Why is Phonics Class Important For Early Learners


You know how exciting it is to hear your child’s first words and watch them take their first steps. What about the first time they read? It’s certainly a delightful moment to hear your child read their first sentence!

Reading is the foundation for all future learning, and it gives your child the power to succeed academically as well as in their daily lives. As a parent, you want only the best for your child—and that includes helping them develop reading skills from an early age. 

Phonics is a key area that enables early learners to accomplish lifelong skills – being able to read and write. It can also help children develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually and socially. By learning how to read, they can communicate with others more effectively. They’ll also be able to understand what other people are saying, which is very important for their emotional well-being.

In this article, we’ll discuss why phonics is important for early learners and how it can help them improve their literacy skills.


1. Improving their reading skills

Phonics is at the heart of how children learn to read. It’s a great teaching method as it helps simplify the English language and is perfect for young children. Phonics is a method that helps early learners decode words using sounds or phonemes to give them their correct names.

It helps them learn how to decode words, which is what they do when they read. If a child does not understand how to decode words, they’ll have trouble reading. Phonics gives children the tools they need to sound out words so that they can figure out what a word means by sounding it out. This is called decoding, and it’s an important part of reading.


2. Helps with word knowledge

When young children are able to recognise letters, usually between the ages of three and four, they can begin studying phonics. Phonics is crucial for children because it helps with word knowledge. A child who comprehends the idea of phonics will be able to apply what they have learnt to read longer and more difficult words. When they achieve phonological awareness — the capacity to recognise words based on their sounds and pronounce them — they can begin learning.

They can also start learning once they grasp the concept of reading, so you can start easing your child into the world of phonics by reading to them regularly!

Phonics teaches early learners the sound each letter makes, and it helps them understand how the order of letters can change the meaning of words. For example, words such as “was” and “tub” can become “saw” and “but”.

Learning phonics also helps early learners add to words they already know. For example, a child can recognise and pronounce the word “play” on its own, but struggle with “playwright” or “misplay”. This is because the child cannot extrapolate the word and use it in other settings, which is where attending phonics class comes in handy.

Learning phonics can help early learners build on words once they figure out the sounds of other letters. Rhyming words such as “bat”, “cat”, or “fat” will no longer pose a challenge to them.


3.Helps with spelling

Children’s spelling skills can  be greatly improved with phonics!

Being exposed to phonics consistently helps them effortlessly grasp the concept of reading, and they may even find it fun.

Early learners can improve their spelling skills by learning phonics. A child who fully grasps the concept of phonics will be able to sound out words, which will help them spell words accurately. As phonics is the study of how to relate sounds with symbols in an alphabetic writing system, early learners who take phonics classes grow into fluent readers who can rapidly recognise familiar words and effortlessly sound out unfamiliar words they come across. Their phonemic awareness—the capacity to hear, recognise, and manipulate letter symbols to their respective sounds — develops as a result.


4. Helps with creative thinking

Phonics can help children become more imaginative and empathetic. As children develop their reading skills and learn about things outside their own experiences, such as people and places, they begin to imagine how they would feel in that situation. They would look at the world with a new pair of eyes and can better imagine the descriptions of what they read.



When should early learners attend phonics class?

Children can be enrolled in phonics classes during their early childhood years. The recommended age for learning phonics is between ages three and five, as it can help them develop their pre-reading skills. 

To allow children to fully realise their potential for reading and writing, they should continue in phonics class for a few more years, which allows them to embark on more challenging texts. Learning and understanding phonics boost their confidence in their ability to read and allow them to continue growing as writers!

Letting early learners be exposed to phonics at a young age can help them form their own learning mechanisms. For example, when reading unfamiliar words such as spaghetti, the child would use their letter-sound knowledge learned during phonics class to help them produce the correct sound of the unfamiliar word, and they would pay attention to the details and combination of the word. These two steps function as a learning mechanism which allows them to recognise the previously unfamiliar word quicker the next time the child encounters it.



How to start

You can introduce the world of phonics to early learners by using sight words first. Sight words are words which are written exactly how they are spoken. Children pick up these types of words easier and can read with ease. Some sight words include “am”, “by”, “he”, “her”, “why”, “where”, “were”, “gone” etc.


Type of phonics programme in a phonics class

You can introduce the world of phonics to early learners by using sight words first. Sight words are words which are written exactly how they are spoken. Children pick up these types of words easier and can read with ease. Some sight words include “am”, “by”, “he”, “her”, “why”, “where”, “were”, “gone” etc.


Synthetic Phonics (also known as direct phonics)

This focuses on specific instruction of phonemes and blending them to construct words. It’s the most direct and structured method of phonics.


Analytic Phonics

This emphasizes deconstructing words to identify phonemes. It starts with familiar words and breaks them down into smaller parts.


Analogy Phonics

An approach to phonics that relies on using groups of analogous (similar) words to build early learners’ reading vocabulary.


Embedded Phonics

Emphasizes the teaching of phonics in real-world situations. Reading aloud from a book and looking for instructional opportunities are the first steps of a lesson.


A comprehensive, well-rounded reading curriculum incorporated with phonics promotes visual learners to recognise the whole words by sight and provides an opportunity for in-depth reading and creative writing.



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