10 Reasons Why Phonics Works
July 24, 2015
It doesn’t discriminate.
Research shows that phonics instruction produces significant benefits for children of all ages, abilities, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
It builds phonemic awareness.
This is the #1 predictor of a child’s early reading ability-understanding how words are made up of sounds. For example, the letter c says “c,” and the word cat is made up of the sounds /c/, /a/, and /t/, blended together make the word cat.
It helps with word recognition.
Exposing children to words both in isolation and in context helps achieve effortless word recognition, also called automaticity.
It helps with print exposure.
Simply put, children who have more opportunities to read (and be read to) are more likely to acquire the building blocks of reading-fast, automatic word recognition and decoding skills.
Every child is different.
While some kids can read a word once and then recognize it later on, most kids need to read a word 4-8 times in a short period of time before it becomes automatic. Others may need 15-20 exposures. The phonics method offers those opportunities.
It provides opportunities for “just-right” reading.
Kids need the chance to read books that are tied to their independent reading level, meaning the books can be read with 90-95% accuracy. This allows kids to be able to focus on the specific skill being taught.
It helps build confidence.
With the phonics method, even young kids can fairly quickly learn to “read” a “just-right” book on their own—often for the first time. This success makes kids feel proud and gets them to start to think of themselves as readers.
It boosts self-esteem.
Don’t kid yourself. Learning to read is hard. It doesn’t come naturally for everyone. Phonics gives children a tool that breaks down the process of learning to read into bite-sized, doable chunks. Kids who can feel successful through their own efforts are more likely to have higher self-esteem.
It helps with spelling.
Studies show that kids who are able to break down the sounds that make up words (called decoding) are better at spelling.
It allows children to read for meaning.
Research shows that giving kids to opportunities read books with a high percentage of familiar patterns (phonics) allows kids to focus on comprehending and understanding the story, instead of decoding words.
Read more about the Research Behind Hooked on Phonics.