Reasons Why Phonics Is The Most Important Skill Beginner Readers Should Learn
Paying attention to phonics or the study of sounds proves to be the best way to quickly learn any language at an early age, be it English, German or Spanish. Phonics is the first skill that young learners use to hear the difference between words and their sounds and ultimately learn to connect the dots between alphabets, their sounds, how a group of letters forms a particular word and what that word sounds like.
Here is how phonics develops listening, speaking and writing skills in children.
The Alphabetic Principle
The alphabetic principle of English is the theory that states that letters of the alphabet replicate the sounds we hear in spoken English. The logical letter-sound link is systematic, allowing youngsters to predict it. For example, a child who understands that the printed letter “m” creates the /mmm/ sound displays the alphabetic principle. Early learners must learn to transform the words they see into sounds and understand these sounds to read English fluently.
A child in their early years learns English in the sequence of Listening, Reading and Writing. Phonics helps with the quick grasp of the language by helping the child hear the difference between the sounds of different words, which then allows the child to start speaking the words correctly and then this skill proceeds to the reading stage. Phonics helps a child learn to read by breaking down words. They connect words depending on their sounds. This method is called blending.
Blending is a well-known method of teaching youngsters to read. It entails breaking each word into different sounds and recombining them to form the word. For example, children are taught to break down a single syllable word like “cat” into the “k,” “ae,” and “t” sound and then merge them back together to sound out “cat.”
One way to teach children is to recognize the most frequently occurring letters in English (for example, “s,” “e,” and “t”) and then to blend these letters to form words (for example, “set”). Another way of teaching children how to blend is, to begin with, a consonant – vowel – consonant method that introduces kids to simple words (for example, “hat”) before progressing to more complicated word patterns.
Blending paves the way for the children to learn to speak unfamiliar words. When children understand combining letter sounds, they can sound out unfamiliar words to break them down or “decode” them. They learn the sounds for the letters “a,” “r,” and “t,” and then can begin to sound out words like “art,” “rat,” and “tar.”
Phonics can help children learn effectively rather than memorizing infinite words. With the sequence of hearing, identifying, and recognizing, they learn the sounds that distinguish English words, allowing them to read aloud fluently in time.
Benefits of Learning Phonics
Apart from the advantages mentioned above, here are some other benefits of phonics
- Sound-to-symbol recognition becomes faster: When kids begin their learning journey with phonics they are more likely to have good phonemic awareness, or the capacity to hear, identify, and manipulate letter symbols with their corresponding sounds.
- Learning unfamiliar words: Phonemic awareness enables children to sound out words that they are unfamiliar with effortlessly. Teaching phonics also teaches children to recognize and connect word patterns for easier reading.
- Learning syllable structure: Phonological awareness makes syllable structures easily understandable.
- Increased vocabulary and easier language development: Extensive reading leads to a child’s vocabulary expansion. Phonics enables students to improve their reading comprehension while simultaneously learning new words. This allows students to readily absorb the general meaning of words while reading.
- Better at spelling: Breaking a word into sounds and understanding phonograms enables a student to spell correctly.
- Building concentration and patience: Reading requires children to sit quietly and concentrate on the words they are reading to read them correctly; it builds concentration and patience.
- Enhanced reading skills: Higher understanding and reading skills aid in academic excellence.
- Learn the rules of English: Through phonics, children learn the rules of the language faster.
Every child has their own learning pace. Phonics makes this learning faster which rewards the children with higher concentration, makes learning engaging and provides an easier grasp of English.