MAJOR TERMS IN PHONICS INSTRUCTION

BY TIMI HYACINTH
THE CHILDREN¶S RESOURCE CENTRE
3, PEREMABIRI STREET, D-LINE, PORT HARCOURT, E-MAIL: timipre@yahoo.com, TEL: 0802-3231499

PHONICS
‡ Phonics is a method of teaching reading instruction which dates back to the 18th century. ‡ In this method, children are taught that words are made up of sounds which have letter equivalents. ‡ They learn to read by identifying the small units of speech sound and by blending them into pronounceable whole words.

‡ Here children are taught to read by memorizing words as graphic images.THE WHOLE LANGUAGE APPROACH TO READING ‡ The whole language approach to reading gained popularity in the 1960¶s and 1970¶s and is the current type of reading instruction in Nigeria and many parts of the world today. ‡ Children did learn to read to a large extent by this method. . but majority develop reading difficulties whenever they meet unfamiliar words.

‡ This is the understanding that words are made up of sound and that these sounds can be manipulated to form whole words. initial (beginning). . ‡ Children are taught that sounds can occur in three positions in a word. medial (middle) and final (end).PHONEMIC AWARENESS: ‡ Recent research in the 21st century has discovered that children learn to read better when they are explicitly taught phonemic awareness.

They are the smallest units of a word. . not letters.PHONEMES ‡ Phonemes are speech sounds. ‡ Phonemes are usually written between two slanting line to show that they are speech sounds. ‡ The symbols that represent phonemes are different from those that represent letters.

EXAMPLES OF PHONEMES ‡ /b/ /a/ /t/ ‡ /j/ /a/ /m/ ‡ /k/ /a/ /t/ /s/ /k/ /u:/ /l/ bat yam cat school .

‡ A grapheme is a symbol that represents a speech sound in writing.GRAPHEMES ‡ Graphemes are the letter equivalents of phonemes. . ‡ A grapheme may be one letter or two or more letters. ‡ A grapheme is a unit that carries one speech sound.

EXAMPLES OF GRAPHEMES GRAPHEME GRAPHEME GRAPHEME WHOLE WORD b s c r t a igh a ai ea t bat sigh tch n m catch rain team .

.DECODING ‡ Decoding is simply unlocking the written code in our writing system. fluency instruction. ‡ It is only one part of reading instruction which includes: phonics. and text comprehension instruction. phonemic awareness instruction. ‡ Decoding can be done using the phonics method. vocabulary instruction.

‡ The child should be taught to also write the words he hears or thinks. . ‡ Phonics is used to teach encoding skills. ‡ A child who can write has actually learned to master the writing code.ENCODING ‡ Encoding is the opposite of decoding.

CONSONANT DIGRAPHS ‡ Consonant digraphs are two letters that represent a single speech sound in writing. ‡ They are letters that are used to represent sounds for which English has no single letter equivalent. . ‡ See examples on the next page.

SOME CONSONANT DIGRAPHS Consonant digraph Words with consonant digraphs ch sh th ng wh dg chip sheep thin sing when dodge .

VOWEL DIGRAPHS ‡ These are two letters that are used to represent one single vowel sound. . ‡ Two vowel letters are used to represent several English vowel sounds. ‡ Please note that the English alphabet has only 26 letters which are representing about 44 distinct speech sounds. ‡ See examples on the next page.

VOWEL DIGRAPHS WORDS WITH VOWEL DIGRAPHS ai ee ea oa ie ei ou oo rain see pea road pie eight foul tool .

For example: µchurch¶ . For example : µcat¶ ‡ CCVCC: Consonant-consonant-vowel-consonantconsonant .CVC AND CCVCC ‡ CVC: Vowel-consonant-vowel.

‡ They carry two distinct sounds and should be blended accordingly.CONSONANT CLUSTERS OR CONSONANT BLENDS ‡ Two consonants which are side by side in a word. . medial or final position in some words. ‡ They can occur in initial.

EXAMPLES OF CONSONANT CLUSTERS Consonant clusters/blends Words with consonant clusters cr fl st pl dr br sl tr gr cross flag stone play drive bring sleep tree greet .

thinks or reads into small distinct units. ‡ Here the child is taught to break words he hears.SEGMENTATION ‡ This is a major part of phonemic and phonics instruction. . ‡ This helps the process of reading and writing.

‡ Here the words which the child has identified as small units of speech sounds are blended together into pronounceable units or writeable units. .BLENDING ‡ This is the opposite of segmentation.

A PHONICS PROGRAMME ‡ A Phonics programme is a wholesome method of teaching reading. through a method of breaking words into speech sounds for easier recognition and fluent pronunciation. using several teaching aids and resources. ‡ It uses a multi-sensory approach in teaching. . ‡ It is a set of carefully outlined and explicit instructions for teaching reading. ‡ A good phonics programme provides ample opportunity for practising reading.

‡ He should know the letter shapes and be able to match letters.VISUAL DISCRIMINATION ‡ For a child to learn phonics. . he has to be able to visually discriminate letters/graphemes.

‡ It is also involves the ability to discriminate between two different sounds. ‡ This skill is necessary for successful phonics.AUDITORY DISCRIMINATION ‡ This is the child¶s ability to distinguish between distinct speech sounds. .

seeing. pictures etc. listening. ‡ A good phonics programme should involve the use of most of the senses. . story telling.g. singing.MULTISENSORY ‡ This means involving the use of several senses. ‡ E.

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