Why it’s important to learn phonics in the right order
Synthetic phonics practice is systematic. Why? Children must become fluent with the letter-sound correspondences in English. A high-quality phonics program starts with the most common sounds in the English language, gradually progressing to less common ones.
Overall, even though the same sound can be represented by different letters or combinations of letters, not all possible representations of a sound are equally common. For example, the sound /f/ can be written as f (funny), ff (bluff), ph (phone), or gh (laugh). But ph and gh are less common than f and ff. Systematic Phonics introduces children to letter-sound correspondences, starting with the most common ones and ranging through to the least common. This is why it's important to learn phonics in the right order.
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Learning the alphabet is the first step on every child’s reading journey. Research shows that children with prior knowledge of the alphabet learn to read more easily and more fluently, so it’s vitally important that the alphabet is taught in a playful and engaging way.
When learning their ABCs, children have to understand that each letter has a different shape and name, and that letters combine to form words. By making it clear that the letter A is not just for apple but also for avocado, children learn that A makes a constant sound across different words. Learning the most common sound that each letter makes is an essential, foundational skill that will be built on later when children encounter phonics.
Read our report, A Deep Dive Into Phonics, for more!