3 Type of Phonics on How to Teach Kids to Read

How to teach kids to read using phonics, 3 Type of Phonics on How to Teach Kids to Read

Introd: How to teach kids to read using phonics

English is often regarded as the international language, and is the most studied language by people all over the world. This is most often true of English speaking, listening, writing, reading and more importantly, Phonics. Phonics was created to help readers, both young and old, to better understand how to read and speak English, and thus understand the language better. Thus its crucial for parents on how to teach kids to read using phonics.

Phonics is often regarded as the most effective way to teach how to read. Learning a second or even third language can be a daunting task, especially for a language where letters and sounds can change from word to word. This is why Phonics is especially important for fostering a strong foundation for English for children, and helping them improve their reading, spelling and speaking skills.

Different types of Phonics

In English and modern phonics, there are various types of phonics taught to learners. These vary in their approach and focus on what phonics should be emphasized for reading. What are the differences between these Phonics? Which type is more effective than the other? And how do they compare?

Today phonics consists of three main types: Analytic, Embedded and Synthetic phonics. There is also a fourth type of phonics called analogy phonics, but this is a subtype of analytic phonics, which can be taught as a pair. Normally, embedded or analytic phonics are taught using the whole word as a method of teaching reading for students. On the other hand, synthetic, like the name implies, teaches students each individual sound combined to make words as a phonics based reading approach. 

The synthetic phonics approach is known as the most effective type of Phonics, as it teaches students to “decode” words sound by sound to make words. This type of phonics is also the most taught to children. However this type of synthetic phonics should be used as a tool to improve students skills for reading, and not only to teach them the individual sounds. A good understanding of phonics should focus mainly on this, but also incorporate elements of the other types of phonics. Its important to use all 3 (or 4) types for how to teach kids to tead using phonics.

Analytic PhonicsEmbedded PhonicsSynthetic Phonics
-Starts with a whole word-This type of phonics is taught in reading stories, or when difficulties arise in the students reading a particular word
– Starts with teaching the individual sounds of each letter
-Analyzes each word and the first letter or letters-Focus on the first letter of a word– Focus on each sound in a word
-Students learn to compare a sound pattern in the words-Also taught using the whole word method-Students learn to blend every sound to make a word & decode words to improve reading skills
-Students are taught using this whole word method for phonics-Not all phonics are taught, just the needed elements within a teaching lesson-Learn segments of words to spell hard words
-Analogy phonics is incorporated to compare words in a rime, such as d-og and l-og or fl-ock and cl-ock.– Some sounds are left untaught if not needed by the student– Reading and spelling are taught at the same time
-Blending or decoding is not emphasized-Groups of words not often taught, more so on decoding and blending rules

Checkout our article on the Top 25 Phonics Books for Children

Analytical Phonics

This type of phonics analyzes the relationships of letter and sounds using whole words as a method for learning. Students are taught to look for the common sounds amount a set of words, and match them to learn the rules of phonics. This is also referred to as “implicit phonics”.

For example if the lesson is to teach the letter /d/, then the student would be provided with a group of words such as dad, dog, day, dip, dan. This phonics would be shared among the group of words, further emphasizing the sound when learning Phonics. 

A subtype of this analytical phonics is analogy phonics, which like its name implies, uses analogies of words through “rimes” to help students learn. This reinforces learning through similar sounds for each lesson.

An example of this would be D-OG, DOG. F-OG, FOG. B-OG, BOG and so on.

CL-AP, CLAP. CL-OCK, CLOCK. CL-OT, CLOT and so on. The focus of this is to incorporate the first part of the word, the onset with the latter part of the words, the rime.

The drawback of these methods is that the teaching methods starts with the whole word, and moves onto each individual parts, which may confuse the students. They may not have enough understanding or knowledge of each part to effectively use this method to learn the sounds, or may not be able to compare the sounds of each group of words at first.

Embedded Phonics

Embedded phonics is sometimes regarded as the least effective method, as it uses the whole word approach and language understanding to read. This very implicit method is used where a limited amount of letters or sounds is taught, according to the needs of the student, during each letter. This type of phonics focuses less on the individual phonics and more on the reading for meaning in each lesson. The student would require a much higher level of knowledge of English to use this type of phonics, as it mainly draws on the unknowns in reading for the student.

Synthetic Phonics

Synthetic phonics is the most used type of phonics among the group, and emphasizes on teaching each individual sound in isolation to the students. This is phonetic method teaching students each sound of each letter of the alphabet, and common occuring sound within Phonics. These letters and sounds are then blended to form words, and can also be used for decoding sounds from listening to form words for better understanding. This ground up approach has been proven to be effective in teaching children the foundation of phonics and reading, and can help even very young learnings to be able to read using this synthetic approach.

Research has shown that the synthetic approach has been the most effective for students, as it teaches them a strong foundation that they can apply to most words in the English language for reading and understanding. The drawbacks of the other methods is that they require more memorizing of words for understanding and often do not help students better understand spelling. 

This type of phonics should be utilized with elements of the other types of phonics, to give the students a better understanding of not only the individual phonics but also words as a whole. The best approach would be a focus on synthetic phonics, sprinkled with the other types for students to learn the language. Only teaching synthetic phonics in isolation can get students to only focus on each individual sounds, and can make the transition to reading harder. Hope this article helped in your understanding on how to teach kids to read using phonics.

If you want to know more, check out our page on phonics books for children, or our resource page at BabyKidsBooks for all the phonics sounds of the alphabet!

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