3. • Learning to read is the most important
educational outcome of primary education.
• Reading is a complex process that builds on
oral language facility, and encompasses both
specific skill development (phonemic and
decoding strategies) and the use of
5. 1. Oral Language
Oral language provides the foundation for
learning to read, and is related to overall
reading achievement throughout primary
and secondary schooling (Snow et al., 1995;
Wise et al, 2007).
6. • Children who are surrounded by, and included
in, rich and increasingly complex
conversations, have an overwhelming
advantage in vocabulary development, in
understanding the structures of language, and
in tuning into the sounds of the English
7. • To understand language at the printed level
oral language competency is a necessity.
Children need strong vocabularies to
understand the broad range of words in texts;
they require strong grammatical skills to
understand the complex sentences present in
many texts; and they require the ability to
reason and infer so that the necessary links
between information in texts can be made.
8. • Experiences with books and other forms of
print, and seeing people reading and writing
as part of their everyday lives also prepare
children for reading.
• Oral language abilities are not only closely
related to the development of early reading
skills, but there are also substantial long-term
correlations with reading in the middle years
of primary school (Dickinson & Tabors, 2001).
9. Importance of the Early Years
• It is impossible to understand the written
form of a language without a wide vocabulary
and familiarity with language structures.
These are, in most cases, already well
developed before a child begins school (Reese,
Sparks & Leyva, 2010; Skeat et al, 2010), thus
parents are rightfully regarded as a child’s first
10. • As parents interact with their young children,
they shape the foundations of language
development (NELP, 2008).
– reading aloud of story books;
– the quality of play experiences
– rhyming games
– singing and word play
11. • As children make sounds and combine them into
words and sentences, they literally “tune in to”
the phonological system – the intonation and
rhythm of the language and its common sound
patterns (Dickinson et al, 2003; Goswami, 2001;
Whitehurst & Lonigan, 1998). Children’s
awareness of the separate sounds in words then
forms the basis for learning the written symbols
that match those sounds – they begin to
understand the alphabetic principle.
12. General principles regarding oral
• Refer children for assessment if speech
and language delays are significant.
• Build oral language across all the year
• Allow wait time / thinking time.
–OWL (Observe, Wait, Listen)
13. General principles regarding teacher
• Model clear and correct use of oral language
• Monitor student understanding
• Adjust language according to student need
– Remember the 4 S:
• Say less
• Stress important words
• Slow down
14. Teaching Strategies
• Teach active listening
• Build on student language
• Build oral language development into daily routines and
• Provide opportunities for social interaction
• Explore story books together
• Model thinking processes through “Think alouds”
• Consider the language demands of each lesson
• Don’t be afraid to “correct” children’s communication
• Reading proficiency is built on a wide
knowledge and fluent use of oral language
and teachers can do much to support students
in this across all content areas and with all
year levels. Engaging in conversations with
them as often as possible, providing many
opportunities for them to engage with other
fluent speakers and exploring books together
are simple and rewarding ways to help
develop these critical skills.
16. 2. Phonological Awareness
Faced with an alphabetic script, the child’s level of
phonemic awareness on entering school may be the
single most powerful determinant of the success she
or he will experience in learning to read and of the
likelihood that she or he will fail.
(Adams, 1990, p. 304)
17. • Phonological awareness is a broad term that
refers to the ability to focus on the sounds of
speech as opposed to its meaning.
• It is the realization that a continuous stream
of speech can be separated into individual
words, that those words can also be broken up
into oneor more syllables, and that syllables
are made up of separate, single sounds.
18. • The most significant of these components for
reading development is awareness of the
individual sounds or phonemes, that is,
• Some children find it very difficult to hear the
separate phonemes because the continuous
nature of speech compresses them into a
series of overlapping sounds through a
process called coarticulation.
19. • For many children this might begin with
nursery rhymes or rhyming games.
• The ability to recognize and produce rhymes is
an early indication that children are
developing phonemic awareness.
PHONEMIC AWARENESS PHONICS
the ability to focus on
the sounds of speech as
from its meaning: on its
intonation or rhythm, on
the fact that certain
words rhyme, and on
a subset of phonological
the ability to focus on
individual sounds in
words, the phonemes.
sounds (phonemes) and
the letters that
21. Hierarchy of Phonological Awareness
1. Rhythm and Rhyme
– In English, it is syllables that provide the rhythm.
– If children can recognize and produce rhyming
patterns, they are actually demonstrating early
– These two early levels of phonological awareness
– rhythm and rhyme – usually occur in the
preschool years, and prime children for the more
advanced phonological skills that are required for
the development of reading.
22. 2. Onset – Rime Division
– Onset and rime are divisions within a syllable.
– The onset is made up of the parts of the syllable
that come before the vowel; the rime is the vowel
and all subsequent consonants.
23. 3. Phoneme Isolation
– the ability to recognize the separate phonemes in
words. The first phoneme in a syllable is the
easiest to identify, then the final phoneme, then
the middle phoneme.
