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young readerSynthetic phonics instruction

The term “synthetic” refers to the process of synthesising, or blending individual sounds together. In synthetic phonics programs, children practise blending as soon as they know letter-sounds that blend together to make a word.

This approach helps children understand very early how the reading / writing process works; that it requires blending together and pulling apart the sounds of the language.

Common letter combinations, such as double letters, digraphs, and common patterns like -ble are taught in a similar fashion, with the focus on rapidly teaching children how to blend individual or combination sounds together to make words.

 

Decodable Books

An important part of synthetic phonics programs is the use of decodable books – specially constructed short texts made up of words that the children can decode and high frequency sight words that children have been taught simultaneously. This gives children the opportunity to practise many examples of words representing a particular phonic or spelling pattern and so “cement” their new knowledge.

Decodable texts should be regarded as a short-term strategy to build the automaticity and fluency required for reading for meaning – a means to an end. Children do not find them boring or meaningless – the focus is on enjoyment of skill development.

learning to readIn Louisa Moats’ (1998, p.6) words: “Adult distaste for decodable books fails to respect the child’s need to exercise a skill. Children want to be self-reliant readers and are delighted when they can apply what they know”.

This highly explicit approach may seem very directive for teachers who were taught during their teacher education programs (as I was) that children simply needed to be in a print-rich environment and have high-interest stories read to them for the complex process of learning to read to occur.

Although some children may learn to read via that process, the evidence is that explicit and systematic teaching of alphabetic skills is more effective and more efficient than other forms of phonics instruction (NICHD, 2000; DEST, 2005; Rose Review, 2006). Five and seven year follow-up studies have revealed that the superior effects of the synthetic approach do not diminish (Johnston & Watson, 2003, 2005).

It is the efficiency and effectiveness of synthetic approaches relative to other forms of teaching reading that make it so suitable for teaching children the essential skills of decoding. It is particularly important for the children who do not acquire these skills using a more holistic approach, and who lag behind their peers. These students need acceleration – they need to “catch up”.

*From Research Into Practice – Understanding the Reading Process, Paper 3, Phonics.” By Deslea Konza, Associate Professor, Faculty of Education and Arts, Edith Cowen University, W.A.

More papers from this excellent series in SLD Factsheets and Information Section 1 Oral Language, 2 Phonological Awareness, 3 Phonics, 4 Vocabulary, 5 Fluency, 6 Comprehension

Want to read more?

Phonics – From FIVEfromFIVE.org.au

 

Dandelion Readers Phonicbooks

SPELD NSW and our other SPELD Branches in WA., QLD. and VIC.  recommend Dandelion Readers for students with S.L.D.s learning to read.

Phonic Books specialise in publishing synthetic phonic reading books and workbooks for beginner and catch-up readers and spellers. The phonic reading books are linked with the Australian Curriculum English (ACE) Year levels. Phonicbooks are based on the following principles:

  • Decodable reading books should be an integral part of any Synthetic Phonics teaching. These books complement any Synthetic Phonics programme.
  • A phonics reading scheme should progress in small steps so that all children can follow it with success.
  • Children need to practice and consolidate what they have learned at each stage. How much practice is needed varies from pupil to pupil. The breadth of our range of books allows for this.
  • Playing reading games is a great way to practice reading skills.

Information on Dandelion Readers:Dandelion Beginner Readers cropped

Beginner Readers (3 to 6 yrs):
Beginner Readers Information Flyer

Catch-up Readers (8 to 14 yrs):
Catch up Readers Information Flyer

Assessments:
Assessment Reading Card and Recommendations

PDF Order Forms
Dandelion Launchers Order Form
Dandelion Catch-Up Readers Order Form
Dandelion Readers Initial Phonic Code Order Form
Dandelion Readers Extended Phonic Code Order Form

SPELD NSW Members receive a 10% discount for sales.

*Please note postage cost varies with size and location of the order.

Email orders to enquiries@speldnsw.org.au, phone orders 02 9739 6277 (10am-2pm Mon-Thurs), post forms to us or order online.

CLICK HERE to place your Dandelion order ONLINE

Dandelion Beginner Readers Flyer March 2016

Dandelion Beginner Readers

Dandelion Catch Up Readers Flyer March 2016

Dandelion Catch up Readers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHONEMIC AWARENESS

Phonemic Awareness is concerned with the ability of the brain to process and manipulate sounds in words, i.e. to isolate all chunks of sounds (phonemes) in a given word in the correct order. Research has demonstrated repeatedly that in order for students to develop excellent reading and spelling skills they must also develop excellent phonemic awareness skills. These activities have been designed to provide fun ways for young students to practise playing with sounds in words.

From Developing Phonemic Awareness article by Val Badham in SLD Information and Fact Sheets.

Want to read more?

Phonemic Awareness – From FIVEfromFIVE.org.au

Phonemic Awareness Kits

Phonemic Kit contentsPhonemic Awareness Activities Kit is an excellent resource for teachers and tutors, as well as family members. It can be used to practise: alliteration, isolation and rhyming.

This Phonemic Awareness Activities Kit includes: 5 colour coded bags of objects, 2 sets of number cards, a set of colour coded alphabet cards and a helpful set of instruction cards. A list of objects included in the kit is organised by initial and final consonant sounds, and short and long vowel sounds. All cards are laminated and long-lasting.

Price: $75 plus postage $15

Download Phonemic Awareness Kit Order Form (PDF)

Order Phonemic Awareness Kits ONLINE now!

Or order by email: admin@speldnsw.org.au