Articles on: Literacy

Speech to Print VS. Print to Speech

Phonics instruction is one of the crucial elements required in any comprehensive approach to teaching literacy (alongside explicit instruction in phonemic awareness, fluency,

vocabulary and comprehension) as both decoding and encoding skills rely on a knowledge of phonics (how speech sounds correspond to graphemes).

Print-to-speech skills are those required for decoding.
To read words, graphemes (letters and letter combinations) must be translated into speech sounds, then blended together to produce spoken words in our vocabulary.

The print-to-speech approach take the graphemes of English and teaches how these graphemes correspond to sounds.

Speech-to-print skills are those required for encoding.
To write words, spoken words must be segmented into speech sounds and these sounds must then be translated into graphemes.

In terms of the speech sounds the 44 phonemes (or speech sounds) of English and teach how these correspond to a number of different graphemes, the following download is useful:

PLD's Position
PLD's resources lend to both instruction approaches.

However, it is important to note that children are not taught only how to decode or read using one strategy and then taught only how to encode or spell using the other.

Jennifer Buckingham states in this ARTICLE:

"Phonics can be taught in different ways and, unhelpfully, a dichotomy has developed between phonics instruction categorised as ‘print-to-speech’ versus instruction categorised as ‘speech-to-print’."

"Children should be systematically taught how letters map to speech sounds and vice versa, and should work on these connections in two directions: from print to speech, and from speech to print. There is no need for these two terms to be pitted against each other, when in fact, they are two sides of a single coin."

Updated on: 06/12/2022

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