Decoding and Encoding

What is decoding?

Decoding is reading by understanding and blending the sounds in a word. Once you are able to decode, you can figure out how to read any new word. Decoding is an essential reading skill.

When a child decodes a word, they sound out and blend together all the phonemes (letter sounds) in the word from left to right. Think of English as a secret code. The code is made up of symbols linked to sounds.

To break the code, identify each sound, then blend them together into a whole word. To effectively decode a word, you must know all the phonic sounds and 7 syllable types.​​​​​​​

What is encoding?

Encoding means spelling. It is the opposite of decoding. The child says the whole word and then breaks it up into individual sounds, writing them down, and building the word back together (eg. bicycle and bi-cy-cle). A child should be learning to encode whilst they are learning to decode.