Phonics vs. Phonetics: What’s the difference?

In order to appreciate the importance of phonics in English language education it is necessary to fully understand what phonics actually is. Many people often confuse phonics with phonetics so first of all we need to clearly define these terms.

Phonetics is the study of speech sounds in a language and is focused purely on pronunciation. Phonics is a method of learning to read English by developing an awareness of the variety of sounds that letters represent in different positions and combinations. Therefore, although phonics deals with the sounds of English, it is primarily focused on literacy.

Phonetics is focused on accuracy in pronunciation. This usually involves learning the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet). Phonetics is usually not taught to children at an early age. Imagine having to teach a child those strange IPA symbols when they are still learning to master the regular alphabet.

Kiz Phonics is therefore a phonics course, not a phonetics course. For more information on teaching phonics, please visit –