Saturday, July 29, 2023

Letter names vs letter sounds - another debate


Today, 29.7.23, again there were a few tweets debating whether to teach letter names or not.

WARNING: These are debates by adults, just in case you think they are by kids. 

EBLI tweeted followed by the tweets below which are self explanatory.

High Five Literacy@FaithBorkowsky

This is why delaying letter names makes sense.

Heidi Jane @DroppinKnwldge

Actually research shows letter names are important and can actually facilitate letter sound learning. Many letters like the one shown, have the sound in the letter name.

High Five Literacy @FaithBorkowsky


And many don’t. From my experience, having worked with hundreds of kids over the last 37 yrs, struggling readers mix up letter names and sounds and continue to do so for a while. For typical readers, it doesn’t matter.


From the above tweet it is obvious that Faith is arguing for argument sake. This is the problem with educators on Twitter. They will never back away and admit that they had not seen it from the other party’s viewpoint. The tweets continue:


Heidi Jane @DroppinKnwldge

It is definitely important to continue to reinforce the difference between letter names and sounds. There is just a lot of research supporting letter name knowledge & we can teach both names & sounds simultaneously

Yes, teach them letter names first. When we go for a drive we can ask the kids, can anyone see the letter A. We won’t ask them by sounding out the letter sounds.

Luqman Michel @luqmanmichel

That is exactly how it was done when I went to school more than 60 years ago. 

I teach letter names first and only then sounds represented by letters.


High Five Literacy @FaithBorkowsky

England never teaches kids letter names first, and they are leading the way.


Luqman Michel @luqmanmichel

England leading the way?

Not from what I saw in the PISA test. All the countries teaching letter names were in the first 4.

China, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore. Western countries were far behind.

Luqman Michel @luqmanmichel

I teach letter names and sounds simultaneously.

Otherwise kids will be confused when they have to read words such as Ace, Bee, Ceiling, Deep, Eagle etc.

Read my post together with the comments. LINK 

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