Phonics is not a method of teaching reading, but it is a necessary part of every good, modern method. It is the key to word mastery, and word mastery is one of the first essentials in learning to read. A knowledge of the sounds of letters, and of the effect of the position of the letter upon its sound, is an essential means of mastering the mechanics of reading, and of enabling children to become independent readers.
A knowledge of phonics not only gives power to pronounce new words, but it trains the ear, develops clear articulation and correct enunciation, and aids in spelling. Later, when diacritical marks are introduced, it aids in the use of the dictionary. The habit of attacking and pronouncing words of entirely new form, develops self-confidence in the child, and the pleasure he experiences in mastering difficulties without help, constantly leads to new effort.