Teaching phonics - the basics

Phonemic awareness

Unless you have phonemic awareness, it is impossible to gain much from instruction in phonics.

Research about phonics for reading – and for spelling – exists in abundance. Here we turn attention to the practical knowledge, skills and processes teachers, classroom assistants and student teachers need to embrace to teach phonics effectively. Teachers need to have solid, practical understanding of the subject of phonics.

The practicalities of how to teach a sequenced phonics programme are well covered in many commercial programmes e.g. Jolly Phonics and such resources are easily accessible. We therefore do not focus on the minutia of the order in which to teach phonemes, segmenting and blending, but rather on the fundamental understanding about these processes that practitioners must consider.