- Slides: 14
What’s the difference between letter sounds and letter names? How should you talk abut them with your child? Talk only about names? Talk only about sounds? Talk about both? Here’s a short guide to clarify this And 6 tips to help improve your child’s literacy
The sound of different languages Children are born with the capacity to learn any language They learn what they hear If they hear several languages at once, they can learn several languages at once They want to communicate!
What happens when we can’t speak to someone but we want to communicate? We write…they read
Letters represent the sounds of a spoken language There are many different alphabets, eg Roman… 26 letters Greek… 24 letters Welsh… 28 letters `
Our alphabet is a code… but you can’t use a code unless you know what it is for So time must be spent exploring the sounds of spoken language before introducing the code for them But how do we do this?
Draw attention to sounds that are very similar…make up and point out rhymes Draw attention to spoken words, eg step out the words in an oral sentence…yes…with feet! Draw attention to syllables…the chunky parts of words…start with names Draw attention to the sound a spoken word starts with…say the word slowly to help your child hear it
The next step is… Listening for the last sound in a word…this is harder Breaking up a spoken word into sounds… eg, put down a finger for each sound you hear in the word dog… /d/ (duh), /o/ (ohh), /g/ (guh) Remember these are SPOKEN words This is not about letters
For success… Stick to short spoken words at first The easiest sound to hear is the first sound The next easiest is the last sound Middle sounds are harder to hear and isolate at first
Your child may only be able to hear and isolate the first sound Give them lots of practice doing this so they feel successful at it At the same time, start showing them to listen for, say and remember the last sound
Be clear about letters When a child doesn’t understand that letters are code for spoken sounds, working on the alphabet means very little to them because they don’t understand what it’s for They need to learn the names of the letters and the sounds they represent at the same time Take it slowly!
How to explain letter names and sounds “The name of this letter is B and it makes a very short sound, buh. ” (/b/) “Can you say buh quickly? ” “Here’s a word that starts with this buh sound…bus. ” “Can you hear the buh sound at the beginning when I say the word bus slowly? ” “We write the letter B when we want to write a word that begins with this buh sound. ”
Some letters represent very short sounds, eg /b/, /d/, /g/ Some represent much longer sounds, eg /f/, /s/, /m/ It’s a good idea to point this out and get your child to practice saying them with a focus on length
Why talk about letter names and sounds at the same time? Many children get confused and mix up letter names and sounds when asked to identify letters that are not in alphabetic order This frequently leads to reading and writing problems
Letter names are an anchor point for children because they never change Later on, they discover that many letters represent other sounds when used in different spelling patterns When a child knows that the letter A is always called the letter A, they cope with its sound representations in different spelling patterns much more easily