This well-researched synthetics phonics program aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills.
Letters & Sounds comprises of six phases that students will progress through over the years from Kindergarten to Year 2.
Phonic Knowledge and Skills
Phase 1 is divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.
In phase 2 students will learn 19 graphemes (letters) and their phonemes (sound) of the alphabet. Activities will encourage students to blend sounds together to read words and segment words into their separate sounds for writing.
This phase is broken into 2 areas.
In Phase 3a, students will learn the remaining 7 graphemes of the alphabet and their phonemes. The first 4 digraphs (two letters making one sound) will also be taught.
In Phase 3b, students will learn 17 more graphemes, most of them comprising of two graphemes.
There are no new grapheme-phoneme correspondences taught in Phase 4 as the purpose is to consolidate student’s knowledge of graphemes in reading and spelling words containing adjacent consonants and polysyllabic words.
The purpose of this phase is for students to broaden their knowledge of graphemes and phonemes for use in reading and spelling. This phase is broken into 3 separate areas.
In Phase 5a, students learn the remaining 16 graphemes (comprising of two or three letters).
In Phase 5b, students will learn alternative pronunciations for graphemes they already know.
In Phase 5c, students learn alternative spellings to represent phonemes.
In Phase 6, students will learn less common spelling rules, including past tense, prefixes and suffixes. By the end of this phase student’s spelling should be phonemically accurate, although it may still be a little unconventional at times.