Foundations of Reading
To learn to read well, children need to know how to recognize and pronounce words (decoding), what words mean (vocabulary), and how to understand the meaning of a group of words or connected text (comprehension). To build these foundations of reading, instruction in school uses a balanced approach and focuses on the long term goal of reading for meaning.
What Role Does Phonics Play in Reading?
Phonics instruction is a way of teaching reading that stresses learning how letters match sounds, and how to use this knowlege in reading and spelling. In the early elementary grades, phonics is introduced and letter/sound associations are stressed to help in preparation for reading and writing. By second grade, most phonics instruction is completed and children have the basic skills they need to move on to the more interpretive skills of reading, such as drawing conclusions, making inferences, and finding information.
Some children may take longer to make the sound/letter associations. Parents can help the development of phonic skills at home by playing with language, enjoying rhyming stories with their children, and encouraging children to speak clearly.