Synthetic vs. Analytic Phonics

Synthetic Phonics vs. Analytic Phonics

Synthetic Phonics

  • The name ‘synthetic phonics’ comes from the concept of ‘synthesizing’, means combining or blending, hence the children learn to blend or combine individual sounds into words.
  • A part to whole approach to reading.
  • Begins by teaching the alphabetic code- the sounds of the letters before expecting children to read books.
  • Teaches blending and segmenting using alphabetic letter sounds and main digraphs.
  • Teaches Phonemic awareness so that all sounds in words can be identified:
    Cat is c-a-t; bus is b-u-s; stop is s-t-o-p
  • Notice every letter in the word, left to right.
  • Learn to segment words to spell them.
  • Some common spelling rules are taught.
  • Reading and spelling are taught simultaneously.
  • Very systematic
  • Blending used as the first strategy for reading unknown words.
  • No guessing from the pictures, initial letter, context or word shapes.
  • The letter names are not taught initially.
  • Very fast as one letter sound per day is done.
  • Teaches tricky words- learning about tricky parts of words.
  • Use decodable text initially. Other books given only when there is fluency and an ability to work out unknown words.

Analytic Phonics

  • A whole to part approach to reading.
  • Begins with whole word sight vocabulary and reading books.
  • Uses picture, initial letter and contextual cues for whole word recognition.
  • Uses text that is repetitive…. picture gives clue for the new word introduced on the page.
  • Alphabet letter sounds are introduced to enable the initial letter cue for word recognition.
  • Digraphs are rarely taught.
  • Key sight words are memorised visually.
  • Blending used as the last strategy instead of the first.
  • Word patterns covered at a later stage.