5 Core Components of Reading - Phonics

Hey again friends!

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Last week we chatted about the first core component of literacy, Phonological Awareness - if you missed it, you should definitely go check it out!

Today, we wanted to jump into the second core component of literacy.


Many educators in the field have a love hate relationship with phonics. In the sense that some educators love a phonics approach one week and hate it the next (it can be extremely difficult to organize it all for Pete’s sake). And…some educators LOVE a phonics-based approach and others hate it in favor of a more whole-language approach.

The research is clear, phonics is a necessary component of effective reading instruction.

5 Core Components of Reading

So, going back to the image we shared last week…

We know that the three core areas of neural/brain processing that need to occur to read and write effectively are semantics, orthography, and phonology.

Phonics is simply the connection between orthography (the visual patterns we see) and phonology (the sound patterns we hear) in words. This is a critical base to the triangle and therefore we cannot put together any effective reading program without having phonics instruction tied in.

For our struggling students - we need to make sure not only that we are teaching phonics, but that we aren’t teaching phonics incidentally. Meaning, we have a clear order in which we are going to be teaching the patterns. We call this our scope and sequence. Orton-Gillingham reading instruction, known as the gold standard for supporting students with dyslexia, has a heavy basis in phonetic patterns and explicit instruction into each of the rules.

As we mentioned with phonological awareness however, the reason we develop phonics skills is to support reading and writing ability. We don’t work on phonics just to improve phonics. It does not matter how many sound patterns a student knows if they cannot apply those patterns. We work on it as a part to the larger whole. If you’re interested in learning more about how we support students keeping in mind that each of the 5 Core Components are a piece to the larger whole - stick with us for the next few weeks where we will dive into phonics, reading fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension.

And if you’re looking for a way to entirely streamline your reading support using the 5 Core Components as your guide, consider joining us in our 5 Core Components of Literacy Membership Program.

Corey PollardComment