Teaching Phonics to ESL Students

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  • 0:00 What Is Phonics?
  • 0:23 Teaching with Phonetics
  • 1:01 Sound Partners
  • 2:14 The Root of Things
  • 3:06 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Vanessa Botts
Learning phonics will help your ESL students improve reading, spelling and pronunciation, especially with new words. In this lesson, we will discuss some ideas to teach phonics to students of various ages and linguistic levels.

What Is Phonics?

Phonics is a method for teaching English reading and writing. It focuses on promoting students' ability to hear, identify, and manipulate phonemes, which are the smallest sound segments. The goal of phonics is to enable readers to decode new written words by recognizing the relationship between written letters and their spoken sound.

Teaching with Phonetics

As you know, English phonetics can be very confusing, especially since the same letter, or combination of letters, can be pronounced differently in different words. As a matter of fact, the same English word can be pronounced in different ways by native English speakers from different countries or even from different regions of the same country.

This makes the English language hard to learn and understand, particularly for ESL students whose first language does not use the same alphabet as English does, like Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Arabic. And so, teaching phonics can be very helpful. Let's look at a few activities you can incorporate into your classroom when teaching phonics.

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