The Importance Of Teaching Phonics

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According to the Department of Education, Science, and Training (2005, p. 36) more than 74% of the children entering first grade who are at risk for reading failure will continue to have reading problems into adulthood. This means teachers have the large task of ensuring each student possesses a solid foundation built up with a range of strategies in order for them to learn how to read. One way reading skills can be taught is through the use of early, explicit and systematic phonics. Teaching phonics is the process of showing students the relationships letters and sounds have and how to use that understanding in order to read and spell words (Tompkins, Campbell, Green, and Smith, 2015). Over time the understandings about teaching children …show more content…
In order for children to learn how to read, teachers must understand what phonics are, the methods they can be taught, the benefits of early phonics education and the importance they have in teaching reading successfully.

Ewing and Maher (2014) define reading as a method of creating meaning from a text, not just decoding or sounding words out. A positive relationship between having phonemic awareness and reading has been established (Emmitt, Hornsby and Wilson, 2006). This means teaching explicit and systematic phonics plays an important role while instructing children how to read. Teaching phonics explicitly and systematically means that the concepts are explained in direct steps and stops are made to ensure every student understands and is clearly taught about sounds and letters and the relationship they have (Rosenshine, 1986, p. 60). Phonics instruction gets more complicated as the program progresses meaning the simplest sounds are taught first and then grow in complexity to the most difficult
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Research from Camilli, Vargas and Yurecko (2003) found that a mixture of strategy instruction and whole language reading activities produced results as large as using phonics instruction alone. They also found that with phonics as a base in teaching children to read, the results of children’s literacy skills were up to four times larger than just using phonics alone. The project In Teachers’ Hands (Louden, et al., 2005) examined the relationship between teaching strategies and early years student’s literacy. 2000 children were tested at the start and end of their first and second year of schooling; the results were that the most effective teachers incorporated a range of teaching methods directly related to each child’s needs. This research shows that while phonics instruction is essential in teaching students to read when used with a variety of teaching strategies it is more

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