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The Relationship Between Decoding & Encoding in Phonics

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  • 0:00 Decoding & Encoding
  • 1:02 The Difference
  • 2:51 Analyzing a Reader'S Skills
  • 3:51 How They Are Reliant…
  • 5:48 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sharon Linde
Though not all children learn to read in the same way and at the same time, there are predictable relationships between some of their steps. This lesson will define decoding and encoding and detail their interplay in a developing reader.

Defining Decoding and Encoding

Although children are unique and develop their reading ability in different ways, there are a few signposts to use when instructing. Teachers of developing readers can look for and become familiar with these signposts and use them to drive instruction.

Developing decoding and encoding skills is essential for a solid understanding of reading. Decoding is the process of reading words in text. When a child reads the words 'The ball is big,' for example, it is necessary to understand what the letters are, the sounds made by each letter and how they blend together to create words.

Encoding is the process of using letter/sound knowledge to write. If a student were to write that same sentence, instead of making sense of the letters in text, it is necessary to recall sounds and the symbols assigned to them to write the letters together to form words. Let's take a look at how this works.

The Difference Between Decoding & Encoding

With the teaching of letters and sounds, the skill known as phonological awareness develops. Children show their phonological skills when they are able to recognize and manipulate letter sounds in specific ways, like beginning, middle and end sounds of words, words that sound the same, and syllables.

This manipulation takes us to the final step in teaching reading - putting these concepts together to instruct children how to read words or, decoding. It requires children to process several steps:

  • Recognize the letter
  • Associate the sound of the letter
  • Understand how the letter sounds work together to make words
  • Blend the letter sounds together to create speech

You've probably forgotten how challenging this is to a reader in the earliest stages. Decoding a simple sentence, such as 'She is happy' means the child needs to know all the letters contained in the sentence, the sounds assigned to each letter, and the way we put these sounds together to read.

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