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Alternative pronunciation of /c/

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by modgepodge, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. modgepodge

    modgepodge Occasional commenter

    Am teaching this to Y1 tomorrow, just wanted to make sure I get this right!
    Obviously usually it makes a hard /c/ sound, tomorrow I will teach it sometimes makes a soft /s/ sound. However unlike alternative pronunications am I right in thinking it's not random?
    ca - always makes a hard c- as in cat
    ce - always makes a soft c - as in cent
    ci - always makes a soft c - as in cinema
    co - always makes a hard c - as in cost
    cu - always makes a hard c - as in cult
    This is at the start of words. Have I got this right? Are there any obvious exceptions I should be aware of?
    Also, is now the right time to teach /ce/ at the end of the word usually makes a soft /c/ (ie piece)? Touched on this 2 weeks ago when doing split digraphs and they obviously hadn't been taught it yet (I only took over in Jan).
    Am quite new to teaching phonics, want to make sure I get it right!
     
  2. modgepodge

    modgepodge Occasional commenter

    Am teaching this to Y1 tomorrow, just wanted to make sure I get this right!
    Obviously usually it makes a hard /c/ sound, tomorrow I will teach it sometimes makes a soft /s/ sound. However unlike alternative pronunications am I right in thinking it's not random?
    ca - always makes a hard c- as in cat
    ce - always makes a soft c - as in cent
    ci - always makes a soft c - as in cinema
    co - always makes a hard c - as in cost
    cu - always makes a hard c - as in cult
    This is at the start of words. Have I got this right? Are there any obvious exceptions I should be aware of?
    Also, is now the right time to teach /ce/ at the end of the word usually makes a soft /c/ (ie piece)? Touched on this 2 weeks ago when doing split digraphs and they obviously hadn't been taught it yet (I only took over in Jan).
    Am quite new to teaching phonics, want to make sure I get it right!
     
  3. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

  4. cariad2

    cariad2 New commenter

    As well as making its soft sound when followed by e or i, c also makes its soft sound when followed by y eg cycle, cylinder.
     
  5. Will you be teaching the children these rules, or are you just trying to get it straight in your head?
     
  6. modgepodge

    modgepodge Occasional commenter

    Realised y as well just after I'd posted, thanks.
    I thought I'd teach the children those rules - is that a good idea? Far easier than just "sometimes c makes /c/ sometimes it makes /s/"? Something about your post thumbie makes it sound like you don't think it's a good idea?
     
  7. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I would teach that if c is followed by e, i, or y to try s sound when "sounding out" the word
     
  8. modgepodge

    modgepodge Occasional commenter

    Lovely that's what I was planning. Thanks for those websites earlier on too Msz, they look really helpful. They prevented me then having to ask the same question regarding how to teach soft /g/!
     
  9. I think it's a lot of information for a Y1 child to hold in their heads, and I would tend towards the strategy of encouraging them to try out hard 'c' and then soft 'c', give it a go together with some words and then point out the vowel pattern for those with the wherewithal to internalise that info. But I do think, for most Y1 children, just trying out the two sounds as necessary would be more straightforward. There's so much more to remember with the necessity of differentiating and recalling which vowels are which and what that means.
     
  10. I actually agree with thumbie ([​IMG])

    What you might find useful, if you have time, is to get the children to sort a list of words, some containing soft 'c' and some hard 'c', and see if they can work out the pattern/rule for themselves.
     