24. 4. Phoneme Blending
– Phoneme blending is one of the most important
phonemic skills and requires careful attention.
Blending requires children to listen to a sequence of
spoken phonemes and then combine them into a
– Great care needs to be taken not to distort the
phonemes when teaching children who are having
– For example, the word pat should be said “paaat” not
25. 5. Phoneme Segmentation
– requires the children to count out the separate
phonemes in a word, saying each sound as they tap
out or count it. Once again, model multiple examples
of simple vc and cvc words before moving to ccvc and
cvcc words, giving plenty of opportunities for children
to copy your model and try examples for themselves
– Listen to the sounds in at /a/ /t/
– • Listen to the sounds in met /m/ /e/ /t/
– • Listen to the sounds in stop /s/ /t/ /o/ /p/
– • Listen to the sounds in trust /t/ /r/ /u/ /s/ /t/
26. 6. Phoneme Manipulation
– The ability to manipulate sounds to form different
words in order to support the flexible use of
sound knowledge as one component of the
reading and writing process.
– Phoneme deletion, addition and a combination of
both are included in this very refined skill.
27. When Should Phonic Skills be
• Once children can discriminate separate
phonemes (that is, can answer questions like
those in the phoneme isolation section),
letter-sound relationships can be introduced,
as both phonemic and phonic skills can be
taught simultaneously from this point.
28. Principles of Teaching Phonemic
• Ensure that everyone working with students in their
phonemic awareness groups (teachers, school support
officers, volunteers) can articulate the sounds being
taught accurately and clearly.
• When letters are first introduced, they should be
referred to by the sound they represent, not by the
• Work in small groups of four to six students for
phonemic awareness training for all children if
• Work in groups of 1–3 with children who are having
29. • Concentrate on blending and segmenting, the
most important phonemic skills for reading
• Build from easy to hard when constructing
practice items for children (vc, cvc, ccvc, cvcc,
long vowel words)
• Give children multiple opportunities to
30. 3. PHONICS
• Once children understand that words can be
broken up into a series of sounds, they need
to learn the relationship between those
sounds and letters – the “alphabetic code” or
the system that the English language uses to
map sounds onto paper.
31. The Synthetic Approach
• The term “synthetic” refers to the process of
synthesizing, or blending individual sounds
together. In synthetic phonics programs, children
practice blending as soon as they know letter-sounds
that blend together to make a word.
• Common letter combinations, such as double
letters, digraphs, and common patterns like -ble
are taught in a similar fashion, with the focus on
rapidly teaching children how to blend individual
or combination sounds together to make words.
32. Explicit and Systematic Instruction
• Synthetic phonics programs are designed to
be both explicit and systematic.
• Explicit instruction is designed to focus
children’s attention on the precise target of
• Systematic instruction recognizes that certain
skills or concepts need to be taught before
others, and therefore skills are taught in a
33. • While different synthetic phonics programs
use slightly different orders, they essentially
teach common and therefore most useful
combinations first, in an order that promotes
blending. In several synthetic phonics
programs the first six letters to be taught are
s, a, t, p, i, and n – letters that combine in
various ways to make many simple consonant-vowel-
consonant (cvc) words.
34. • High frequency sight words are taught
gradually and simultaneously with the
expanding letter-sound knowledge.
• ESL students in particular need explicit
instruction as the sound-symbol relationship
may differ markedly from their first language.
35. Embedded (literature-based) phonics
• An embedded or literature-based approach to
teaching phonics involves pointing out letter-sound
relationships to children incidentally
while engaged in reading motivating and
36. • Some children do acquire a working knowledge
of the alphabetic principle using this method –
usually those fortunate enough to have had great
exposure to print before they arrive at school.
• For children who have not had these early
experiences, however, this is not an effective
approach. Pointing out letter-sound relationships
“on the run” is too fleeting – too “hit and miss”.
37. Analytic Phonics Instruction
• Children are not required to pronounce
sounds in isolation, nor to blend individual
sounds together. Single letter-sounds are
taught through reference to words that begin
with that sound, thus, a series of words
beginning with the letter a may be listed – for
example, ant, apple, animal – and the children
are invited to say the words, and note the
similarities in letters and sounds.
38. Guidelines for Teaching Phonics
• Teach letter-sound correspondences: in a sequence
that introduces the most common sound for a new
letter; that occur frequently and so are more useful;
and initially separate those that look and sound alike
(Carnine, Silbert, Kame’enui & Tarver, 2004).
• Begin with a few sounds that are continuous (e.g.,
/s/, /m/ and the vowels) as they are easiest to blend.
• As soon as children know letter-sounds that will
blend into words, help them combine them into
39. • Provide practice with connected text composed
of a high percentage of simple VC and CVC words
that the children know or can decode.
• Extend phonics instruction beyond single letter-sound
correspondences to include more complex
• Extend phonics instruction in the upper primary
years to include morphological elements
40. “He that loves
his reach.” –