Phonics is a form of instruction to cultivate the understanding and use of the alphabetic principle. It emphasizes the predictable relationship between phonemes (the sounds in spoken language) and graphemes (the letters that represent those sounds in written language) and shows how this information can be used to read or decode words.

See also: Analogy-based phonics, Analytic phonics, Embedded phonics, Onset-rime phonics instruction, Phonics through spelling, Synthetic phonics, Systematic and explicit phonics instruction.