Should fluent readers be taught phonics?

Some children get the hang of reading easily and become fluent readers. Is there any point in taking them through a structured phonics programme?

As children progress through their education words get longer and children need strategies to chunk them into syllables and to spell them accurately.

Many fluent readers are good spellers. They are the ones with a good visual memory. But some are not. Now if one can’t remember the shape of a word, what other strategies are there learning to spell a language with more than a million words made of 44 sounds and roughly 150 different representations for those sounds?

You have to be able to break down a word into syllables and within each syllable into sounds. An then to know which graphemes represent those sounds.

Phonics is a methodical and effective way of learning our complex English Phonic Code and children who do not have a good visual memory will need it to become not only good readers but good spellers.

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