Phonetic reading, phonemic awareness, and the development of literacy

Phonetic reading refers to a child's ability to "sound out" and pronounce unfamiliar words and nonsense words based on spelling. This is the logical next step in the development of literacy and phonemic awareness.

To practice this skill, you will be following a procedure similar to the one described on the letter-sound correspondence page, only you will now be using letter sequences instead of individual letters.

As with single letter sounds, begin with the receptive level and progress to the expressive level.

Identification of simple syllables

At this level, you will be using simple consonant-vowel or vowel-consonant syllables, such as vo or ot. A list of nonsense words of this type can be found on the nonsense words page.

Identification of complex syllables

At this level, you will proceed to using more complex syllables, like CVC (dap), CCVC(stip), CVCC(dalp), CCVCC(stimp). Examples of these are also available on the nonsense words page, but you might want to modify the spelling so that they look more "standard" for reading practice (for example, I would use pafe instead of payf).

While you should not avoid the weird combinations of letters that make English spelling such a delight (for example, pafe would be a CVC word, not CVCV, since the final e is silent), it's best to stay with fairly regular spellings in the early stages. A discussion of how you can spell fish G-H-O-T-I using gh as in enough, o as in women, and ti as in nation is probably not going to be all that helpful at this stage of your child's development, so keep it regular.

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