Please forward this error screen to 64. This article is about the method for teaching reading and writing teaching a child 5 years of reading the syllables phonics. For the study of speech sounds, see Phonetics.
For the study of the systematic use of speech sounds, see Phonology. Note: This article uses General American pronunciation. This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. The goal of phonics is to enable beginning readers to decode new written words by sounding them out, or, in phonics terms, blending the sound-spelling patterns.
Since it focuses on the spoken and written units within words, phonics is a sublexical approach and, as a result, is often contrasted with whole language, a word-level-up philosophy for teaching reading. Since the turn of the 20th century, phonics has been widely used in primary education and in teaching literacy throughout the English-speaking world. Synthetic phonics is a method of teaching reading in the education systems of England and Australia. Both the lexical and the sub-lexical cognitive processes contribute to how we learn to read.
Sometimes argued to be in competition with whole language methods. English spelling is based on the alphabetic principle. In an alphabetic writing system, letters are used to represent speech sounds, or phonemes. English has absorbed many words from other languages throughout its history, usually without changing the spelling of those words. The result is that English spelling patterns vary considerably in the degree to which they follow rules. A selection of phonics patterns is shown below.
The way that educators use the term “long vowels” differs from the way in which linguists use this term. In classrooms, long vowel sounds are taught as having “the same sounds as the names of the letters”. Teachers teach the children that a long vowel “says” its name. Schwa is the third sound that most of the single vowel spellings can represent. Although it is the most common vowel sound in spoken English, schwa is not always taught to elementary school students because some find it difficult to understand.