Phonics 1 – ESL Flash Cards

Flashcards to Teach Kids English

Phonics Flash Cards Level A

Phonics 1 ESL Flash Cards - English for Kids

Phonics 1 ESL Flash Cards

The Flash Cards are completely free. Just share this link on Twitter or Facebook to get access to the download link.

You have permission to print and share but please do not edit or sell. Thank you.

The full color images are B5 size (17.6 cm X 25 cm) and in PDF format. You will need the free Acrobat reader to view and print.The full color images are B5 size (17.6 cm X 25 cm) and in PDF format. You will need the free Acrobat reader to view and print.

Phonics 1 – ESL Flash Cards Introduction

This cards are for the first step in phonics awareness for students. Basic phonetic sounds are linked to images so that students can associate sounds to lower case letters (phoneme to grapheme).

All the letters are only lower case for several reasons.

  1. Lower case letters are the most common so children should learn these first.
  2. Lower case letters are can be similar to each other so they are harder to differentiate.
  3. Young children get lots of exposure to uppercase letters on toys, TV and picture books so they need more lowercase practice.

There is a lot of debate on how to teach reading to children.

Like most things in life, balance is key. Basic phonics training is essential for young children learning English. However, doing too much phonics drill can also take away time from communicative activities.

With regular homework and reading activities I suggest about 10 to 15 minutes every class be devoted to some type of reading or phonics work.

Young children need an introduction into the sounds the letters represent so basic phonics instruction is important.

However, children are also intelligent and love to discover on their own. Difficult spelling rules, uncommon letter combinations and exceptions can be inferred just by exposure and playing to the natural inquisitiveness of children.

As teachers our jobs are to help children notice important aspects of the language and answer questions. It is not necessary to explicitly teach every phoneme – grapheme correspondence like many phonics methods suggest.

Phonics 1 – ESL Flash Cards Game Ideas

I must confess that I often just do a boring flash card drill with the phonics flash cards out of order. It only takes a minute or so and it is great if you need a filler activity or can squeeze in one more review at the end of the class. Normally I don’t advocate straight up drills, but I do break my own rules with this flash card set.

Another common activity I like to do with younger students is matching games. I have sets of alphabet flash cards (no pictures only letters) and I have beginning students just match lower case or uppercase letters to the Phonics Flash Cards. I put the Phonics Flash Cards face up on the floor and have students place the matching character on the correct cards.

This is a good differentiation game because so many of the lower case letters are similar. (f versus t, b versus d, l versus i, etc.)

Make sure you have students say the word when they match a card. After they have a match, give them another letter to match. Sometimes I rush through the game by getting all the students to go at once, but it is better if you have the children go one at a time so that everyone can see and hear the images.

Remember you are practicing the sounds the letters represent, not the letter names.

TIP: Don’t teach the ABC song! Knowing the names of the letters doesn’t help develop reading ability. The only reason to sing the alphabet song is to teach the order of the letters so that students can look up words in a dictionary. Dictionary skills are not needed until much later in young children’s learning and they will probably already have sufficient practice with the alphabet song in public school, from TV or children’s songs. Teach what children need to learn, not what is popular.