Phonic sounds of letters
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The phonic sounds of letters are the key to learning how to read with ease and fluency. Without knowledge of these sounds and the sounds made by combinations of letters the process of reading would be very difficult. Children start to learn the phonic sounds of letters at nursery school and this foundation is built upon in the reception class and year 1 and year 2. If children do not get a good grounding in the phonic sounds of letters they are likely to struggle in reading and writing and will adopt coping strategies such as trying to memorise the text when reading and relying on a predominantly visual approach to learning words.
In order to practise the phonic sounds of the alphabet a variety of approaches can be used in the classroom and at home. Most schools use a reliable and thorough phonics scheme such as ‘Letterland’ or ‘Jolly Phonics’ which systematically teaches the individual phonic sounds of letters and subsequently the many common letter blends. There are also many games available to reinforce knowledge of phonics such as board games and card games that can be played by groups of children in the classroom. There are also many different worksheet activities which help to practise the sound / symbol relationships of the letters of the alphabet. Rhyme is also a useful tool in learning the phonic sounds of letters. Rhyming families of words that contain the same letter blends help to reinforce phonic sound patterns e.g. moon, spoon, cake, lake and hen, pen.
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