English can be difficult and confusing to new learners, especially with a combination of letters. As we know, some English words can be pronounced in different ways by native English speakers.
This makes the English language difficult to learn and understand, particularly for EFL and ESL students with a different first language; they will use a different alphabet than the English one.
However, teaching phonics is an excellent method that can help students figure out which letters to use as they write and facilitate proper pronunciation. Let us look at a few activities’ teachers can incorporate into their classrooms when teaching phonics.
There are a few ways teachers can approach the introduction of reading in a foreign language. One of the ways is to first start by understanding the method of using phonics.
What is Phonics?
Phonics is one of the methods used for teaching English when reading and writing.
- This method encourages the students’ ability to hear, identify, and manipulate phonemes, which are sound segments.
- The objective of Phonics is to enable readers to interpret new written words by identifying the connection between written letters and their spoken sounds.
- For students to understand what they read, they will need to sort unfamiliar sounds into fragments that make sense. Like decrypting a code, learning the sounds of letters or letter combinations can help students decode the words as they spell and read.
- By decoding words, the student starts to develop word recognition, which, in turn, improves reading fluency.
- By improving reading fluency, the student will also improve reading comprehension. This will help students concentrate on making meaning from the text they read, as they will no longer struggle with decoding words.
How to use Phonics in Your Classroom
Phonics can become complicated as the pronunciation rules are introduced. However, it can be a beneficial way to read for learners who are not familiar with the English alphabet and those who do not have one relationship between letters and sounds in their written language. Here are a few examples of how you can use a phonics worksheet in your class:
Sounds and letters
We can teach the students the letters of the alphabet, and the mixture of letters, phonically – as they are pronounced. Example
- the letter “a” is pronounced /a/,
- the letter “b” is pronounced /b/,
- c is pronounced /k/
- “ph” is pronounced /f/ and so on.
- It is best to start with three or four letters that can make up many words, like c-a-n-t. The teacher can then show pupils how to pronounce the letters.
Sing the ABC song
Sing the ABC song and point to the letters.
Say the five short vowels.
Say the sound of the short vowel e. Write the letter e to complete the words below.