classical Latin and Greek, as well as numerous modern languages) superimposed upon one another.[7] These overlapping spelling patterns mean that in many cases the same sound can be spelled differently and the same spelling can represent different sounds. However, the spelling patterns usually follow certain conventions.[8] In addition, the Great Vowel Shift, a historical linguistic process in which the quality of many vowels in English changed while the spelling remained as it was, greatly diminished the transparency of English spelling in relation to pronunciation.
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.
In 1996 the California Department of Education took an increased interest in using phonics in schools.[26] And in 1997 the department called for grade one teaching in concepts about print, phonemic awareness, decoding and word recognition, and vocabulary and concept development. [27] Then, in 2014 the Department stated "Ensuring that children know how to decode regularly spelled one-syllable words by mid-first grade is crucial". It goes on to say that "Learners need to be phonemically aware (especially able to segment and blend phonemes)".[28] In grades two and three children receive explicit instruction in advanced phonic-analysis and reading multi-syllabic and more complex words.[29]
Within the app, you can select preferred capitalization, such that words are all upper case, all lower case, or the first letter is capitalized. You can also adjust the font color and size. Phonics Genius also allows you to customize the flashcards, and you can add your own voice to each card. Phonics Genius is a great resource for building phonemic awareness and is best for kids who are emergent readers with previous reading experience.

Also, we haven’t yet used ANY of the digital materials, because our little guy is more or less screen-free, but when he does start using screens, I’ll certainly set him up with the Hooked on Phonics app – I played with it a bit myself and I was impressed with the simplicity, ease of navigation, and the content (not super annoying as many kids digital products can be!).
“My son is seven. He’s not the biggest fan of reading. He strives to do his best, but if he hits a snag while reading he tends to become frustrated and lose the desire to read. This is now his favorite app. His ability to read when and what his mind desire surpasses his frustration. We have tried many learning apps throughout the years. This by far has the most content. I just want him to find out just how wonderful a good book really can be.”
Teachers should be able to assess the needs of the individual students and tailor instruction to meet specific needs. However, it is more common for phonics programs to present a fixed sequence of lessons scheduled from the beginning to the end of the school year. In light of this, teachers need to be flexible in their phonics instruction in order to adapt it to individual student needs.
Hooked on Phonics is a commercial brand of educational materials, originally designed for reading education through phonetics. First marketed in 1987, it used systematic phonics and scaffolded stories to teach letter–sound correlations (phonics) as part of children's literacy. The program has since expanded to encompass a wide variety of media, including books, computer games, music, videos, and flash cards in addition to books in its materials, as well as to include other subject areas. The target audience for this brand is primarily individuals and home school parents. The product was advertised extensively on television and radio throughout the 1990s.
However, it’s not uncommon for year 2 children to need to revisit phonics they’ve learnt in year 1, so don’t worry if your child isn’t completely confident yet. It’s a good idea to talk to their teacher to find out if there’s a particular way you could support your child and give them practice with the aspect of phonics they’re finding difficult. The key thing is not to let your child get stressed or upset – keep reading and phonic sessions short and fun, and don’t forget to praise them for having a go, as well as when they get things right!

The executive summary states, "The evidence is clear ... that direct systematic instruction in phonics during the early years of schooling is an essential foundation for teaching children to read. Findings from the research evidence indicate that all students learn best when teachers adopt an integrated approach to reading that explicitly teaches phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary knowledge and comprehension." The Inquiry Committee also states that the apparent dichotomy between phonics and the whole-Language approach to teaching "is false". However, it goes on to say "It was clear, however, that systematic phonics instruction is critical if children are to be taught to read well, whether or not they experience reading difficulties."[44]
Short vowels are the five single letter vowels, a, e, i, o, and u, when they produce the sounds /æ/ as in cat, /ɛ/ as in bet, /ɪ/ as in sit, /ɒ/ or /ɑ/ as in hot, and /ʌ/ as in cup. The term "short vowel" is historical, and meant that at one time (in Middle English) these vowels were pronounced for a particularly short period of time; currently, it means just that they are not diphthongs like the long vowels.
The National Research Council re-examined the question of how best to teach reading to children (among other questions in education) and in 1998 published the results in the Prevention of Reading Difficulties in Young Children.[21] The National Research Council's findings largely matched those of Adams. They concluded that phonics is a very effective way to teach children to read at the word level, more effective than what is known as the "embedded phonics" approach of whole language (where phonics was taught opportunistically in the context of literature). They found that phonics instruction must be systematic (following a sequence of increasingly challenging phonics patterns) and explicit (teaching students precisely how the patterns worked, e.g., "this is b, it stands for the /b/ sound").[22]
The use of phonics in American education dates at least to the work of Favell Lee Mortimer, whose works using phonics includes the early flashcard set Reading Disentangled (1834)[19] and text Reading Without Tears (1857). Despite the work of 19th-century proponents such as Rebecca Smith Pollard, some American educators, prominently Horace Mann, argued that phonics should not be taught at all. This led to the commonly used "look-say" approach ensconced in the Dick and Jane readers popular in the mid-20th century. Beginning in the 1950s, however, inspired by a landmark study by Dr. Harry E. Houtz, and spurred by Rudolf Flesch's criticism of the absence of phonics instruction (particularly in his popular book, Why Johnny Can't Read) phonics resurfaced as a method of teaching reading.

Consonant digraphs are those spellings wherein two letters are used to represent a single consonant phoneme. The most common consonant digraphs are ch for /tʃ/, ng for /ŋ/, ph for /f/, sh for /ʃ/, th for /θ/ and /ð/. Letter combinations like wr for /r/ and kn for /n/ are technically also consonant digraphs, although they are so rare that they are sometimes considered patterns with "silent letters".


Phonics instruction has a strong impact on the reading abilities of young children. Those receiving phonics instruction in the early grades (K-1) showed significant gains in their reading comprehension and spelling abilities and moderate growth in oral reading skills. Studies show that children in grades 2-6 also show growth in these areas, but theirs is not as considerable as that seen in primary grade students. At the upper grades, phonics instruction has a positive impact on the reading abilities of disabled, low achieving non-disabled students as well as those from low socio-economic backgrounds. These groups of children showed growth in their abilities to decode and spell new words. However, their reading comprehension skills were not affected by phonics instruction.
^ Turner, Camilla (4 December 2017). "Reading standards in England are best in a generation, new international test results show". The Telegraph. Retrieved 11 December 2017. The international study of nine to ten year-olds’ reading ability in 50 countries showed that England has risen to joint 8th place in 2016, thanks to a statistically significant rise in our average score
A common question with any instructional program is whether "one size fits all." Teachers may be able to use a particular program in the classroom but may find that it suits some students better than others. At all grade levels, but particularly in kindergarten and the early grades, children are known to vary greatly in the skills they bring to school. Some children will already know letter-sound correspondences, and some will even be able to decode words, while others will have little or no letter knowledge.
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