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Why Is Phonics Important?

A child who is learning phonics is learning how to recognize the underlying sounds as he reads and spells the word, whereas a child who is learning to read through the ‘look and say’ method may not have the ability to derive the pronunciation of a word from its letters. Overall, a well-rounded reading program will have elements of both phonics and whole-word teaching, enabling a child to better understand how words are created and structured. Because phonics helps to build reading confidence, a child who has learned his phonics is more likely to see reading as easy and will be more willing to try reading new words that are phonetically similar to words he finds in his existing reading scheme. He will also begin to see patterns and rules in his language.


Phonics also provides a good base for understanding other concepts such as:


Pronouncing new words correctly allows children to see these words in print and therefore increase their vocabulary.


Take it from me, a child who learned phonics slowly and a teacher who worked intensively with the same child until he got it: knowing phonics means that you read more quickly because you don’t have to puzzle over what each word says. You can concentrate on what the words say.

Syllables: When kids are learning how to break down big words into smaller parts (syllables) it helps them when they are writing.


Common spelling rules: Having a grasp of phonics gives students the ability to apply phonics rules such as ‘i before e except after c’ correctly.


Grammar: The ability to combine sounds prompts children to consider how to string sentences into paragraphs.


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