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How phonics can give children a head start with reading English

How phonics can give children a head start with reading English

As soon as the child is enrolled in a school, the parents wait for the child to excel in reading skills. The regular questions keep popping into their minds- like When will he/she become a proficient reader? When can the child read books independently? Videos, songs, rhymes, etc., are the online options parents opt to enhance reading proficiency in their children. 

To avoid these worries, it is essential to introduce the child to phonics education at an early age to make them proficient in reading. Phonics enhances English language skills and provides a strong foundation in the early years. Using phonics techniques and age-appropriate books supports a child's reading development. But at the same time, the journey of learning phonics techniques should be fun, enriching, and exciting for a child as it provides a head start with reading English.

Understand phonics

With the help of phonics, children learn to read letters/words as sounds. With the use of phonics techniques, the child can break the words into individual sounds (phonemes) and understand the relationship between letters and spoken sounds. Children learn that all English letters represent sounds and how the change in the order of a letter can change the meaning of a word.

The comprehension ability of children improves when they understand how to recognize and decode the sounds. Engaging children in numerous activities, introducing fun reading materials and constant motivation & support aids in developing strong reading skills and boosts confidence. Phonics provide the tools the children need to read well.

Effective phonics instruction is systematic, sequential and explicit, along with regular practice and positive reinforcement.

Let us understand the Phonics Jargon

Phonemic Awareness- the ability to hear, identify and modify phonemes to decode words.

Phonemes- the individual letter sound or smallest sound unit required to form a word.

Graphemes- the letters used in text format to represent phonemes.

Decode words- translating letters into their corresponding sounds by linking phonemes and graphemes.

Blending & segmenting- a technique to blend two letter sounds and isolate the individual sounds to read a word.

Book a free trial and assess your child's reading skills.

Benefits of learning phonics

Poor readers struggle due to a lack of confidence and feel embarrassed about their inabilities. The struggle in reading throughout life pushes them into shame & failure, so they maintain a distance from reading material.

Learning phonics helps the child become an independent reader 

Phonics provides a basis for all the reading skills.

After learning the phonics techniques and rules, kids avoid rote learning.

Phonics techniques help in decoding simple & complex words with ease, resulting in enhanced pronunciation.

The children do not make spelling errors in oral or written work.

Engaging in phonics activities & games

It is important to make a child's learning journey fun and exciting with engaging activities and games to reinforce phonic skills. Here is a list of activities to implement in the classroom or at home.

I spy

Use of phonic clues or phonic letter patterns to identify objects/ words. 

For example, I spy with my eye on an object in the room rhyming with /cat/ or

find pictures with /nt/ end blends.

Blending Bingo

Match the starting blends/ending blends/diagraphs with the pictures on a bingo sheet.

Pin the sound

On a word board, pin the pronounced sound in a word. For example, pin the long vowel /ee/ sound in the words /sweet/, /eat/,/cheat/ etc.

Phonics Treasure Hunt

Hide picture/sound flashcards in a room with clues.

Find the object

Show a flashcard with a phonic sound and find an object that begins with that sound.

Word ladders

Each child will change only one letter in a word to form a new word list. For example, if the word is /cat/, change the first letter /hat/ or middle letter/cot/. 

When we do not speak English at home?

English breaks all language barriers in a technology-driven world and has emerged as a global language. In language education, English holds the supremacy. However, parents who do not speak English at home are always concerned regarding their children's English pronunciation and fluency. In haste, they enrol their children in spoken English classes without doing any research. This eventually burns holes in their pocket without any visible progress in the child's learning. In India, English is taught as a second language, which causes children to have less exposure towards vocabulary. Sometimes, they do not understand the meaning of introduced English words or pronounce them correctly.

Therefore, it is essential that the children should learn the letter-sound relationship to form the correct sound and say it correctly. Phonics can easily cater to the diverse learning needs of children and enable them to become a confident communicator.

Parents can look for various online multimedia activities, games and apps. By indulging in simple, cost-free activities like listening to their children doing daily reading practice or asking simple questions, etc, they can help them enhance their reading proficiency.

FAQ
Q. What are decodable books?

These books are designed with controlled vocabulary with targeted reading practice and are aligned with the phonic rules a child is learning. 

Q. What are the best phonic apps for reading?

ABC Phonics

Reading Eggs

Wonster Words

Teach your Monster to Read

Baby Shark ABC Phonics: Games

Q. What is the correct age for a child to learn phonics?

Phonics, when introduced at a young age benefits a child, especially regarding the clarity of individual letter sounds. A child can start learning phonics sounds between 3 and 4 years old.

Q. Is phonics only helpful in reading?

Once the child understands the letter sounds, the relationship between letter combinations, and their pronunciation and their ability to read, write, decode and spell increases.

At Bambinos, we align and customize the learning journey for each learner as per their individual needs. Age-appropriate activities, games, reading materials, regular feedback and assessments are a few of the most essential elements of our curriculum. Certified phonics educators provide additional support to struggling readers through targeted activities & programs. The YRP level-1, YRP level-2, and YRP level-3 are structured to enhance learners' decoding, spelling, general reading ability, and speaking proficiency.

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Article Author

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Karuna Sinh

Karuna Sinh competent professional with over 20 years of experience in sectors ranging from Teaching, Hospitality, Freelancing content writing, Administration & Management.

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