- helps children learn the relationships between the letters of written language and the sounds of spoken language.
Phonics instruction is important because
- it leads to an understanding of the alphabetic principle--the systematic and predictable relationships between written letters and spoken sounds.
Phonics programs are effective when they are
- systematic -- the plan of instruction includes a carefully selected set of letter-sound relationships that are organized into a logical sequence.
- explicit -- the programs provide teachers with precise directions for the teaching of these relationships.
Effective phonics programs provide
- ample opportunities for children to apply what they are learning about letters and sounds to the reading of words, sentences, and stories.
Systematic and explicit phonics instruction
- significantly improves children's word recognition, spelling, and reading comprehension.
- is most effective when it begins in kindergarten or first grade.
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