To read and write in English, a learner must have phonics skills, the ability to match sounds to letters and letters to sounds. That is, learners must know how to connect particular letters and letter combinations with the component sounds (phonemes) of familiar spoken words.
In order to read English, an English language learner must
- have a basic oral vocabulary of familiar English words,
- be able to accurately perceive these English words as a sequence of distinct phonemes,
- recognize letters in both their upper and lower case forms,
- associate particular letters and letter combinations of the Roman alphabet with the phonemes they represent in English,
- decode and identify the spoken English word that is represented by a combination of printed letters, and
- practice and develop the ability to automatically identify English words seen frequently in print.
In order to write English, an English language learner must also be able to
- express thoughts using English words;
- represent these words by producing written letters that accurately represent the component phonemes of the words in English; and
- recognize, copy, or remember the spellings of high-frequency English "sight words."