Thursday, April 23, 2020

Letter sounds and letter names

Here is another tweet where there is a new participant, John Bald, an Independent educational consultant.

Luqman Michel Replying to @debbiehepp @JohnBaldLangLit 

Many of my shut down students looked with a quizzical look when I sounded out the words be, bee, deep, giraffe etc.
After some thinking it dawned on me that it was because I had taught the letter sounds but these words use letter names.
Listen to my YouTube presentation here for letters in words using letter names.

My explanation now: I teach simple phonics and at the end of 30 lessons the students are able to read and are weaned off to learn from other tuition teachers.

Having taught the sound of the consonant of ‘g’ as in the word bug, dug, gun, goat etc I found a quizzical look from my students when I taught them the word giraffe. There are ways to teach as to when the letter ‘g’ is pronounced different from the sound represented by g in words such as bug and dug, however, there are too many exceptions. Refer to an example of the letter C here. 

I tell my students that most words use the letter sounds but some words use the letter names as in giraffe. 

Once they understand the above they don’t give quizzical looks when other words beginning with letter names are taught such as the words bee, deep, pea, tea etc.
John Bald @JohnBaldLangLit Replying to @luqmanmichel and @debbiehepp
The understanding that you are providing is a key factor in learning to read. But, for example, I teach giraffe as part of the gi, ge gy, and ce, ci, cy pattern, in which one letter modifies the sound represented by another. Such words are shared, or nearly shared, with French.
My comment now: I understood what John Bald was saying and that is how many phonics proponents teach intensive phonics.
I tell my students that there are letters beginning in words that use the letter sounds and at other times the letter names. This is easily understood by my students.

I teach them the rules as in the letter 'C' above when they are able to read. However, the letter 'G' has too many exceptions. A few of the many exceptions are give, giant, gift; gem, gel, get; gyro. 
However, I liked what John Bald said - “The understanding that you are providing is a key factor in learning to read.’
Finally, an educator has accepted what I have been discussing/arguing on Twitter.

Additional tweets:

marion s @mazst  Apr 16
Replying to @luqmanmichel and @debbiehepp

In the U.K. we don’t teach letter names until the child is secure with sounds

'Confusion' will come from children being taught reading with reference to letter names. Also, any reference to letter names as a quick response to being shown the letters and letter groups which is a sub-skill of reading: 'See the letter/s, say the sounds'.

@JohnBaldLangLit Apr 16 Replying to @debbiehepp @mazst and @luqmanmichel 

We spell words using letter names, rather than groups of sounds. When children don't know these, I teach them.
John Bald

Here is a quote I happened to read a few days ago.

            Is life just about surviving? If so, we are screwed, 
because sooner or late we must die. So, what’s worth fighting for
 and what’s the point of existing in this fragile and short dimension?

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