Decoding involves translating printed words to sounds or reading, and encoding is just the opposite: using individual sounds to build and write words.
In order to read and write, we must first become phonologically aware by acquiring the ability to understand that words are built from smaller sounds or phonemes. This phonological awareness allows us to segment words into smaller sounds and, conversely, to build entire words from smaller sounds. When we learn to read, we start by making associations between each letter and its corresponding sound. Learn what is phonology.
To master sound-symbol association, children must understand that there is a correspondence between letters and sounds. They must understand the visual to the auditory relationship between letters and sounds (decoding/reading) as well as the auditory to a visual relationship (encoding/writing) in order to read and write efficiently.
Learn how early literacy benefits from both print-to-speech and speech-to-print instruction, creating connections in the brain that link new knowledge about the alphabet to what children already know and are continuously learning about words.
The Five Pillars of Reading stresses the importance of phonemic awareness and phonics in building the foundations of literacy in young learners. Learn what is structured literacy.
Check out these resources for teachers and caregivers– courtesy of Dr. Miles of Brooklyn College, CUNY. It includes Reading Ready (a word reading curriculum for educators and manual for parents/caregivers), activities for Phonemic Awareness (highly engaging activities to support phonemic awareness), High-Frequency Word Activities (featuring 400+ words), and Grapheme-Phoneme Mapping Exercises (phonics and spelling through phoneme-grapheme mapping).
Read about Literacy Milestones.