In order to be able to read, every child must be taught the sounds of the alphabet letters. They must be able to recall the sounds quickly. They must see the letter and say the sound without hesitation.
Following some practical tips to teach alphabet sounds and improve your child’s auditory skills:
- Use “Alphabet Chart” with pictures to teach alphabet letters and letter sounds.
- Point to each letter and ask your child, “Tell me what this letter says.”
- Point to each letter as you are saying the letter name and the letter sound.
- Review the alphabet chart once a day and pretty soon your child will be able to point to each letter and say the sounds himself.
- Help your child to create his own “Alphabet Book” to learn most of the alphabet letter sounds by drawing pictures of items that begin with the sound of each alphabet letter.
- Ask your child to tell you the letter sound, not the letter name.
- Say and let him repeat the letter sounds that he misses. This is a good place to begin fixing your child’s auditory gaps.
Phonics is one effective method of teaching children how to read. Following are some items that children should be taught to know how to “sound out” new words:
- Consonant letters’ sounds b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, w, x, y, z
- Blend sounds: br, cr, dr, fr, gr, pr, tr, wr, bl, cl, fl, gl, pl, sl, scr, str, sm, sn, sp, sc, sk,
- Short vowel sounds: a, e, i, o, u
- Digraph sounds: sh, ch, th, wh
- Double vowel sounds: ai, ea, ee, oa
- Other double vowel sounds: oi, oo, ou, ow
- Silent /e/: it doesn’t say anything but makes the vowel before it says its own name.
- /R/ controlled vowel sounds: ar, er, ir, or, ur
Phonics consists of a series of rules that children have to memorize and apply when they are sounding out new words. When children are taught a rule, i.e. silent /e/, they should practice reading words with silent /e/. Then they should do skill sheets at their desk highlighting the silent /e/ rule.
Children cannot learn to read without proper knowledge of phonics. It is the foundation for success in reading. They will succeed to read if they learn letter sounds to an automatic level – that’s being able to see the letter(s) and say the sound immediately.
For a whole guide including more practical tips to teach beginning reading to ESL/EFL learners, you can get my featured eBook:
* What is reading?
* The main approaches to teaching beginning reading.
* The stages of teaching beginning reading.
* Sample activities for beginning reading.
* Some important guidelines for EFL teachers to follow before beginning to teach reading in English.
If you are in charge of teaching adult learners and want to know how to teach reading comprehension with practical tips, you can get my latest eBook:
* The nature of reading comprehension.
* What should be done before starting a reading lesson.
* Reading comprehension strategies and activities.
* How to work with a reading text.
* How to plan a reading lesson.
* How to develop your students’ reading comprehension.
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