Adults use phonics to achieve reading and writing literacy in several steps. First, they learn the names of individual letters of the alphabet as well as the sounds each letter represents. Then, they blend these sounds into two- and three-letter vowel-consonant or consonant-vowel-consonant combinations. Next, they practice the sounds of two- and three-letter consonant blends. This pattern increases until entire words are constructed, sounded out using one phoneme at a time.
Adult online phonics programs such as WeAllCanRead.com or Ultimate Phonics on SpencerLearning.com specialize in teaching English reading and writing skills to various age groups. The first site offers hundreds of lessons and worksheets and dozens of hours of video and audio content as well as knowledge tests to indicate progress.
Ultimate Phonics, a software suite offered by Spencer Learning, is specifically geared towards adult learners. It organizes reading practice using over 200 lessons, teaching thousands of words by means of phonics. Unlike children's phonic software, the program uses practical reading applications instead of games to teach literacy.
Phonics is a reading and writing methodology that gained prevalence in the early to mid-19th century with work and advocacy by Favell Lee Mortimer and Rebecca Smith Pollard. Significant criticism of the teaching style led to use of "look-say" and "whole language" approaches in the middle and late 20th century.