Teaching Children A Key Aspect Of Developing Early Literacy Skills Essay

Teaching Children A Key Aspect Of Developing Early Literacy Skills Essay

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Much research has been conducted into the most effective method for teaching children a key aspect of developing early literacy skills; that is phonics. A brief explanation in regards to its components and importance in reading and writing development will be given. Considering it is a skill that must be taught, methods which support effective phonic development will also be examined. Definitions, contradictions, similarities and the resulting confusion from the lack of conformity to a singular understanding of the outlines of each method will be addressed. The one key element that is agreed upon by many, that phonics should be taught explicitly and systematically, will also be discussed. This will then lead to analysing the two main methods, and which of the two is the most effective approach. That being said, a conclusion will be reached in which evidence in fact suggests neither method is most effective, rather utilising a combination of methods may be the most successful approach when it comes to teaching phonics.

Phonics is knowing the sound a letter makes allowing children to de-code a word in order to read. It is understanding the connection between graphemes or the sound’s written symbol, and phonemes, the smallest unit of sound. Hill outlines the components of phonics as letter identification, onset and rime, blends and diagraphs. Phonics is important as it is one of the required skills needed in reading, with the UK Department of Education asserting it is the first important step in learning to read. It is also argued that phonics plays an even more critical role in developing writing skills. Pearson maintains that in order to write a word a child must first break it down into individual phonemes they can hear, followe...


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...a combination of approaches to suit each child’s progression as an individual.

And so, now that all aspects of phonics have been briefly discussed, it can be said that phonics is a critical part of early literacy development due to its impact on reading and writing skills. It is also clear that phonic teaching methods are not always aligned with each other, and confusion can occur due to the differences between definitions. Regardless of this it still remains that teaching phonics explicitly and systematically is the best approach. Research also indicates that no singular method is best when compared to employing a combination of methods tailored to individual children. Irrespective of the method used, it is still critical for educators to conduct research themselves on the topic to avoid confusion, and to align the most suitable approaches for the current class.

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