Words are made up from small units of sound called phonemes. Phonics teaches children to be able to listen carefully and identify the phonemes that make up each word. This helps children to learn to read words and to spell words
The teaching of phonics has been shown to give children a comprehension of how words are constructed very quickly. It helps them to develop text recognition skills, which in turn leads to attaining the ability to read and write. By breaking down words into individual components phonics has also been shown to be very effective at providing children with the skills they need to be able to spell correctly.
Phonics encourages children to recognize text fluently by teaching them certain specific language rules relating to the pronunciation of words and how they are represented in a written form. As these rules are learned it results in an ever expanding vocabulary. Children develop the ability to be able to recognize specific patterns within words, which allows them to identify other words with similar phonemes.
In the past people argued that because the English language is so tricky, there was no point teaching children phonics. Now, most people agree that these tricky bits mean that it is even more important that we teach phonics and children learn it clearly and systematically. A written language is basically a kind of a code. Teaching phonics is just teaching children to crack that code. Children learn the simple bits first and then easily progress to get the hang of the trickier bits.
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