Before reading the following parental guide to teaching phonics sounds to children, the parents should read the article, which introduces the step-by-step approach to teaching phonics.
What is Phonics?
Phonics is a method for teaching children to read by guiding them to connect sounds( Phonemes) with letters or groups of letters (Graphemes)
It’s just one part of learning to read without having prior knowledge of vocabulary or comprehension.
Are there 42 or 44 sounds in English?
Well, there’s no agreement on the number of sounds among the experts. It depends on various factors like dialect and accent. The IPA chart below shows the 44 phonics sounds in English. It comprises 20 vowel sounds and 24 consonant sounds
What is a Phoneme?
A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound that we can hear in a word.
You need to remember that it is important to think in terms of the number of sounds( Phonemes) in a word instead of the number of letters.
Taking an example, the word Ship has 4 alphabets or letters but 3 Phonemic sounds.
What is a Grapheme?
A grapheme is a written representation of a Phoneme.
However, unlike individual alphabets, they can also be in a pair or a group of letters.
Taking the same example again, the word Ship has 4 alphabets or letters but 3 Graphemes corresponding to 3 Phonemic sounds.
What is a Diagraph?
Diagraph is a two-letter Grapheme.
For example, the word Chips has a two-letter Grapheme or a Diagraph Ch.
Similarly, Trigraphs are three-letter Graphemes.
It’s important to understand the relationship between the phonemes and letters also known as the phoneme-grapheme relationship.
Knowing the letter-sound relationship is possible by mapping Phonemes to Graphemes in terms of Phonics patterns or Phonemic sounds for letters or groups of letters.