1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Letters and sounds Phase 5- alternative spellings for phonemes

Discussion in 'Primary' started by bex2606, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. OK maybe I'm being thick but am really struggling here so any help would be apreciated.
    I am looking at L&S phase 5 weeks 8-30. Teaching alternative spellings for phonemes.
    At the back of the document there are lists of words that have different spellings for phonemes and ideas such as phoneme spotter stories for the long vowels.
    However some of the phonemes are not listed, I know that I can look back through L&S for words where the /f/ is shown as /ph/ and some others but some are stumping me completely. e.g.
    /c/- k, ck, qu, x, ch
    /ng/- n(k)
    /ure/- our
    /er/- our, e, u etc
    Does anyone know where I can get word lists for these sounds? Are there any phoneme spotter stories for anything other than ai, ee, igh, oa, oo? Do you have any great ideas about how to teach this?
    I really hope this makes sense to someone and sorry if I am being a bit dopey.
    Ta Bex
  2. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

  3. inq


    It makes sense to me!
    I'm still on week 1-4 though. I don't think there are official lists but as a school we have subscribed to Phonics play and Acorn Adventures is a game where you have to match a word with 2 alternative pronounciations e.g. does the c in can sound the same as in cat or cell, does the u in pull sound like u in unit, put or but (it also lets yopu choose whether you are in the North or South). There are also a whole selection of games investigating alternative spellings in phase 5c.
    If you join as an individual it's £10, as a school it's £100 for a year - we use it a lot as it is all set by letters and sounds levels. There are quite a few of the games free too if you go and have a look.
  4. I get the alternative pronounciations and have done these with the children. It's the spellings that are stumping me. I think its more a case of having a list of words that have these alternative spellings.
    Thanks for the ideas. I do use the free bits of phonics play but the alternative spelling bits are based around the long vowel sounds, which I also get and have found plenty of resources for. It's word lists and teaching resources for the phonemes/ graphemes that I've listed above that are throwing me.

    Anyone know where I can find lists/ resources for these?

