Synthetic Phonics in Spain

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Synthetic vs. Analytic Phonics



Synthetic Phonics


  • used in countries like Germany and Austria – the alphabetic code is taught before expecting children to read books
  • teaches alphabet letter sounds at a quick pace and how to blend them for reading e.g. c-a-t is cat, b-u-s is bus, s-t-o-p is stop etc.
  • teaches phonemic awareness so that all the sounds in words can be identified and written e.g. cat is c-a-t, bus is b-u-s, and stop is s-t-o-p etc.
  • teaches main digraphs – blending and segmenting regular words with digraphs e.g. sheep, boil, chart etc.
  • teaches tricky words – blending and learning the 'tricky' part
  • uses decodable texts initially – a free choice of books is given when there is fluency in the reading and an ability to work out unknown words easily
  • has blending as the first strategy for reading unknown words
  • word patterns covered at a later stage – for spelling rather than for reading



Analytic Phonics


  • starts with a whole word sight vocabulary and reading books
  • uses picture, initial letter and context cues for word recognition
  • uses text that has a repetitive sentence – the picture gives the clue for the new word(s) introduced on that page
  • gradually introduces the alphabet letter sounds to enable the initial letter to help with word identification
  • segmenting and blending are demonstrated away from text – if it is done at all
  • digraphs are rarely taught
  • keyword sight vocabulary – memorised visually
  • blending used as the last strategy instead of the first strategy
  • word patterns covered at a later stage


Source: © Sue Lloyd



Jolly Centre - Segovia

Teacher Training Day

Saturday 17th May, 2014



I had never seen infant children writing independently, I am a convert to Jolly Phonics, please come back to train my staff next year and give us more ideas.

Head teacher private school, Seville.

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