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What is Kiwi Phonics?
Written English is a code. This code uses the alphabet to represent the sounds of speech in print.
There are 26 letters in the alphabet, but approximately 43 different sounds are used to speak English. Many sounds can be spelled in several different ways.
Phonics teaches the relationships between the letters of a written word and the sounds these letters make.
Teaching phonics is supported by the New Zealand Ministry of Education …
'Phonemic awareness is fundamental to early success in reading and writing. It enables children to develop the understanding of letter-sound relationships that is essential to decoding and encoding. Children have to be able to distinguish sounds before they can match them with the letters that represent them …
An understanding of phonics also underpins children's literacy learning. Children need to learn, through deliberate, focused instruction, which letters represent which sounds.'
Effective Literacy Practice in Years 1–4 (Wellington: Ministry of Education) 2003, p.32.
.… and significant studies have shown its value in the classroom
'Overall, we can conclude that a synthetic phonics programme, as part of the reading curriculum, has a major and long lasting effect on children's reading and spelling attainment.'
Rhona Johnston & Joyce Watson, The Effects of Synthetic Phonics Teaching on Reading and Spelling Attainment: A Seven Year Longitudinal Study (Edinburgh: Scottish Executive) 2005.
'… research had clearly demonstrated that understanding how letters relate to the component sounds of words is critically important in reading.'
'How Should Reading Be Taught?' by Keith Rayner, Barbara R. Foorman, Charles A. Perfetti, David Pesetsky, Mark Seidenberg, Scientific American, March 2002.
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