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Paving the way for independent readers: Key phonics strategies in the primary classroom.

John Cruft

Many argue that successful reading programs involve an early and systematic emphasis on the explicit and direct teaching of phonics. However, phonics is never an easy component to teach effectively in the primary classroom, especially when faced with Asian contextual challenges such as large classrooms, mixed abilities, and inexperienced teachers. This session will explore these challenges and focus firstly on the importance of phonemic awareness and how teachers can approach developing their own knowledge and understanding of the 44 English sounds. Secondly, the session will examine the purpose, practice and benefits of phonics for young learners. Through demonstrating key concepts and techniques, the presenter will raise awareness of the need for teachers to provide activities that are fun, involving, flexible and easy to teach. The session will support teachers to appreciate the progression of activities, and understand how phonics can help learners to listen, speak, read and write. The session will integrate example pages and demonstration activities from modern phonics course books.