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]
Although the patterns are inconsistent, when English spelling rules take into account syllable structure, phonetics, etymology and accents, there are dozens of rules that are 75% or more reliable.[9] It should be noted, however, that this level of reliability can only be achieved by extending the rules far outside the domain of phonics, which deals with letter-sound correspondences, and into the morphophonemic and morphological domains. For an estimate of the reliability of strictly phonic rules, we still cannot do much better than the 1963 study by Theodore Clymer.[10]
While most teachers and educational decision-makers recognize this, there may be a tendency in some classrooms, particularly in 1st grade, to allow phonics to become the dominant component, not only in the time devoted to it, but also in the significance attached. It is important not to judge children's reading competence solely on the basis of their phonics skills and not to devalue their interest in books because they cannot decode with complete accuracy. It is also critical for teachers to understand that systematic phonics instruction can be provided in an entertaining, vibrant, and creative manner.
In point of fact, letter-sound information amalgamates the word’s units into memory better than any other process. When we teach high-frequency words, we need to fully analyze the letter-sound relationships within them, whether the word is comprised of expected letter-sound relationships, as in can (/k/, /a/, and /n/, just as we would expect); some expected and some unexpected letter-sound relationships, as in said (/s/ and /d/ are as expected, /ai/ would normally represent the long a, not the short e, sound); or entirely unexpected letter-sound relationships, such as of (/uv/). Nearly two-thirds of high-frequency words are actually very regular (e.g., at, in, it), but even with those that are not, we need to fully analyze the letter-sound relationships as well as read them accurately many times. We suggest studying each letter’s association with each sound, relating the word to other words with the same letter-sound patterns when possible (e.g., no, go, so), and teaching high-frequency words alongside meaningful words (e.g., like with bike).

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As a homeschool Mom to 4 kids, one with dyslexia, I have been delightfully surprised with how excellent HOP is! My third child is only just 3, but I have been very pleased with his progress in a short amount of time. We are using the very first level which teaches the letter names and sounds as well as the skill of rhyming. Rhyming can be very challenging for some children, but after a couple of weeks of casual practice just using HOP, he's already excelling at it.
is a free tutorial that uses cartoons and sounds with audio narration and clickable words to teach phonics. This method teaches just basic phonics concepts without struggle or frustration and includes rules for vowels, consonants, and blends along with practice pages. These pages were created to make it easy and fun for new readers -- children or adults -- to navigate through the lessons. So we invite students, along with parents and school teachers, to click and hear words while enjoying the pictures.
It can be a bit of a puzzle to work out how best to support your child through the early stages of reading, especially since teaching methods may have changed quite a bit since you were at school! Read on if you’d like to find out what to expect as your child builds their reading skills, how to help them – and how you can both have fun while you do so!
Once children have mastered the sounds of each letter, they can learn how to sound out simple words with consonant–vowel–consonant patterns, such as pig, dog, hat, and so on. At ABCmouse.com, we provide hundreds of fun and engaging activities that help teach children to sound out common words as well as common word families (words that have the same ending sounds and letter combinations, such as hot, pot, and not).
Reading Rockets is a national multimedia project that offers a wealth of research-based reading strategies, lessons, and activities designed to help young children learn how to read and read better. Our reading resources assist parents, teachers, and other educators in helping struggling readers build fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension skills.
Vowel digraphs are those spelling patterns wherein two letters are used to represent a vowel sound. The ai in sail is a vowel digraph. Because the first letter in a vowel digraph sometimes says its long vowel sound, as in sail, some phonics programmes once taught that "when two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking." This convention has been almost universally discarded, owing to the many non-examples. The au spelling of the /ɔː/ sound and the oo spelling of the /uː/ and /ʊ/ sounds do not follow this pattern.
Hooked on Phonics®* was broadly marketed on television in the eighties and nineties building a public awareness of phonics and how important it was to “hook” or engage children in education. Hooked on Phonics® provides parents a way to help their kids learn to read using a combination of flash cards, books, and interactive CDs. HOP’s television marketing campaign the 80s and 90s made Hooked On Phonics® a household name.
During the late 1990s the whole language approach gained popularity in Portugal, but in a non-explicit form. Emphasis was placed on meaning, reading for pleasure, and developing a critical approach to the texts. Explicit phonemic awareness and explicit training for reading fluency were considered outdated by some teachers' organizations[62]. Poor results in international comparisons led parents and schools to react to this approach and to insist on direct instruction methods. Later, during minister Nuno Crato’s tenure (2011-2015), who is known to be a vocal critic of constructivist approaches and a supporter of cognitive psychology findings, new standards ("metas") were put in place[63]. The ministry convened a team led by a well-known specialist in reading, José Morais[64]. This team introduced an explicit phonics teaching approach, put emphasis on decoding and reading fluency.
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