Angela Colvert is senior lecturer in English Education at the University of Roehampton with particular expertise in using digital games to develop children’s literacy. Alison Kelly is a freelance educational consultant working with teachers and trainee teachers. Most recently, Alison and Angela have acted as phonics experts in developing the ‘Teach Your Monster to Read’ online phonics game for the Usborne Foundation. Teach Your Monster to Read 3: Champion Reader is a new free online reading game to help young learners further develop their reading skills.
Teachers have used phonics as a method for teaching reading since Victorian times! Look at a photo of a Victorian classroom and you will see rows of children being taught to sound out letters to make words such as ‘cat’. Move forward to the 21st century and you still see children sounding out phonemes (sounds) and blending them to read (or the reverse - segmenting the phonemes and turning them into graphemes to spell).