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Jolly phonics

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by mercurystar, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. mercurystar

    mercurystar New commenter

    Hello all, I am currently volunteering at my daughter's school whilst doing my level 3 teaching assistant nvq. I am working in a year 4 class with a young girl who doesn't speak much English. She only started at the school in September and is struggling with her literacy. The teacher is currently getting her to learn the reception key words, but she's not really getting it. I have suggested using jolly phonics but this system is not used in the school, has anyone else used jolly phonics for a non English speaking student? If so, does it work? I would be grateful for any suggestions or comments.
    Thank you in advance
  2. Yes Yes Yes I have and it does absolutely work!
    I have taught Jolly phonics to many EAL pupils many with no English at all. It helps them enormously to read. I tweak things slightly so the child is also learning new vocabulary so would have lots of pictures or real things for them to see. eg once the skill of blending has been learnt then I would have lots of picture match games. Child blends and reads word and matches to the picture.
    There are lots of prinatable resources on the MES English site
  3. mercurystar

    mercurystar New commenter

    Thanks for the replies, so good to know help is out there. Think I'm going to like this site :0) With regards to the phonics system they currently use I have no idea and neither does my class teacher as she usually only teaches in KS 2. There isn't any EAL support in the school that I know of, apart from the ta's. Which is good for the boy in my class who speaks Urdu as both the class teacher and ta both speak it as well so can help him. The ta has commented that she thinks the young girl might be SEN, and I tend to agree but don't know if anything USA been said officially. Like you say, I don't want to step on anyones toes as I'm only a student. Think I'll talk to reception teachers to see what they use before I do anything else.
    Thanks again for the help, much appreciated
  4. I agree. Your school should already be following a phonics programme and the literacy coordinator or SENCO would be able to advise as should the class teacher. Whatever you use check that it is in line with the schools Phonics teaching policy.
    Are you teaching the first 45 High Frequency/sight words? If so many of those are not phonetically decodable because they have tricky spellings (come, away, they etc) so a phonics programme will only support the reading of some of the keywords.
    I was interested in the previous posters use of Jolly Phonics with EAL groups. We use Jolly Phonics actions in Reception alongside Phase 2/3 Letters and Sounds. Just wondering how you use JP with EAL groups?
    Good luck with your work with this child. In my experience look for small steady steps.
  5. I have taught it to EAL pupils in the same way I would teach to a young Reception child. They learn the first 6 sounds and start blending. They soon get the hang of it. It's no different to teaching an English child blending of 'alien' words or nonsense words. It's the skill of blending and segmenting you are teaching. As I said in my last post once they get these skills I use pictures etc to learn some vocabulary. They may be able to blend the word 'cat' but not know what a cat is so I would use a picture of a cat to help.
  6. Also I use Jelly and Bean books for EAL learners. The stories are so simple and pictures so clear that children learn to use their phonics and learn new vocab. Also the 'tricky' words are introduced very slowly so you can address them as and when you need to.

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