Phonics instruction teaches students the relationship between the letters in words and the sounds they represent. Phonics thus gives students access to phonetic decoding—an essential skill for learning to read. Phonetic decoding is one of the two main ways to decode words.
Phonetic decoding, however, can be a slow process, especially at first. Teachers and parapros can use engaging activities to teach students how to use sound-symbol clues to unlock the words they see on the page.
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHHD), NIH, DHHS. (2000). Report of the National Reading Panel: Teaching children to read. U.S. Government Printing Office.
Seidenberg, M. S., & McClelland, J. L. (1989). A distributed, developmental model of word recognition and naming. Psychological Review, 96(4), 523-568.