Learning to Read with Phonics Games
Developing phonics skills and an understanding of the alphabetic principle is one of the most fundamental skills a child needs to master on their learning to read journey. Learning to read with phonics games is one of the most effective ways for your child to learn these critical skills.
What are Phonics Skills?
When a child has an understanding of phonics and the alphabetic principle, they understand how letters relate to the small units of sound that make up words, called phonemes. The letters of the English alphabet directly relate to particular sounds, and phonics instruction helps young readers apply their understanding of the alphabetic principle in their reading.
Analytic and Synthetic Phonics
There are two types of phonics instruction – analytic and synthetic. Analytic phonics instruction teaches kids to approach whole words, and pick-up an understanding of phonics by comparing and contrasting the sounds that make up the whole word. This type of instruction is rather implicit in its nature. Instruction in the individual sounds that letters and letter combinations make is inferred, rather than overtly stated.
Synthetic phonics instruction introduces young readers to all of the letters of the alphabet and the sounds that they make before they learn to read. The synthetic phonics approach is widely accepted to be the more effective form of phonics instruction, as it helps children approach words bit-by-bit, sounding them out and learning which individual letters link specifically to which sounds.
How Phonics Games Help Children Learn to Read
Phonics games can help children in the following ways:
1. Identify Letters
Phonics games will usually introduce the child to each letter of the alphabet, demonstrating what the letter looks like and the name of the letter. In Reading Eggs, each letter of the alphabet is introduced in its own lesson, presenting the child with multiple visual representations of the letter to help them commit the letter to memory.
2. Link letters to their sounds
The most critical part of phonics games is the explicit link they demonstrate between an individual letter of the alphabet and its sound. Each lesson in Reading Eggs introduces a new letter of the alphabet with a focus on reinforcing letter-sound relationships and highlighting the alphabetic principle. For example, an early lesson introducing the letter m uses a highly engaging a highly engaging animation of Sam the Ant who introduces a range of interactive activities to reinforce the letter’s sound and its shape. This part of the lesson also features a memorable song that helps to the child retain the letter and its sound to memory.
3. Apply letter sounds to reading
Once a child has an understanding of the letters of the alphabet and their sounds, most phonics games, including those in Reading Eggs, help kids understand how letters and their sounds feature in words. In Reading Eggs, these same words feature in the ebook that children read at the end of the lesson. These ebooks, which are carefully matched to the child’s current reading ability, give children the opportunity to practise the letter-sound correspondences they have learnt in this and earlier lessons by reading extended text.