What is Phonics? Phonics is a method for teaching reading and writing the English language by developing learners' phonemic awareness—the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate phonemes—in order to teach the correspondence between these sounds and the spelling patterns (graphemes) that represent them.
The goal of phonics is to enable beginning readers to decode new written words by sounding them out, or in phonics terms, blending the sound-spelling patterns. Since it focuses on the spoken and written units within words, phonics is a sublexical approach and, as a result, is often contrasted with whole language, a word-level-up philosophy for teaching reading (see History and controversy below).
Since the turn of the 20th century phonics has been widely used in primary education and in teaching literacy throughout the English-speaking world. More specifically synthetic phonics is now the accepted method of teaching reading in the education systems in the UK and Australia.