Are you as troubled as me about teaching your child of 5 to 6 years old to read or speak better English? If so, I hope this blog post will help clear the air for you.
What is a Phonemic Chart? It is a Chart (or summary) showing all the sounds in English Language. In simple words, it is a chart showing all possible sounds (phonemes) in the spoken language.
Phonics is a method of teaching people to read by correlating sounds with symbols. Letters of the alphabet are used as the symbols. Letterland and Jolly Phonics are two of the very popular phonics methods used in pre-school in Singapore. The Kindergarten which GerGer, BoiBoy and BayBee attends uses Letterland. The challenging issue for phonics is that many letters can represent a number of different sounds. For example, the letter ‘o’ can be read as /ɒ/ as in pot, /əʊ/ as in most, /uː/ as in do, /ʊ/ as in wolf, or /ə/ as in button. Vice versa, the same sound (phoneme) can be represented by many different symbols (or letters). For example, the sound /k/ (as in king) can be represented by the letters ‘k’ in king, ‘c’ in cat, or ‘ch’ in Christmas.
I never learned phonics in my school days. So to help my children with their homework, I picked up phonics on my own. Naturally, I started with Letterland phonics. I purchased three of Letterland’s books (1) A B C, (2) Beyond A B C, and (3) Far Beyond A B C and read them whenever I had time. After going through the first two books again and again, I got familiar with the Letterland Characters (the symbols that were used in the phonics method) and the sounds they made.
It was only this year that I felt GerGer needed to learn beyond what her teachers taught her in Kindergarten, just as she completed her pre-school education this November. I am guilty of not spending regular reading time with GerGer. When I do read with her, I found difficulties using her Kindergarten materials to teach her to pronounce many words. For example, one of the spelling tests had a word “door” and she asked me why isn’t it pronounced as “d-oooo-rrr” and I could not reply her in a logical manner. Well, I know that there are many other methods to teach reading and a quick way to reply her was in line with sight-words methods. I told her that it was a very special word, and that taught her to remember the correct pronunciation. Such incidents occurred for many times this year, because her spelling tests were not aligned to her phonics lesson materials. Her spelling tests were mostly on commonly known sight-words. Another important reason I felt I should teach GerGer more, was the absence of end-of-words sounds in her school work materials.
I began my research on the internet, and in the library, on how I should proceed recently. I get confused many times. [read full blog post here…… ]