Phonics for Adults

As a baby starts to learn how to speak, they start talking in small words and sounds. This is similar to what we know as phonics. These are different sounds that appear in words, which help us figure out how to pronounce them. If you’re an adult that needs to work on their phonics skills, there are basically two ways to do so.


The classic method designed to help you learn phonics is by taking a class specialized to help adults. These are in the form of extensive adult literacy programs, which are often taught at neighborhood centers, schools, or colleges. The programs are provided to help you succeed and get more job opportunities. They are often free or low cost, so that anyone can take them.

The other method is taking classes online that are designed for the same purpose. These programs work much like foreign language mastery classes, where they teach you how to pronounce, introduce words, and instruct you on sentence structure. When these lessons are presented in a digital format, it makes them much more fun, as well as interactive. For instance, there are usually quizzes in the form of games, and you can complete the lessons at your own pace. You don’t have to worry about going to class each week, you can log in and participate as frequently as you like. The downside is that these lessons are usually not free, but they do come with a lot of resources that traditional classes may not have.

How it Works

Whichever class you decide to take, the process for learning is generally the same. You first have to learn the alphabet and what all the letters sound like. Then you move on to sounds and how they are pronounced. The idea is to understand what all letters and letter clusters sound like. This enables the reader to be able to sound out words and know how to say them.

This sounds rather easy, but it’s actually quite complex. The English language has a lot of different rules to follow as far as spelling and grammar goes, which can make it rather difficult to learn. It’s considered one of the toughest languages to learn. Another reason is that there are thousands of different letter combinations that produce different sounds. Each of these will have to be learned, so that an adult can learn how to read.

Other Resources

Even when an adult is taking classes to enable them to read properly, they may still need a bit of extra help. This is so they can keep practicing when they aren’t doing a class, and to keep things interesting. They may also come in handy after the classes are complete.

  • Books: Try to keep books around you house so you have plenty of material when you are working on strengthening your reading. Don’t be embarrassed if you have to start with children’s books. There are plenty that are entertaining enough for an adult to read and everyone has to start somewhere. You can also pick up magazines, comic books, graphic novels, and anything else that looks like you would enjoy reading it.
  • Apps: Nowadays, there are hundreds of apps that are designed to help people read and work on their basic language skills. If you have a smart phone or tablet, download some of the free ones to see if they would help you or not. There are also ones you have to pay for, and you can read the reviews by people that have used them to see if they may work for you as well.
  • Dictionaries: Reference books are great tools when you are reading. A dictionary can tell you what a word means and may also be able to tell you how to pronounce the unfamiliar word. Many dictionaries also have other grammar and language rules in them, if you wanted to read about them. This includes spelling lists, rhyming words, and more.
  • Worksheets: There are tons of websites that you can download worksheets from, to help you succeed. You may also get documents from your online classes or other classes that are supposed to be utilized on your own time. These charts and exercises can help you practice what you know, and memorize rules so they stay fresh in your mind.
  • Tutors: If you feel like you need one on one support to learn how to read, there is help out there. You can find listings for tutors online or look on bulletin boards at the library. Tutors usually have their own resources and methods for teaching, which you may not have thought of. They also tend to have reasonable rates and flexible schedules.


Phonics isn’t just for young kids that are learning how to read. Everyone must be familiar with them if they want to gain full literacy. This is why it’s also appropriate for adults to learn how to read by using phonics, especially when they aren’t familiar with them.

This consists of students learning all about letters and what sounds they make. They then learn about clusters of letters, and the sounds and rules they follow. This can help anyone learn how to pronounce words and learn how to read, as well as speak.

The best way to accomplish this is by taking classes, whether they’re in a classroom or online. Your schedule and budget will determine which one is right for you. However, it is very important to be able to read, so if you need help, you shouldn’t put your education off any longer. There are people out there that are not only qualified to teach you how to read, but they also want to. They do this by using books, worksheets, apps, and other resources, all of which are designed to get you closer to your goal. The sooner you can read, the sooner you can start living your life as a more accomplished and happier person.

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