How is Teach Your Monster to Read Educational?
By Alison Kelly and Angela Colvert - experts in English Education from the University of Roehampton.
How do children learn from the game?
When learning to read and write, children have to learn to crack the alphabetic code which means understanding that the symbols on the page (letters) relate to sounds. In order to decode they need the skill of blending the sounds together when reading. When spelling, they need the skill of splitting the word into its sounds (segmenting) and representing these with letters.
Teach your Monster to Read: First Steps offers a wonderful opportunity for children to practise these skills. The game challenges them to explore a fictional world and to complete a series of enjoyable challenges.
These challenges offer many opportunities for the children to develop their listening skills as they match letters to sounds. The game also models the process of blending and provides opportunities for children to listen to words and practise segmenting.
Of course, reading is about far more than decoding. It is about pleasure and opening up whole new worlds for children as they immerse themselves in stories. Whilst the focus of this game is on phonics, its imaginative and engaging context offers an enjoyable and exciting adventure in which to practise new found skills learnt in school.
More about Systematic Synthetic Phonics
The teaching of phonics has featured in the primary curriculum for many years. The current government places huge importance on the necessity to teach children using ‘systematic synthetic phonics’ as the prime approach. The term ‘systematic’ refers to the fact that children should be taught the relationship between sounds and letters through a step-by-step scheme such as Letters and Sounds, a free resource produced by the previous government that is used in many schools. The term ‘synthetic’ refers to the process by which sounds are blended together when reading (synthesised).