How Do You Use Phonics to Spell Words?


Quick Answer

Use phonics to spell words by teaching the sounds of the word that students must associate to the letters that make up the word. There are two major methods that are used to instruct spelling using phonics: implicit phonics and explicit phonics.

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How Do You Use Phonics to Spell Words?
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Full Answer

Implicit phonics teaches beginning sounds, ending sounds and context clues to determine the pronunciation of a word. Using the implicit phonics method does not always prepare the learner for words outside of the range he is familiar with regarding pronunciation and spelling. Explicit phonics, however, builds from a small part of a word that adds to the whole, teaching segments instead of using clues to determine the sounds of the word. This teaches students to break apart the word and pronounce each segment independently in order to spell the entire word.

Despite continuous debate over the benefits of each method, evidence continually suggests that explicit phonics is more effective than implicit phonics. Many explicit strategies start with the basic sound combinations, known as phonemes and morphemes, then repeatedly expose the learner to those sounds with a variety of combinations. As the student progresses, expose him to the sound combinations that may not follow the typical rules. It is key to allow the student to have extended exposure in actual reading material and to provide extensive independent practice.

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