A Phonics Approach to Teaching Children to read

lizzie79 By lizzie79, 13th Apr 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Education

There are different approaches to teaching children how to read but one of the most popular and successful methods is the use of phonics. Here is an explanation of phonics and how they are used to teach children to read.

What Are Phonics?

Phonics are the sounds that letters make. Individual letters can make more than one sound. For example, think of the different sounds that the letter 'c' makes in the words carton and rice. Similarly, different groups of letters, or letter clusters can make different sounds and there can be more than one way of making each sound. For example, the 'e' sound is spelled differently in the following words; feel, thief, receive and Phoebe. Teachers teach children how to recognize phonics, both in a visual sense and an auditory one.

Recognizing Letters and Letter Clusters

One of the first stages of teaching phonics is showing the children what the letters and groups of letters look like and helping them to remember these. After all, a large part of reading is based on recognition and memory. The most common starting point is teaching the children to recognize individual letters, usually in the form of the alphabet. The second stage is teaching children to recognize two letters together, digraphs, and to begin to link these by sight and sound.

Recognizing Sounds

Another stage of teaching phonics involves children learning the sounds that the different phonics make. This can help a child with their reading as they will be able to break down words into smaller parts and sound out each of these parts, in accordance with each phonic, by saying them out loud. There will be a certain amount of trial and error on the part of the child as they try out the various possibilities that each of the letter clusters can make. They will often make sense of a word that they are struggling with by trying out the most likely combinations of sounds in a word.

A Combined Approach to Phonics

Most commonly a teacher will use a combined approach to the teaching of phonics. In the early stages this will often involve the use of using written, pictorial and verbal prompts that are associated with each letter or sound. Though this may seem very simplistic, it teaches the basic skills that are needed to form a more developed reading ability in the child. For children who are having difficulty with the concept of reading, the combined approach may be used for a little longer than in children who learn the various symbols and sounds quickly and find that they can string together larger words in their reading easily.


Children, Education, Phonics, Reading, School, Teaching, Teaching Phonics, Teaching Reading

Meet the author

author avatar lizzie79
I am a mum of four who has worked as a professional freelance writer for the past five years and formerly worked in education. I love to write about education, parenting, fashion, health, and travel.

Share this page

moderator Steve Kinsman moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


Add a comment
Can't login?