Research

What’s the difference between learning the alphabet and learning phonics?

CCSS ELA Literacy K-2, Foolproof Phonics App, ELA K-2, ELA Kindergarten, ELA 1st Grade, ELA 2nd Grade

Research

US

illustrated character teaching the alphabet

The alphabet teaches children the names of letters but not their sounds (phonemes). Often, the name of the letter is not the same as its most common sound (phoneme). For example, the name of the letter a does not sound like the short /a/ phoneme in 'cat' and the name of the letter o does not sound like the short /o/ phoneme in 'dog'.

Learning the alphabet as well as the difference between upper and lower case letters is important. For most children, learning the alphabet is a fun experience, especially when letters are introduced in a relaxed and playful way. But learning the alphabet alone is not enough to be able to read. For this, children need phonics instruction.

Why learning the alphabet is not enough to learn how to read:
The name of the letter a is different to the sound that a makes in words like cat, hat, and bath.
The name of the letter o is different to the sound that o makes in words like do, stop, and mop.

sample pack

Foolproof Phonics Part 1

google classroom, seesaw, and more

We’re making it easy to find, integrate, and share character-rich, curriculum-aligned resources for Kindergarten to Grade 2. It’s time to streamline virtual learning and make it fun.

Here’s our quick-start guide to using Mrs Wordsmith’s resources with Google Classroom, Seesaw, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams.

Bitmoji Classroom of Dreams

Foolproof Reading Bitmoji Classroom

Deep Dive

Learning the alphabet is the first step on every child’s reading journey. Research shows that children with prior knowledge of the alphabet learn to read more easily and more fluently, so it’s vitally important that the alphabet is taught in a playful and engaging way.

When learning their ABCs, children have to understand that each letter has a different shape and name, and that letters combine to form words. By making it clear that the letter A is not just for apple but also for avocado, children learn that A makes a constant sound across different words. Learning the most common sound that each letter makes is an essential, foundational skill that will be built on later when children encounter phonics.

Read our report, A Deep Dive Into Phonics, for more!

google__partner

Get our new “Reading Comprehension Vocabulary” Printable worksheet now

Buy Now
rcv-us
fpr_blog_img

Download our Parent & Educator Guide

Free Download
X
Hey! We think you might be in the United Kingdom
Would you like to change your location?
Take me away!
I'll stay here, please

We’re happy you’re here! Join our mailing list for 10% off your next purchase.