1. What is the Phonics approach?

2. I learnt to read without Phonics. Why should I send my child for a Phonics reading course?

3. What differentiates STAR Phonics from other Phonics courses?

  1. Its a whole language approach. All 4 components of language (reading, writing, speaking, listening) are developed from experience with language through literature.
  2. Its use of music to introduce the sounds. Proven to be the best way for children to remember. Phonics Zoo has won the 'Parent's Choice' award.
  3. Its use of phonemic awareness exercises to train the linguistic ear.
  4. Its secondary emphases on vocabulary extension and creativity.
  5. Its variety of reinforcing exercises.

4. Why does STAR Phonics not teach the sounds in an alphabetical order?

  1. The sounds can be put together (blended) from the earliest stage to form words. Word blend exercises can thus be done early in the course.
  2. The sounds that are easily confused are not taught too close together.

5. Some people say there are 44 or 46 sounds in the English Language. Why does STAR Phonics only teach 43?

Even experts cannot come to a definite conclusion on the number of sounds that exist in the English language. The disagreements are mainly in deciding whether some dipthongs should be considered a sound on its own, or if they are merely 2 monophthongs put together.

Nevertheless, the 43 sounds are adequate for beginning readers since the discrepancies are no more than 4 in number.

6. What is the focal point of STAR Phonics?

  1. Word blend drills
    • Children develop phonemic awareness in a systematic and progressive manner.
    • Individual sounds are 'blended together' to form words. Children do this until they are able to do it independently.
  2. The literature selection
    • Gives children a theme to help remember the sound
    • Gives a context for the theme to be pursued
    • Gives a springboard for some space creative thinking & writing
    • Provides other linguistic input necessary for reading and comprehension.