What is Explicit/Direct Phonics Instruction

What is explicit phonics instruction? Explicit phonics instruction is used in teaching to describe how skills are fully and clearly expressed, not implied. These skills are directly taught to the student.

Students should not be expected to know the information they are unfamiliar with or have only been implicitly introduced to. For example, if you want your child to learn how to read, he must be taught the alphabet, letter sounds, and how letters are combined to form words. If a child has not been taught these concepts, they cannot be expected to understand. Explicit instruction is a method of teaching skills to students effectively and efficiently. All skills are explicitly and directly taught, so the student develops an understanding and mastery of the material. This instruction does not rely on prior knowledge, so the student isn’t expected to understand something unless it has been explicitly taught.

Why is Explicit Instruction Important

By gradually increasing their instructional support, teachers can help their students become independent learners who read or spell words easily with automaticity.  This involves helping the student build upon their existing knowledge by providing extra guidance or support as they learn new skills.  After direct instruction of a skill/concept, the teacher scaffolds the instruction so that the student eventually reads or spells with skills independently and with automaticity. 

 

Research Confirms the Value of Explicit Instruction in Phonics

Research has shown that explicit and systematic phonics instruction is the most effective and beneficial means of teaching a child to learn language skills.  A student can learn to read and spell quickly, accurately, and independently by providing clear, direct teaching of phonics and spelling rules.

Explicit phonics instruction emphasizes visual and auditory cues to help students better comprehend written language.  Additionally, direct phonics instruction encourages students to use sound-letter correspondences and other language techniques to become stronger readers and spellers.

Explicit Instruction Creates Stronger Readers

By providing direct teaching of the skills needed for reading, as well as scaffolding support, teachers can help their students become independent, successful readers. Explicit phonics instruction helps students build a strong foundation of reading skills they can use in the classroom and throughout life.

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