  11. modgepodge

    modgepodge Occasional commenter

    Ok. I can see what you're saying about it being a lot to take in. But.....we teach children that if an "o" is followed by an "e" either immediatly afterwards, or with a letter in between it becomes an /oa/ sound. Similar rules apply with a, e, i and u. We teach them explicitly that to make an "ay" sound, we usually use "ay" at the end of words, but if it's in the middle then it's more likely "ai" or "a_e".
    To me, it seems more confusing to not explicitly tell them the rule, especially when in this case, I can't think of any exceptions (I'm sure there are some). They will already be familiar with words like "cat" "cut" and "cot" as hard c's. To me the problem with telling them to sound it out both ways is that sometimes with a hard c it still makes a word "cent" could be pronounced "Kent" and assumed to be correct, "certain" could sound like "curtain"!
    One of the activites on my plan for tomorrow is sorting, albeit as a class (don't have the time to do a cutting and sticking type sorting activity unfortunately) so I may do that first before making the rule explicit.
    I'm very knew to all this so always willing to take on other's point of view so thanks for all opinions offered so far!
     
  12. For sounding out
    the rules are definitely
    k for c before a, o and u (cat, cot, cup)
    and s for c before e, i, and y (fence, centre, city, cygnet).
    The ce grapheme is far more common than ci, and cy is rare.

    Things are much less predictable for spelling,
    but for reading ca, co, cu and ce, ci, cy are regular
    and worth teaching as rules, by young children won't meet many words with cy.
     
  13. . Yes, you can tell them the rule, but I would not expect them to remember it, as I think that is fairly unlikely. The way to encourage them to internalise it is to show how it works in familiar words, not in isolation. Making it 'explicit' is a process which takes it out of the words and this makes it into an abstract fact, much more difficult to remember than would be the case if it is associated with familiar words (ie words in the child's vocabulary). And a strategy of trying out hard and soft 'c' may cause a few mistakes, as you mention, but context should take care of those. Similarly learning that 'o-e' is /oa/ might cause problems with 2 syllable words such as honey and money.
     
  14. If your school's phonics programme was up to speed, all of these things should be within the programme.
    Great that you used the slash marks to denote the 'sounds' - I suggest that you put /k/ as the sound - not /c/ precisely because the letter 'c' is as much code for /s/ as /k/!
    Then, I suggest that you try to root all your phonics teaching in the fact that it is 'a code'.
    So, instead of suggesting that letters and letter combinations 'make sounds', say that they are CODE FOR the sounds.
    Letters e, i and y following letter 'c' alert the reader to pronounce /s/. This is a consistent state of affairs and therefore it is worth stating it rather than trying /k/ then trying /s/.
    With soft g, the letters e,i, and y alert the reader that the letter g might be code for /j/ or /g/.
    In terms of 'ay' take some care here. The sure thing to say is that words with the /ai/ sound at the end, are not spelled with 'ai'. But the grapheme 'ay' is frequently not at the end of a word.
    We have to be careful how we put things even though, I accept, that children will not remember these things easily necessarily.
    It is always surprising, however, just what children will remember when taught well and thoroughly.
    In terms of letter 'o' - it is code for many sounds and this is worth an early mention.
    I introduce it as /o/ at first, then single letter 'o' as code for /oa/ and /u/ as in money and honey.
    Letter 'o' is code for /u/ in many common words so it is worth pointing out - such as Monday, London, come, some, done, none (for some people), son, marathon, honey, money, front, sponge, onion and so on.
    The best thing that I can recommend is to get a large scale Alphabetic Code Chart up in every classroom. They support the adults' understanding in a universal way - and some of you may well be surprised as to the numbers of children who can soon understand the rationale and even self-teach through their existence.
    Also, we need to work very hard at teaching spelling well and this makes an ideal spelling reference chart.
     
  15. I agree.
    And in the vocabulary that children are likely to know there are not many words with
    ca, co, cu or ce, ci, cy.
    E.g. camp, can, cap, cat, catch, cash.
    U can find those with co and cu on the Learning to Read page
    at www.EnglishSpellingpProblems.co.uk.

    In the 6800 most used English words,
    281 begin with co- and another 70 contain co,
    113 with ca- + 122 ''
    28 with cu- + 70.

    19 begin with ce-, + 228 end with or contain -ce
    23 ci- + 15 contain ci
    9 cy- + 13 -cy
     

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