Key features of the analytic and synthetic phonic approaches


Analytic Phonics & Synthetic Phonics


Children learn:

  • to break down whole words into phonemes and graphemes, looking for phonetic or orthographic patterns.
  • to decode words by separating them into smaller units:
    • onset (the vowel or syllable at the start of a word)
    • rime (the rest of the word, always beginning with a vowel)
  • to use rhyme or analogy to learn oher words with similar patterns, e.g. c-at, m-at, p-at
  • to recognise one letter sound at a time, seeing pictures showing words beginning with the same letter sound

Children learn initial letter sounds first, then middle sounds, followed by the final sounds of words and consonant blends.

Children are competent readers within three years, breaking down and sounding out unfamiliar words. This phonics method runs alongside whole-word approaches and reading scheme books.

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Analytics Phonics & Synthetic Phonics


Children learn:

  • to remember up to 44 phonemes + their related graphemes (1 phoneme can be represented by different gramphemes, e.g 'ough', 'ow' and 'oa')
  • to recognise each grapheme, sound out each phoneme in a word, blending the sounds together to pronunce the word phentically
  • to memorise phonemes quickly (up to 5 or 6 sounds /week) often through a multi-sensory approach whereby they:

1) see the symbol

2) listen to the sound and

3) use an action (such as counting phonemes on fingers o using magnetic letters to correspond to the phonemes)

Children learn in whole-class teaching groups. Reading schemes are not used in the early stages of learning synthetic phonics, as the method can be taught in a few months.

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