An essential part of reading independently is understanding how various letters work together to form a sound. This is known as Phonics. Phonics course, when taught early to kids, can help them spell out larger and unfamiliar words by sounding out the various digraphs or letter groups.
English has a total of 42 phonics and various “tricky” letter combinations that can make it difficult for beginners who skip phonics lessons. Let’s take an example – the sound of the letter “K” can be spelled as “C”, “K”, “CK”, or “CH” depending on the word. The same goes for the letter “T”, which can be sounded out like an “S”.
Our Phonics Power-Up Course
Phonemic awareness or learning phonemes is not something taught in the everyday school curriculum. Instead, teachers mainly rely on the kid’s ability to read words based on memorization. This rote method undermines the child’s ability to read unfamiliar letter combinations and pronounce the words correctly.
Our Phonics Power-Up Course focuses on introducing phonemic awareness that allows children to read longer words, and improve diction and their cognitive skills by identifying complex sound blends.
We work with various levels, beginning from:
- Introducing the English phonemes and their sounds
- Introducing the blending of various phonemes and how to identify digraphs
- Beginning with simple CVC words, and then scaling onto consonant blends, and diphthongs
- Finally, rounding up with various complicated sounds and anomalies.
The result? By the end of our course, students have quicker diction and enhanced reading skills!
Our current teaching method focuses on Phonic awareness, which builds the foundation for word reading, and is a more solid approach to reading than learning by word exposure. For older kids, it can help with correct spelling and pronunciation. The classes themselves are structured, and interactive and encourage students to learn from one another.
Let’s take to Michelle who introduced their son to this course and had some wonderful things to say about us.
What motivated you to enroll your child in the Phonics Power-Up course curriculum?
“My kid had been learning Phonics elsewhere for about 9 months, honestly, we did not see much progress. But because both my husband and I were not taught the phonics skills back in the old days, we didn’t dare to pause it until we found a better place for him to learn. My friend told me about Fun to Learn so I decided to pay a visit, and they arranged an assessment for my child. I had to admit that I was pretty shocked to find out that my child was unfamiliar with the sounds of the letters. So without much hesitation, I decided to give it a go.“
How would you say that this course is different from how English is taught in schools?
“My son’s school also teaches Phonics, but the pace is very slow. Also, the class size is fairly big at school, so I think teachers would find it hard to identify kids’ individual abilities.“
Our Phonics course incorporates a meet-and-greet, followed by a revision. The initial team-building helps students overcome stage fright and allows teachers to personally understand the growth of each kid.
The class begins after this and is mainly centered around fun activities. Students are encouraged via stickers, and given booklets that they can refer to. The booklets feature tasks as well as coloring activities to keep them motivated.
Our teaching methodology prioritizes individual growth and phonics-based word reading rather than simply memorizing word lists. This scalable approach is beneficial for all new language learners – not limited to young kids learning English.
Can you summarize what he learnt and the teaching methods used in the course?
“I was surprised that my kid was able to blend different CVC words within just three months after taking the course. I suppose they teach in a fun way as my child enjoys going to his class very much.“
Overall, our classes combine various activities which serve as “learning” tasks. Such as:
- Using gamification – Flashcards help with the active recalling of the phonemics. The booklets also contain smaller activities such as matching sounds, tracing, coloring, and new words. Kids are encouraged, both with words and performance indicators like Smiley face stamps and various stickers for their collection page.
- Social approach – Introduction sessions and games like Guess the Letter and the Hammer game allow kids to bond with one another, develop public speaking skills, and listening skills, and improve their emotional quotient.
Since phonic awareness is an activity that can only be done by being vocal, all these activities involve vocal training and interaction.
How is your child using English in his/her everyday life (apart from practice during the course), and how do you as a parent motivate him/ her to do so?
“Because we have a domestic helper at home, my child could speak and understand English, I wouldn’t say it was perfect, but he wasn’t afraid to use simple English to express himself. After taking the Phonics course at Fun To Learn, he has even started to try reading with our helper or me before bedtime. I’d say the result is beyond my expectation.“
Would you say that learning English by your child has motivated other children in their and your friend circle to enroll for the phonics course?
“Yes, I think my kid’s English teacher has noticed the dramatic change in him, he is now motivated to try reading out loud by himself. His classmates’ parents asked me where he learned Phonics.“
How did you get started with the Phonics Power-Up Course?
“Well…It all started with scheduling a professional assessment with Fun To Learn; their professional opinions have made me believe that all kids can be able to read confidently with just the right method.“
Initially, the student was subjected to a minor assessment where some of his prior skills were tested. This included an understanding of their existing speaking, understanding, grammar, and reading ability, as well as their overall knowledge of phonetic sounds. For younger students, pencil grabbing and holding were considered in the assessment.
The assessment helps the tutors to get a better knowledge of how to direct the student – and is useful for measuring the overall improvement after the course.
Early childhood development learning should never be a burden. Our courses focus on creating a work-and-play environment where kids can improve their communication, creativity, vocalization, and diction.
The course structure splits their growth into 3 levels. Beginning with the journey to learn phonemes to being able to fluently read compound words, a good English reading foundation can make writing and paraphrasing easier later on.
Students can also use the booklet to keep coming back to the basics anytime. Best for up to primary students, enroll anytime and see your child’s skills improve!