Phonics Systems

What is “phonics”?

Phonics is the teaching of reading by the connection of letter patterns (graphemes) to the sounds within a word (phonemes).

While English spelling and pronunciation is very irregular, all text based on an alphabet is fundamentally a record of the sounds of the language recorded visually.

The very earliest forms of literacy such as Cuneiform, Hieroglyphics and Chinese are all based on meaning (logographic). That is a logical place to start, but causes headaches for anyone trying to learn them. Just ask a Chinese school pupil faced with 5-10,000 characters to learn.

The Egyptians made a huge leap forward when they started to develop phonetically structured text in around 1900BC (proto-sinaitic text). This began to record the sounds in the words instead. And the phonic alphabet approach was eventually perfected by the Ancient Greeks.

The benefit is that there are only 40-odd sounds in most languages. So you only need an equivalent number of symbols to record any word, rather than one for each meaning.

Given that the text is effectively a “sound code”, it makes logical sense to teach it in that way.

There are two main approaches to phonics. You can click for more info on each method:

Synthetic Phonics

Analytical Phonics

The phonics-based way that works best

DM Easyread delivers a structured phonics course over the Internet. It is like having a highly trained phonics coach meet up with your child for a few minutes each day.

Each child has an individual account on our website and is presented the next lesson each time they log on. It takes just 10-15 minutes a day. Parents are often astonished that fast progress can be achieved in so little time each day. Take a look at our parent reviews for some of their real-life comments.