Date
16 August 2020

Learning the code and literacy acquisition

To be successfully literate, students need to master three key areas of reading and writing: learning the code, making meaning, and thinking critically.

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Dyslexia and beginning readers

Dyslexia and beginning readers

Teaching these two steps is important in learning the code:

  1. Phonemic awareness – understanding that spoken words are made up of individual sounds
  2. Alphabetic principle – linking the sounds and the letters.

To become readers, learners must develop the skills of blending, segmenting, and manipulating sounds at each of these levels: syllable, onset-rime, and phoneme.

Phonological and phonemic awareness

Phonological and phonemic awareness

Phonological awareness is identifying and manipulating spoken language – words, syllables, onsets and rimes, and individual phonemes.
Phonemic awareness is the foundation for spelling and word recognition.

The alphabetic principle

The alphabetic principle

The understanding that letters, and letter patterns, represent the sounds of spoken language.

  • Teach letter-sound relationships explicitly and in isolation.
  • Provide opportunities for practising letter-sound relationships daily.
  • Practise new sound-letter relationships and cumulatively review previously taught relationships.
  • Provide frequent opportunities for learners to apply their knowledge of sound-letter relationships by reading phonetically spelled words that are familiar in meaning.
  • Phonics-based reading instruction helps students discover the alphabetic principle.

Source: Reading Rockets (opens in a new tab/window)

Speech sounds of NZ English

Speech sounds of NZ English

Synthetic phonics teaches the 44 sounds of the English language systematically, together with corresponding letter relationships.

Say the sounds clearly to support learners.

Useful resources

Useful resources

Website

Phonological and phonemic awareness

Read time: 5 min

Publisher: WETA Public Broadcasting

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Website

Ehri’s four phases of word reading

Publisher: FreeReading

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Website

The top part of Tolman’s hourglass figure: Phonological awareness

Publisher: Dr. Carol Tolman

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Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Understanding dyslexia and literacy acquisition”:

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