- 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.
- 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.