The importance of phonics and word recognition.

When testing children on their literacy, often times comprehension is weighed tremendously in this. Personally, I believe phonics to be extremely important. With this being said,  My anticipated thought process is that intensified phonics instruction is only necessary for grade levels up to first grade. Phonics may seem simple, but with an absence of proper phonics instruction, reading for any student would be nearly impossible. Phonics is, to put it simply, an understanding that certain letters make specific sounds; Additionally, understanding that a grouping of simple sounds can form words.

Word recognition (identification) at the most basic point should be inclusive with a knowledge of phonics. Although high frequency words should automatically be sounded by students, in order to have students recognize words that require a high cognitive demand to recognize, instructional activities are necessary. For example, the word "Hardship" would be a word I can expect a student with a reading level of fourth grade to know. Therefore, towards the end of the third grade year I would begin to introduce the word "Hardship".

Phonics (phonemic awareness) and word recognition are two of five stages of the reading process, the other three being:

  • Fluency
  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension
I will talk about the remaining three stages in a later post. As always, please continue the discussion in the comments.


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