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What is systematic synthetic phonics?

What is systematic synthetic phonics?

National guidance in the US (Common Core ELA State Standards), the UK (National Curriculum, Letters and Sounds) and Australia (ACARA) promotes an integrated literacy approach using systematic synthetic phonics.

This approach is taught using a systematic and orderly teaching framework, enabling teachers to support children in developing their phonological awareness and phonics knowledge skills. These elements will be described in greater detail below.

A systematic approach to learning is crucial for successful phonics instruction. You may think that a student can learn phonics skills in isolation--there are many apps and worksheets that provide “bitty” or fragmented exercises--but in order to ensure that children develop word-recognition skills and reading fluency, children need a structured (or systematic) and holistic program. Systematic Phonics introduces children to letter-sound correspondences, starting with the most common ones and ranging through to the least common.

Systematic phonics instruction is most effective when provided within the context of a comprehensive reading program which also addresses phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.

Deep Dive

Read our report on the Science of Reading. Research-based reading instruction must incorporate the 5 pillars of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. This report provides an easy to understand overview of each of these pillars and explains the important connection between how the brain learns to read (the Neuroscience of Reading) and how we teach children to read (The Science of Reading Instruction). It also explains why helping children build connections between letters and sounds, through phonics and phonemic awareness, is so crucial for the developing reading mind. This report is perfect for sharing with colleagues and friends!