Phonics is a method used for teaching reading by linking sounds (phonemes) with the letters or groups of letters that represent them (graphemes).
We are taught to see a letter and then say the sound it represents out loud (decode). We then move onto looking at a short word, such as 'tin' and rather than saying three separate sounds 't', 'i', 'n', link the sounds together and say the whole word in one go (blend) the sounds of letters together to produce approximate pronunciations of unknown words.
This enables us to use individual sounds to construct words. For example, when taught the sounds for the letters t, p, a and s, one can build up the words "tap", "pat", "pats", "taps" and "sat.“
By Jennie Adams on March 13th 2017