Phonics Instruction Phase Two: Phonics
In Phase Two (typically in Kindergarten/Reception), children start to learn the sounds (phonemes) that letters (graphemes) make. There are 44 sounds (phonemes). Some of these sounds correspond to more than one letter combination (graphemes). In Phase Two, children focus on learning the 19 most common phonemes that correspond to single letter graphemes, generally taught in smaller groups of 6. Most teachers begin with a sequence of the most commonly used phonemes: /s/, /a/, /t/, /i/, /p/, /n/.
It generally takes children about 6-8 weeks to master the first 19 phonemes-graphemes. At the end of Phase Two, children can read and spell several short vowel-consonant (VC) words like it and consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) words like pin. They also learn some high frequency sight words, such as: a, the, an, can, is, of, you, and he. Different strategies for teaching sight words are discussed later in this paper.
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Phonics is the method that helps children build systematic connections between letters and sounds. Phonics has a better impact on children’s reading ability than any other type of reading program. It has also been shown to improve spelling, particularly among kindergarteners and first graders.
To find out more, read our Deep Dive into Phonics report. This report provides an easy-to-understand overview of phonics and phonemic awareness - why they are important and how they are taught in the classroom - and explains all the relevant terminology. It's perfect for sharing with colleagues, friends, and to Google Classroom!