  5. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

  6. Thanks meant to say in the earlier post that I found this useful. Just need some word lists to show examples to the kids.
  7. Anybody- I'm on PPA and desperate!
  8. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    As you haven't got a lot of time what about using your children to make upo lists themselves from their reading books/ library books?
    Sort different tables to look for one particular phoneme & compile a list of any words they come across. Your plenary can then look at the lists & you can develop your teaching from there.
  9. Phonics International has word lists for all the spelling alternatives, and mnemonics spelling stories for recalling spelling alternatives of all the sounds.
    The Sounds Book Activity Sheets have word lists, the I can read texts have words within the stories, the Mini Poster range consists entirely of word lists - useful for display.
    <u>Phoneme</u> spotter stories is not a great description as we scan for, and spot, graphemes which are code for the sounds.
    I really hope that teachers try to use the notation for sounds of /.../ to avoid confusion. It's so helpful when you get into the realms of spelling alternatives. Bring your pupils and parents on board with this notation too.
    However, even publishers and programme writers continue to get confused as to what is sound notation and what is grapheme notation. This is not a criticism - just a sign that we are still in the early days of phonics teaching and training!
  10. On my free website www.EnglishSpellingProblems.co.uk there are word lists for all the alternative spellings.
    I have also listed them again as exceptions from all the main English spelling patterns, in alphabetical order, at
    Many teachers find the Overview page on my website helpful too, because it shows u which spellings have the most words with alternative graphemes and need most teaching.
    gives u just one example of all the alternatives for each pattern and also helps to see which the trickiest areas are.
    The lists on my website and blog will give u more than u need, as they are based on an analysis of the 6800 most used English words, but u can copy and paste and pick out what u need for particular lessons.
  11. I cant offer alot of advice other than not to feel silly that you're struggling with this - I absolutely HATE the letters and sounds document and find it ridiculous and confusing.
    Also, you have mentioned phonics in your post so now everybody who runs a phonics website has come out of the woodwork to advertise their own websites - i swear they do a search for "Phonics" every day just to drum up some traffic to their websites.
  12. Thanks for your help everyone, just seems very silly that letters and sounds says that this must be taught withough givinng a list that allows it to be done without spending ages looking for words to teach it with. As if we dont have better things to be doing. I actually laid in bed last night trying to think of words with alternative spellings.
    I have found this document that gives 'best bet' lists for some of the phonemes- http://www.thegrid.org.uk/learning/english/clld/iwb/documents/best_bet.doc
    Also promethean planet has some flipcharts that have the alternative spellings on if you do a search for 'letters and sounds phase 5'.
    Ta again
  13. impulce - I can understand your comment but it is sad because it presumes a wrong motive from people who respond to threads in their subject area.
    For example, I have written supportive material for reasons that teachers need support and pupils need to be better taught.
    There are a number of teachers on the primary forum who describe their feeling of desparation or worry about teaching of spelling - or their lack of teaching of spelling.
    How can it be that this is such a lottery in 2011 in England?
    It is imperative that teachers teach spelling well but they are never trained, it seems, in teaching spelling, and there is often little guidance within school.
    Teachers are also not apparently trained to mark for spelling.
    Now, a teacher on this thread said she was desperate and wanted suggestions. I know how to respond to that teacher - but what makes it difficult is responses like yours.
    There SHOULD be better guidance, whole school approaches, more accountability within schools, proper teacher-training for this really, really vital area.
    Sometimes I feel like I am wasting my breath. I put contribute to the threads to help people and brace myself for comments such as yours. I actually hum and ha at and my husband tells me not to bother. But there isn't a bone in me that can happily turn away from a teacher imploring for help, or obviously needing some help.
    Shame on the teacher-training.
  14. Letters and Sounds is not a programme, it is guidance with some detail.
    The very fact that it was ever touted as a programme and people have promoted it as a programme shows the poor level of understanding of teachers' needs to teach reading and spelling in terms of day-in and day-out stuff.
    You haven't got time for children to pore through books to find their own spellings.
    Give them the words and spend the time on learning the word banks wherever practicable.
    Neither should individual teachers have to scrat around looking for these word lists.
    I hope every primary teacher reading this thread examines what they teach, how much time and effort they spend teaching spelling and asking themselves if they have a decent whole school approach which is truly effective and which builds on the teaching in the infants and reception.
  15. 1. Where there are potentially two possible spellings ask the children to write which grapheme they think might be in a particular word and decide whether they think it is correct when they have looked at it written down.This is such ridiculous advice.
  16. The above advice is not good.
  17. Be very careful with 'ew' and 'ue' and 'u-e' spellings which are often mistakenly described as /oo/ rather than /oo/ or /yoo/.
  18. So what am I supposed to do, if someone is asking for word lists and I have gone to the trouble of uploading them and know exactly where they are? Refuse to help?
    People have accused me of doing this to sell my books, and I admit to still being quite pleased when some sell, and my amazon rating improves. But I sell very few, so they are not an effective way of educating people about English spelling, which I admit as my main aim.
    Via the internet I have been able to reach thousands of people, instead of the few hundred with my books. And many have written to tell me how useful they find them, and to thank me for the work I have done.
    I am absolutely certain that people need to understand what learning to read and write English involves, for teaching purposes and to judge the wild claims that sellers of particular teaching schemes often make. Even Debbie Hep admits to that. So I am trying to share all the information I have acquired since my early retirement 15 years ago. Debbie often says that many teachers 'don't know what they need to know'.
  19. Letters and sounds are all very well but so many English spellings have to be learned visually not by sounding out (explain loose/lose, choose/chose ... daughter/laughter and a thousand et ceteras)
    Work from words and meanings; jokes will give you words that have double meanings/alternative spellings (Why can't you play cards in a jungle? Too many cheetahs) and titles like Girls Aloud ... Poems give rhyming words with different spellings.
    Paul Jennings (The Reading Bug .. and How to Catch It) says 'If I had to point to one thing that has done more to put children off reading than anything else it would be the misuse of phonics.
    How does a child choose between wait and weight? (or wate and wayt, both phonetically correct) Make sentences containing many words of the same spelling pattern so that context and repetition 'fix' them.

  20. Definitely!

Share This Page