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 home >> Essentials for Reading Success: Components of Reading: Phonics

A Florida State University Center


Phonics is the study of the relationships between letters and the sounds they represent.
Phonics instruction teaches students how to use the relationships between sounds (phonemes) and letters to decode unfamiliar words in text. It involves teaching students the basic correspondences between letters and sounds, how to blend sounds together to produce words, and how to use these phonemic decoding skills while reading text. Phonics instruction that is systematic, explicit, and incorporates appropriate guided and independent practice activities typically leads to higher achievement in word recognition and spelling. Phonics instruction and skills become more complex as students progress from learning simple correspondences between single letters and sounds, to work with initial and final consonant blends and various vowel combinations, and finally to larger “chunks” of letters in words. Good readers will be able to fluently apply phonemic decoding skills to help them identify unfamiliar words they encounter in text.

Elements of Effective Phonics Instruction