Phonics - A Great Way to Learn to Read
Did you know that for children, learning to read is a skill that does not come naturally to them, unlike walking, eating or speaking? While they naturally try and stand and then walk when ready, a child needs to be specifically taught to read and make friends with words!
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children who are introduced to reading at an early age excel in school and have a considerable advantage over those who don’t. And this advantage carries on even beyond kindergarten throughout their school years.
For a preschooler, phonics makes learning to read an enjoyable and interactive experience. The phonics approach teaches young learners to crack the code of how to read written language. A child is taught individual sounds, or ‘phonemes’ that represent each letter or combination of letters of the English alphabet as they are spoken. These building blocks make it easy to understand words as they now have an oral connection.
Here's why Phonics works well for young learners:
- A systematic and gradual progression - It begins methodically, with simple letter-sound recognition and gradually moves to more complex sounds formed with different combinations of letters, instead of just any random order. This progressive sequential teaching takes into account the students’ ability to understand the concept and put each level into practice before tackling more complex ones.
- Interactive and fun – Many interesting techniques are used to practice sound recognition and oral blending. Think rhymes, alliteration, music, and even visual cues and actions like clapping in rhythm to reinforce letter-sound recognition. Children enjoy and respond best to this play and learn method respond to best in the early years. When a group of children do this together, it becomes a lot of fun!
- Works for children with reading difficulties - for children with dyslexia or reading difficulties, a systematic synthetic phonics based approach to reading works wonderfully. Instead of memorizing the order of letters in a word; every sound hints to a corresponding letter and makes it easier to spell and read. Tactile elements like tracing letters on sandpaper, or a visual image connection and auditory cues helps to connect the dots and make reading easier.
- Blending helps read unfamiliar words - Remember the time when, as kids, we would read s-i-l-k as ‘silk’ and s-h-i-p as ‘ship’ simply because we were taught so, and yet we wondered why the same first letter sounded different both times? With phonics, children learn the right building blocks and can confidently attempt to read even unfamiliar words by recognizing familiar patterns in individual letters.
- Improves vocabulary - Exposure to reading more words also helps to improve vocabulary, which directly impacts language skills and general knowledge. It brings out the natural curiosity in children to find the meaning of whatever they read, so that they can use it later.
- Develops reading comprehension - With practice, children begin to look at the entire block of text as a whole. They spend less time reading each word and have a better understanding of the meaning of a story. Knowing how to read unlocks the magical world of books, giving wings to creativity and expression.
So when it’s time for little ones to head out to school, phonics is a great way for them to make friends with words!
For more information on live online classes conducted by KinderPass for young learners, download the app now!
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