The Jolly Discoveries iPad and Android App “Phonics Under the Big Top” follows a synthetic approach to learning phonics.
So what does synthetic phonics actually mean?
It is the leading phonics teaching approach currently being adopted throughout the world. Children are firstly taught all the phonemes (letter sounds) of the English language as a basic code. There are 44 phonemes (letter sounds) in English, however these phonemes can be written in words in different ways. Synthetic phonics firstly teaches a basic code; this means one phoneme (letter sound) and one common way of written this sound. As the children become familiar with this basic code they then learn how to use this knowledge of sounds to read and written simple words. The use of phonemes (letter sounds) to build words is another component of synthetic phonics.
So why is synthetic phonics so popular?
It provides the children with another skill they can use to read and write unknown words whenever they are unable to remember a word by sight. It allows the children to read and write words they commonly use in their speech; words that contain phonemes (letter sounds) other than those in the English alphabet. The children can read and write words such as car, shop, tree, park immediately once the basic code is introduced. They can also learn the phonemes (letter sounds) in their own name as not all names are just made up of alphabet letter sounds.
As the children become increasingly familiar with the basic code of synthetic phonics then they are able to easily move onto a more advanced code; other ways of writing the 44 phonemes (letter sounds) of the English language.
Children need to be given a variety of strategies to assist them with the reading and writing process and synthetic phonics is being recognised as one such strategy which is assisting children in a very positive and successful way.