What means phonics?

Often people have mistaken phonics with phonetics.

Phonetics is a study of speech sounds, while phonics is a method for teaching writing and reading of the English language. This is possible thanks to the phonemic awareness which is responsible for identifying and pronunciation of the phonemes. Once the student masters their manipulation, he is capable of coping with the graphemes. Phonics class is responsible for bleeding the sound-spelling. This is not an easy task because every new word should be divided into parts and sounding them out. There two different approaches of reading Sublexical and Lexical.

A lexical approach to reading allows you to pronounce words by recognizing their structure and sounds. In other words, if you have ever seen this word before or a similar one, you will know how to pronounce it. The memory is that part of our brain that is active while reading. Part of our memory responsible for a lexical approach is phonological output lexicon.

A sublexical approach is a bit different. Here the words are divided into graphemes and phonemes (sounds of groups of letters and sounds of letters). Knowing how one letter is pronounced your kid is able to connect several letters in graphemes and pronounce new words. Usually to become fluent in reading and speaking you have to use both methods — lexical and sublexical. This is necessary because without lexical you will have trouble recognizing the different meaning of similar words. Phonics is a method of teaching kids through sublexical approach.

Phonics classes are part of teaching systems in a lot of countries around the world. Phonics class in Singapore is not an exception.

English language is an alphabetic language and contains 26 letters. In a perfect world we would have only 26 phonemes, but in reality, we have at least 40. Why is that? The answer is simple. When two letters are combined, a new phoneme is formed. This is the main reason why “th” and “ht” sounds like two completely different sounds. Phonics class in Singapore MyEnglish School teaches students how to make difference between two words even they haven`t seen them before.



Language is not like math — it is constantly changing. The English language has a lot of words which were taken from other languages. Most of them sound like their original language and the result is that the English language has more new phonemes. For example, the French word entrepreneur is really hard for pronunciation. Although it is part of the English language, it still sounds like someone is speaking French. This is really interesting because if you listen carefully one language, you can easily determine which words are different and where they come from. Usually, if you want to know more about one language, you have to open historic books. Checking who has lived on this territory will give you a lot of answers for traditions and language dialects.

Phonics was categorized as a teaching method for the first time is The Oxford English Dictionary at 1901. Until then, phonics was used as a synonym of phonetics. The origin of the term comes from several Roman words — potestas and nomen (sound and name). You can spot the resembling between words easily.

It took time for phonics classes to become what they are today.

As every different thing, there were people who denied its significant meaning and decry its influence. Fortunately, phonics classes Singapore today help children easily to acquire fluent English language. Every child who has some difficulties with pronunciation, reading, and writing should try this method. There are great specialists who help children to become proud of their knowledge.