- implementing a comprehensive sequenced program and
- evaluating skill development in this area
Soundations is essentially a word study program, that provides students with a framework of knowledge and skills which enables them to decode and encode words in written English.
The learning sequence and program organisation is based on phonemic elements (sound patterns) in words. This enables the subsequent association and application of the appropriate graphonic (written) pattern.
The initial focus is the aural or phonological understanding that words are made up of certain sounds. When these are identified, the corresponding letter patterns can be applied, to decode or encode words. These letter patterns are commonly referred to as the graphophonic element or simply as phonics.
This program has been arranged by:
- grouping words INTO the specific phonemic patterns, that occur in our language,
- sequencing groups according to difficulty thus enabling explicit instruction in a systematic and developmental way,
- corresponding phonemic understandings with the graphophonic pattern,
- linking these groups together with stories providing a memory organiser,
- implementing key phrases for prompts which evolve from the stories to facilitate the transfer of learning from instruction to automation.
Soundations is a sequential reading and spelling program based on sound patterns rather than visual patterns.
The organisation provides a reliable framework for successful negotiation of the complexities and irregularities encountered when learning to read and spell.
Explicit instruction and guided practice maximise student outcomes and foster long term understanding in a way not previously available.