Sunday, July 16, 2017

Why do kids shut-down (v)

Sounds of the alphabet E

Before we look at the different sounds of the letter E let us look at something a Facebook friend of mine had written in his blog.
He had said that he was surprised as to why one of the kids had read the name ‘Darcy’ as ‘Darky’. I would not be the least bit surprised that kids will sound it out either way. I am now 64 years old and have yet to hear this name Darcy neither among friends nor in any book except in that blog.

I believe most adults including teachers will not know the rule as to when the letter ‘c’ has the ‘k’ sound as in cat and the ‘s’ sound as in city.

A few of us may know the following rule:  
  • When ‘c‘ comes directly before the letters ‘e‘, ‘i‘ or ‘y‘ we use the /s/ sound.
  • in other cases we use a /k/ sound.
How is a kid going to know this if he has not been specifically taught this rule?

Let us look at the sounds of the letter ‘e’.
A child is usually taught the sound of the letter ‘e’ as in Elephant or egg as in the line below.

Egg, elephant, edge, echo, ebony

A child who is prone to shutting down will shut down when the sounds of the letter ‘e’ is sounded out as in the following lines without specifically being told that the letter ‘e’ has more than one sound. The sound of the letter ‘e’ in each of the lines below is different from the list above.

Each, eager, eagle, east
Ear, era,
Early, earliest, earn, earthly
Economy, eerie, effect, eleven
Eight, eighteen, eighty, eightieth
Either, eye, eyelid

The following sounds of the letter ‘e’ will be learned at a later age when the child is already familiar with the idiosyncrasies of the English Language – when he is already past the shut-down stage.

Encore, enroute, ensemble, entrée
Endemic, exhale
Eulogy, eunuch, eucalyptus, euphoria

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