Phonics is a method which is used to teach people how to read and write an alphabetic language such as English, Spanish and Arabic. Phonics helps children identify and learn how to use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in their language. It is believed to be one of the most effective ways to teach a child how to read.
This method involves matching sounds of spoken English with individual letters or groups of letters that sound like that. An example of this would be the sound “k” which can be spelled c, k, or ck.
There are a few different approaches that can be used to teach phonics to a child. They depend entirely on the student and on the methods of the teacher. The first approach is teaching the individual sounds and their corresponding letters, for example the word dog has 3 letters and 3 sounds.
Another method is learning the sounds of entire groups of letters such as rimes (cat, bat and mat all have the same time with “at”). The last approach which is used in many cases in order to keep the children's attention is reading books, playing games or making them perform different activities that contain the specific sounds you want them to remember.
The main idea behind phonics is to help children learn how to break down complicated words into simpler pieces. By doing this they will develop the ability to decode letters and sounds which will be extremely useful anytime they come across new vocabulary.
It doesn’t only help with complex words. In the English language there are many words that sound exactly the same but are spelled differently. A good example is by, buy and bye. All of them are pronounced the same but mean completely different things.
Different research has shown that phonics has a big impact on the accuracy of reading aloud and comprehension of new vocabulary when compared to children who focused on learning the meaning of new words.
Phonic learning, like any other method, takes time and effort. Don’t despair if your child is taking longer than you imagined, everyone is different and works at their own pace. However, if you want to help them, there’s always something you could do to bring them along. Although it might sound simple, the best thing to do at home is read! Help your child practise and give them books or texts that they’ll find enjoyable. Even if your child isn’t the one doing the reading, by just listening to you, this will help to reinforce a familiarity with words and the way they sound.
Also, by reading to them and turning this into a daily activity, you’ll show them that this is something fun to do and motivate them to do it on their own in the future as well!