Definition: Phonics instruction teaches children about the relationship between sounds and letters, and how to use these to read and write words.
- These may be single letter-single sound correspondences (b says /b/).
- Or they may be multiple letter-single sound correspondences (sh says /sh/ or oa says /o/ or igh says /i/).
- Or they may be multiple letter-multiple sound correspondences (pr says /pr/ or ank says /ank/).
Why it’s important
- Phonics instruction leads to an understanding of the alphabetic principle — the systematic, predictable relationships between written letters and spoken sounds.
What might I observe in students who need support?
- Many words are misread while reading.
- The students hesitate or often get “stuck” when reading words.
- They may have poor spelling.
- Learn more about systematic and explicit phonics instruction.
- Read more about phonics instruction in the National Reading Panel report.
Try out some of the phonics skill-building activities in the Phonemic Awareness and Phonics Activities tool.
- 2Key Terms
- 3Literacy Diagram
- 4Literacy: A Cornerstone of College and Career Readiness
- 5Literacy Skills Develop Over Time
- 6“Texts” Come in All Shapes and Sizes
- 7Literacy: An Evolving Set of Skills
- 8Oral Language and the Reading Connection
- 9Unlocking Meaning: Vocabulary is the Key
- 10The Vocabulary Gap
- 11How Do Reading Skills Develop?
- 12How Do We Become Good Readers?
- 13Five Components of Reading
- 14Phonemic Awareness
- 19Comprehension — Putting the Pieces Together
- 20Developmental Stages of Reading
- 21Stage 1 — Visual Cue Word Recognition
- 22Stage 2 — Phonetic Cue Word Recognition
- 23Stage 3 — Controlled Word Recognition
- 24Stage 4 — Automatic Word Recognition
- 25Stage 5 — Strategic Reading
- 26Stage 6 — Proficient Adult Reading
- 27How’s My Reading?
- 28The Power of Writing!
- 29How Writing Skills Develop
- 30Why Literacy Is Important
- 31Preventing Summer Learning Loss
- 32Literacy Everywhere
- 33Deepen Your Understanding
- 34Listen to Students Read Aloud
- 35The Value of Good Questions
- 36Motivation — A Key to Promoting Positive Reading Behaviors
- 37Literacy Skills Affect Future Success and Civic Participation
- 38Learn More Library
- 41Check for Understanding