|There is more to phonics than letter-sound identification. Sometimes we rush into phonics too quickly. We ask children to identify letters and the sounds they represent before children have become skillful in detecting the specific sounds. Books on this site are for children (birth to age 5) and for all ages who need extra help in reading. The books can also help ESL students.
Failures in phonics and other reading skills occur more often when phonology and other pre-reading skills are omitted. Phonology is the study of how speech sounds are used. On the other hand, phonics is the study of written symbols and the speech sounds which they represent.
For more background information, see pre-reading skills
which has tips and definitions for phonology, phonological awareness, phonograms, phonemes, phoneme awareness, and phonics.
Basic Pre-reading (and Reading Skills)In addition to phonology and phonics, there are other basic pre-reading skills. These pre-reading skills remain important reading skills as well.
Hearing Details of Language
Speech comprehension problems can be caused by hearing difficulties which are not detected in routine school examinations. The Test of Auditory Perceptual Skills is administered at some schools and is a test which goes beyond routine school testing. It is used to detect auditory perception and memory problems. If a weakness is detected, further examination is recommended to rule out the possibilities of sensory-neural or conductive hearing loss including ear wax build-up and ear infections.
If there is no physical problem, help is available from an inexpensive workbook, the Auditory Sequential Memory Instructional Workbook: for the Development of Auditory Listening, Processing and Recall of Numbers, Letters, and Words. It helps students develop the ability to listen, process, and recall series of numbers, letters, and words. The author states: "Throughout my years of testing I have found a higher percentage of students with weaknesses in the auditory memory areas than any other learning skill area even among those students whom we would not classify as learning disabled. In addition, most children who have attention deficit disorders and/or hyperactivity have serious auditory memory deficiencies. These children are desperately in need of remediation in the auditory skill areas."
Awareness of sequence is helped by using cumulative tales such as
The ability to create story sequence is also enhanced by having fun with making sentences and stories. See directions for making your own Novelty Book with Divided Pages. This can be done during the pre-reading years or later.
It is essential to note likenesses and differences in similar words such as this and that, went and want, was and saw, big and dig. Differences are more easily perceived than similarities e.g. seeing the root word in look, looks, looking. Students who experience difficulty with similar words need help to develop visual discrimination skills. Visual Discrimination: Noting Differences in Frequently Misperceived Words is a recommended workbook.
Phonology = Rhymes, Syllables, Alliteration, Assonance, Phonemes
The sequence of teaching phonological awareness skills has some overlap. Generally speaking, begin with larger units of sound and move to smaller units.