How to teach phonics with all the learning steps, activities, tips and resources is my next project. I love teaching phonics as children can see their progression and successess quickly.
It may be a surprise to see that I’ve split literacy into Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening and Phonics. Maybe you feel that Reading and Phonics should be classed as one and I can understand this way of thinking. Actually, the four areas are very closely related but I separated phonics from reading for two reasons.
The first is, it is much easier to break down the learning into steps and secondly, many children (and adults) can sound out or recognise words but have no idea of the meaning so they can’t really read!
While I was teaching in mainstream education it was a constant and stressful undertaking to convince some parents that their child was not on Stage 9 but Stage 3 of the school reading scheme. The parents were right in the fact that the child could recognise every word in the book but they had no comprehension skills and couldn’t me anything about
the book whether fiction or non-fiction.
This, in my opinion, is defeating the objective of learning to read.
Reading is meaning – What is the point of knowing how the sounds fit together to make words without knowing what the word means. It’s a bit like doing a jigsaw without an image on it.
Reading and phonics are a couple and it would be hard to read without the phonics and learning phonics alone would be boring and pointless task.
I am a great believer in synthetic phonics which is basically joining the sounds together (synthesizing) to read words. Of course, there is more to than that but you get the gist. Just for your information, analytic phonics looks at the whole word rather parts of it.
There are 44 sounds in the English language, along with graphemes, suffixes, prefixes, contractions etc. It isn’t easy to learn all of this when you are only young but they do learn it and with amazing speed and accuracy.
Learning to ‘read’ alongside phonics is a great achievement for children and one in which they can see their progress. I love that moment when a child realises that he has read the whole book or page without help.
This thrill is the beginning of learning the joy of reading and once you have this, reading will always be an important part of your life.
I have that love of reading and want as many people as possible to share in this enjoyment – whatever their age. It’s never too late, or too early.
Are you a reader? Or are you someone who just can’t see the point?
What are your experiences of learning to read(if you can remember them!)?
Are you confident about teaching phonics?