Benefits of Learning Phonics
Phonics is a reading method wherein kids first learn the sounds (or phonemes) that one or more letters make together when read aloud, and then begin to put those sounds together into words and then sentences. The idea behind learning phonics is that children learn to read by developing an understanding of how these sounds are associated with individual letters, groups of letters, and finally full words. Learning to read with phonics can be extremely effective, especially if your child learns to read at an early age. Here are some of the biggest benefits of learning phonics.
Learning Phonics Helps Children Decipher Words
One of the main benefits of learning phonics is that it teaches children to decipher words on their own, which means they ultimately need less help with reading. When children learn the sounds that letters and groups of letters make, they can decode words they have not encountered before in their reading. This allows children to learn new words independently and read more confidently.
Learning Phonics Expands a Child’s Vocabulary
Another advantage of learning phonics is that it gives children a foundation for learning new words, adding to the words they already know. Through phonics, children learn parts of words, which they can remember when they encounter new words they have never seen before. This makes learning to read much easier in the long run. Additionally, phonics can lead to whole-word recognition, which helps children read faster as they practice. As children begin to recognize whole sections of words without sounding out individual phonemes to decipher each word, reading is much faster and more fluid.
Learning Phonics Encourages Children to Recognize Text Fluently
When children learn phonics, they also learn critical language rules that help with fluency down the road. Learning phonics involves an introduction to specific language rules related both to the pronunciation of the words and also how they are represented in written form. Through the phonics system, children develop the ability to be able to recognize patterns both within words and between words, while developing essential language skills that will be drawn upon again and again.
Learning Phonics Enables Stronger Reading Comprehension
Since phonics readers become more fluent more quickly, they are able to stop focusing on the individual letters of each word (as this becomes automatic) and are thus free to focus on the meaning of what they are reading. This, in turn, supports a stronger development of reading comprehension skills overall, as well as a superior understanding of the language as a whole
Learning Phonics Boosts Writing Ability
Another benefit of learning phonics is that it ultimately helps children learn to write by using written lessons and activities to help children master both reading and writing skills. Children also tend to develop their spelling skills much more quickly, as they are learning which letters or combinations of letters create sounds in words that they write.
Learning Phonics Helps Kids Develop Strong Thinking Skills
Over the many decades in which phonics systems have been used to teach young children to read, research has found that phonics-trained students demonstrated superior performance in the area of critical thinking over the long term. Since the English language doesn’t always follow predictable rules, with the help of the tools provided by the phonics system, young readers are able to develop logic, reasoning, and analysis skills, which translates to stronger thinking skills overall.
Learning Phonics Benefits Kids with Special Needs
Phonics has long been the recommended system for ESL students (kids for whom English is a second language), as the system is accessible for students and makes the transition from the native language easier. However, research has also indicated that the predictable rules and easy to understand basics offered by phonics instruction can benefit children with dyslexia and those kids struggling with a hearing impairment.
Learning Phonics Makes Reading and Writing Fun
Most systems for teaching phonics to young children are designed specifically to be fun and engaging, with games incorporated into lessons along with visual material featuring vibrant colors and memorable images that children come to associate with the learning-to-read process. Many experts believe that this approach to reading not only enhances the learning experience but ultimately results in a more thorough development of reading and writing skills.
Learning phonics provides an excellent way for children to read both quickly and effectively, giving them a systematic approach to reading upon which they can build and expand their skills. While phonics may not be the best reading solution for everyone, research shows it is highly effective for most children.