Teaching kids to read in polish goes like this: letters -> syllables -> words -> sentences (with an overlap of the steps).
Known words and sentences are used throughout the process to illustrate the things you are learning at the moment and sort of tease what you will be able to do when you master current step.
I imagine in language where same letters can have so many different sounds the concept of syllables should be even more useful.
Teaching kids to read sentences before they can recognize what sound which letter bunches mean seems like telling kid to swim before he learns to float or tread water.
I remember in grade 3 having a teacher give a lesson on syllables. We would clap along with each syllable in the word. She asked me to do this for "Fire". I clapped twice, as there is clearly an audible Fy-er" two syllables in Canadian English. She told me I was wrong, clapped once, and said "Fire" quickly. She "knew" that a word with "consonant - vowel - consonant - vowel" pattern makes a single syllable. Never mind that my ears, and the rest of the students' ears, can hear that she's wrong.
The end result was her confusing the class about what syllables are. I remember the lesson well, because what I really learned was that teachers mean well but aren't always right.
I'm talking about the fact that if you know how
fi-(i)re sounds, you can guess how hi-(i)re sounds or even ty-(y)re or de-si-(i)re.