FAQs and resources

We’ve covered a lot here, but phonics is far too complicated a subject to sum up in the space of a single resource. If you have further questions, check out our list of FAQs. You should find an answer to your problem here.

A child doesn’t want to read – will this be a major problem?

No. While it’s not good that a child doesn’t seem that interested in reading, this can be seen in children who are lacking in confidence or who may have had a negative experience with learning to read. In time, they’ll grow to appreciate the necessity of reading – something teachers and parents can help encourage in them.

Is it a disaster if a child hasn’t learned to read by the end of the first term?

Children learn things at a pace individual to them. Just because other kids seem proficient, it doesn’t mean you should be concerned if one or two aren’t. They may need additional help, however. As such, it’s good to ensure their needs are being addressed in order for them to progress.

What are common tricky words?

You’d be forgiven for thinking tricky words might refer to the length or complexity of a word. In reality, it tends to refer to words which don’t conform to the usual phoneme pronunciation rules. They’re tricky because they contain letter-sound correspondences that are unusual, rare or have not yet been taught. However, they are often words that are used commonly and are very useful for beginner readers to learn early on.

Do children still need to be taught the alphabet?

Yes, the alphabet shows children the 46 letter shapes they need to master to be able to write (26 lower case letter shapes and 20 different shapes for upper case). The alphabet is still important for knowing about alphabetical order, for example, when using a dictionary.

How is phonics related to comprehension?

Being able to understand what you read at word, sentence and text level is equally as important as being able to decode (read) the words on the page. It’s all well and good understanding how to say a word, but the meaning behind it must also be clear. Phonics enables children to read more easily, more accurately and more efficiently. When a child’s reading fluency is heightened, they’re able to comprehend what they’re taking in with greater ease.

Other resources

This guide should have provided you with useful information for teaching and understanding phonics. However, if you’d like to learn even more about the process, check out some of these handy secondary resources.