Quick note on phonics…

The connection between writing and phonological awareness in the development of reading is simple: students learn to know what each letter looks like, the sound it makes, then the brain processes and synthesizes the information to create words that are spoken or heard. In any language, without phonemes, or the sound each letter/letter pair makes, there would be no understanding of said communication via morphemes.

Dialect and diction at home play a major role in reading fluency and literacy in children. Kids watch and mimic parents or other adults in their lives to learn what is “supposed to take place.” If students lack this basic instruction early in their life (baby-toddler), there is a high possibility there will be a literacy deficit in their elementary days and beyond.

Many generalizations exist in the English language. For example:

  • There are the basic short a, e, i, o, u that most students learn early on.
    • bat, cat, rat
    • hen, bed
    • hid, sit
    • etc.
  • When “c” comes before a, or ou, it makes a “KUH” sound (hard k).
    • couch
      • But it can also make a “SS” sound.
        • cite
  • “ch” often makes a TSCH sound, and sometimes a KUH sound.
    • couch
    • chorus
  • The digraph “ph” generally creates a “FUH” sound.
    • phone
    • phonics
  • “j” can sometimes make a “JUH” or “DGE” sound.
    • judge
    • injured
  • There are many silent letters to consider, as well.
    • dum(b)
    • styl(e), the e creates the “I” for “Y”

The phonological awareness continuum is the advancement of learning language/linguistics. Students learn about rhyming through classroom songs or rhymes as a baby or young child. Students begin to learn multi-syllable. I know I teach this to even my high school students with clapping (because that’s how I learned!). It progresses over time, like any other learning will… In secondary classes we turn it over to Shakespeare’s pentameters, etc. and get very thorough in the poetry of it all!

Because other languages have more letters in their alphabets, or different phonemes for their morphemes, learning English can be difficult. When I am working with my ELL students on reading, sometimes we make bookmarks to ensure our sounding out words works in our favor. For example, in Spanish the “J” makes a “HUH” sound, so that’s something we have to work on incorporating into their toolbox. Most students who are native English speakers still have difficulties with “ough” and the variety of sounds it can make (rough, though, thought, etc.), too.

QUICK RUN DOWN. I KNOW! But, it’ll do the job until I can find time to make it more organized. Sorry. Just had to get it down while it was in my mind. 🙂

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