Successful readers (including beginning readers) use word‐attack skills to learn new words. Through developing their knowledge in the following four areas, students are able to become more successful readers:
Phonics (the relationships between letters and sounds) helps beginning readers
learn to sound out words according to their spelling. Phonics is one of the cues that
people use when reading. Through using phonics, the connections between the
spelling of a word, its sound and its meaning are made clear to your students.
Letter‐sound relationships are best learned during meaningful reading. Teach your
students about phonics as you read and write together. Avoid nonsense exercises or
repetitive drilling. Here are some strategies that you can use to practise phonics.
Hearing sounds in words
The first step in learning how to read is being able to hear and identify the sounds in
spoken words. Then, your students will learn the association between letters and specific
sounds. To help your students strengthen their ability to hear sounds in words:
When a word starts with a consonant, there is often a clear relationship between the first letter and the sound. Of course, there are many exceptions to this rule (for example, c in cat and city or ch in choir, church and chute). Keeping the exceptions in mind, focus on initial consonants to help your students match letters to sounds (for example, joke/jump/jam or radio/raspberry/road).