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Six Approaches to Phonics Instruction

By — Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall
Updated on May 7, 2014

Phonics instruction teaches the relationships between the letters of the wriiten language (graphemes) and the individual sounds (phonemes). It also teaches how these relationships are used to read and write words. The table below summarizes six approaches to phonics instruction that aim to teach students to systematically recognize familiar words and decode new words independently.

Synthetic phonics

Children learn how to convert letters or letter combinations into sounds, and then how to blend the sounds together to form recognizable words.
Analytic phonics Children learn to analyze letter-sounds relationships in previously learned words. They do not pronounce sounds in isolation.
Analogy-based phonics Children learn to use parts of word families they know to identify words they don't know that have similar parts.
Phonics through spelling Children learn to segment words into phonemes and to make words by writing letters for phonemes.
Embedded phonics Children are taught letter-sound relationships during the reading of connected text. (Since children encounter different letter-sound relationships as they read, this approach is not systematic or explicit.)
Onset-rime phonics Children learn to identify the sound of the letter or letters before the first vowel (the onset) in a one-syllable word and the sound of the remaining part of the word (the rime).
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