There are essentially 2 phonetic approaches, analytic (use the whole word to teach the parts of the word) and synthetic (parts to build toward the whole).
From Wikipedia, Analytical Phonics
(this link has plenty more to read) refers to an approach to the teaching of reading in which the phonemes
associated with particular graphemes
are not pronounced in isolation. Children identify (analyse) the common phoneme
in a set of words in which each word contains the phoneme under study. For example, teacher and pupils discuss how the following words are alike: pat, park, push and pen. Analytic phonics for writing similarly relies on inferential learning: realising that the initial phoneme in /p i g/ is the same as that in /p æ t, p a: k, p u ƒ/ and /p e n/, children deduce that they must write that phoneme with grapheme.
Today, Analytical phonics is referred to as Implicit phonics.
This is because it signifies the analysis (breaking down) of the whole word to its parts (an analysis only necessary when a child cannot read it as a whole word).
The name 'Synthetic Phonics'
(more to read in the link) comes from the concept of 'synthesising', which means 'putting together' or 'blending'. What is synthesised/put together/blended in reading
are the sounds prompted by the letters on the page. (rrf.org.uk, newsletter 54)
According to the Clackmannanshire
7 year longitudinal study of 117 children, '[Synthetic phonics] is a very accelerated form of phonics that does not begin by establishing an initial sight vocabulary. With this approach, before children are introduced to books, they are taught letter sounds. After the first few of these have been taught they are shown how these sounds can be blended together to build up words (Feitelson, 1988). For example, when taught the letter sounds /t/ /p/ /a/ and /s/, the children can build up the words tap
, etc. The children are not told the pronunciation of the new word either before it is constructed with magnetic letters or indeed afterwards; the children sound each letter in turn and synthesise the sounds together in order to generate the pronunciation of the word. Thus the children construct the pronunciation for themselves. Most of the letter sound correspondences, including the consonant
and vowel digraphs
, can be taught in the space of a few months at the start of their first year at school. This means that children can read many of the unfamiliar words they meet in text for themselves, without the assistance of the teacher.
I support highly The Orton-Gillingham (OG) method
, which approaches phonics "synthetically," meaning systematic decoding using multisensory exercises -- see, hear, touch/trace/move aka VAK (visual, audio, kinesthetic). This link
explains the Recipe for Reading quite well. RR simply applies OG and lays out a plan. It is fantastic.
As decoding occurs, blending starts, with eventual understanding of the phonemes of the English language. MOST words can be decoded.
Other synthetic programs are Writing Road to Reading (Spalding
), The Phonics Road (Barbara Beers, my personal favorite) (Linked in my signature).
Interestingly, many of these programs are flagged for LD classes by public schools. My take is b/c these programs require One-on-One interaction, which a publicly school child would not receive in a mainstream classroom. I find the multi-sensory approach actually serves ALL learning styles b/c it touches on each area (see, hear, touch, move) when followed correctly. I find the OG methods leads to full language understanding, not just reading OR spelling OR writing, but full language arts mastery. It's amazing stuff!