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/er/ and /ur/ - totally confused

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by modgepodge, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    Whilst we're on the subject - /ure/. I can't even work out what sound it is!!! The thing on phonics play says its an unusual sound not used in most accents. I think it might be a northern thing - my mother in law says 'poor' as 'poo-er' and moor as 'moo-er'., whereas I'd say them the same as paw and more. So I'm thinking us Southerners don't need to teach this phoneme at all?
     
  2. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    er as in her
    ur as in burn
    ir as in girl
    or as in word
    ar as in collar
    ear as in earn
    our as in humour
    re as in theatre
     
  3. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    Fab, thanks msz, that's really helpful. Is there somewhere where this is all written down or do u just know it? It sure as hell isn't all written in letters and sounds (which only mentions 'ear' and 'or' as alternatives to 'Er' as far as I can see. Any ideas about all the nonsense I wrote in my first post?!
     
  4. Ok, I think I know what's confusing you.

    The /er/ that the website is talking about is the unstressed 'uh' sound that in linguistics is known as a 'schwa'. It's the sound at the end of 'farmer' for example, and it is often spelled 'er' at the end of these sorts of words. The sound you were thinking of is the stressed, long /ur/ sound like in the examples that Msz gave.

    The problem is that in English more or less any vowel that isn't in the stressed position becomes this schwa sound, which is why the website you were looking at was giving all sorts of seemingly strange examples. If you say these words naturally like you usually would in the middle of a sentence, you'll find that the letter they are highlighting will come out as a 'uh' sound. With the 'to' example, try saying quickly and casually 'are you going to the shops later?' and see how the 'to' comes out. It comes out as 'tuh' for me, but that might be accent dependent I suppose!

    It's a bit of a tricky set of alternative spellings to teach though, if that is what your colleague wanted you to do, because as I say nearly any vowel or set of vowels could be said like that depending on the word!

    Hope that helps a bit.
     
  5. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

  6. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    That's the schwa sound (weak vowel) more of an "uh" than an "er" totally confusing they way they've done it
     
  7. cure manure pure
    (rather rare words for KS1)
    sure has the same grapheme but many accents pronounce it shoor, which isn't too helpful really.
    The poor/moor one (which is the same as /or/ for southerners) is /oor/ I think, rather than /ure/ - the /ure/ one has a 'y' sound in there too
    But far more important to get the common vowel sounds in all their variants really secure (I hadn't thought of 'secure' as an example before - though again, hardly vital in KS1) than worry about much rarer ones.
    But I've been told off before for complicating things. I just think it's interesting.
     
  8. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    Thank you everyone for your help. I haven't heard of the 'schwa' thing before, yes you're right if I say "Do you want to go to the shops?" the 'to' ends up as 'tuh'. As quite a lot of mine failed the phonics test i think I will leave this for the time being...plus I've never had anyone spell 'to' as 'ter' or 'pencil' as 'pencerl', so I think it's safe to assume these are weird, rare examples which can be taught as necessary. I shall teach the 'er' alternatives as msz suggested. (Not sure what my year group partner wanted me to teach - she read it off the LT plan which I think was taken from L&S, I doubt if it was this 'schwa' thing.)
     
  9. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    One final question - is there an online resourse that lists words suitable for each sound? For example for 're' making /er/ I can think of theatre (as suggested by Msz), litre, metre....and that's it. So I'm now trawling lists of words on the internet which contain 're', but most of them don't make an /er/ sound. L&S has a useful list at the back, but not for all sounds/spellings. Thanks!
     
  10. Yes if you want a proper programme - Phonics International. The chart that msz linked to above has a full set of teaching and learning resources for all the graphemes on the chart.
    There are other online lists of words if you do a bit of googling but I'm not sure of any in particular.
    Look at the poster ranges on the Free Resources webpage of Phonics International where there will be some word lists.
     
  11. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    it isn't a spelling it's a sound which is why I would say the Phonics play sheet is very confusing. It looks like they are saying it's written <er> but it's a sound
     
  12. There is an excellent resource on the Sounds~Write website called The Lexicon of English Spelling. It contains all the phonemes (vowel and consonant) with exemplar words for each grapeheme in initial, medial and final position. It used to be free, but they now charge &pound;2.50 for the downloadable version and &pound;8.50 for a paperback version. I think it is invaluable. I downloaded it a few years ago and am constantly referrring to it.

    http://www.sounds-write.co.uk/links.aspx
    http://www.sounds-write.co.uk/
     
  13. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    They are saying that the sound is /er/ but it can be written in lots of ways, such as 'i' in pencil. If its come across differently it's probably my poor explanation! Debbie your program does look better but I'm leaving my current school and going to one who are now using read write inc, the class I'm teaching will still be on L&S but will be the last year group to be on it as they're switching, can't see them using a different program for 1 year only. Or is your program one I could use just with my class/group alongside letters and sounds?
     
  14. You are teachers of 4 and 5 year olds just re-read what is on here. Phonic madness. If an adult is confused about phonic teaching to a child of 60 months old doesn't that surely tell you that all this phonic teaching is insane. Man<u>ure</u> sums it up.
     
  15. Who are 'they'? The phonic thought police? Teaching 4 year olds c-a-t is fine. Why then do we hot house them to read words they never use or could never understand. It's insane. So typical a good idea pulverised by a committee of the mad.
     
  16. fendertele

    fendertele New commenter

    Yep - it is very much a black art but I'm afraid the powers that be cannot and will not see it ( hear it) - don't worry though this particulsr era's dogma has a shelf like like any other.
    Are you reall telling me that after over a hundred years of state education - primary teachers still haven't sussed out how to teach the most fundamental of its subjects - reading - what an idictment. We deserve all the riducule we get.
    Many experienced and successful practioners know that it takes a multi faceted approach to maximise the effectiveness of reading and spelling. However, if we were to succumb to this obvious conclusion then we would be undermining what education is really all about - maintaining the interests of educators and educationalists themselves .From the teacher to the Ministers. ( not to mention the other leaches that thrive on pedagogical turmoil - the publishers and providers of educational equipment).
    If you have any self interest whatsoever though - you will keep your mouth closed and join in with the rest of our both sheep amd wolve like "profession" and proclaim with faith and fervour " Thee Emprer iz wurin a trooli byootiful cloke "
     
  17. fendertele

    fendertele New commenter

    Perhaps you should see how many of our northern offspring often spell couldn't
     
  18. It is so rare to hear sanity on this forum I am assuming you are a troll
     
  19. fendertele

    fendertele New commenter

    What is a troll? I have been called it on another forum and I thought it was a one off insult - seems I am not unique then - What does it mean?
     
  20. fendertele

    fendertele New commenter

    I have hear of the schwa - through the Thrass training - thass - by the way stands for "thrass the a*** out of Phonics"
    It is hard core phonics which makes Letters and Sounds look like a literacy diversity freak - we are talking "jihad" fonix
     

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