How to Teach Phonics

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When teaching phonics, it's best to start by singing the ABC song very slowly and using flashcards for each of the letters. Ask a child to name the sound that a given letter makes with help from an English specialist and president of a theater group in this free video on phonics.

Part of the Video Series: Reading Comprehension Strategies
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Hi, many parents ask me how should I teach phonics to my child? Here are some answers. I'm John Conlon to guide you through teaching phonics to your son Jim. First of all start by singing the ABC song very slowly having letter flashcards for each of the letters and being able to lay them out on a table so that your child Jim can understand them. Second make up a game using these flashcards. Do them in groups of three or four such as ABCD, EFG along with the song yet again. Then ask Jim to pickup a letter starting with the one that says M then K then D and so on. Keep track of success and praise it. Save the hard ones for the second round. The third step is to ask Jim to name the sound of a given letter makes. Now the hardest letters for children to learn are vowels. Letters that have two sounds such as the S or the G and letters that don't sound like their names like Y W and X. Play word games as a fourth step with the letters on the flashcards you've already made. Try arranging them in different ways. Try to make sure that the vowels are all the same colors to differentiate those from the consonants. Again, the vowels will be hardest for children because they change, there are long vowels and there are short vowels. Read books that are easy to decode. Many of Dr. Seuss' books easily lend themselves to decoding and they're fun and they rhyme. Finally explain to Jim that the English language is not always predictable and that a couple of letters together make one sound sometimes. This is a way to introduce the concept of blends, digraphs and chunks. Blends for example, brr or sspt are more easily deciphered because they often sound like the two letters put together. Digraphs and chunks on the other hand, like shh, ch, ff for example are a little more complicated. You'll have to teach Jim visually, show them to Jim and demonstrate that some of these letters make sounds together. I'm John Conlon and these are some ideas on how to teach phonics to your son Jim.

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