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Phonics

About Phonics Instruction:

Phonics instruction is instruction that helps children learn the relationships between the letters of written language and the sounds of spoken language (The National Institute for Literacy, 2001).

Phonics instruction is instruction that helps children learn the relationships between the letters of written language and the sounds of spoken language (NIFL, 2001).

Phonics should be taught explicitly and systematically.  Phonics instruction is key to comprehensive reading instruction. Phonics instruction facilitates understanding of the alphabetic principal (the systematic and predictable relationship between spoken sounds and written letters).

Decoding Words:

The ability to decode words is tested by giving children regularly spelled words to read.

The ability to decode novel words never read before is tested by having children read pseudo words (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development,2000).

Key features of systematic phonics instruction should include identification of the following letter-sound correspondence:

  • Consonant letters and sounds
  •  Short and long vowel letters and sounds
  •  Vowel and consonant digraphs (e.g., oi, ea, ou, sh, ch, th)
  •  Blends of letter sounds (initial blends and final stems) (The National Reading Panel report, NICHHD, 2000).

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