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Phonics related - how would you teacher this

Discussion in 'Primary' started by mystery10, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Masha the fact that you had to ask me if what I described was phonics shows you don't understand
    Your lists are in spelling patterns rather than phonemes so you get the confusion that you often cite between homophones is compoundedby your lists.
  2. I asked the question because I wanted to know exactly what current promoters of synthetic phonics mean by phonics.
    It turns out that they mean simply traditional teaching of reading and writing, starting with regular letter-to-sound correspondences, and then including more of the exceptions, list by little list.
  3. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Well I shan't pretend to understand the ins and outs and subtle nuances of this debate, but I did find the little book useful in helping me drum up some words with the unstressed /er/ sound at the end with the endings spelled -er, -our, -ar, -re, -ure,-a, and -or.
    My daughter enjoyed identifying, sorting, thinking up examples for herself last night, and when she woke up this morning was wanting to do more.
    I really am in the dark finding my way here so everybody's suggestions are great - even if they conflict!! I'm wanting to help my own children, and do my best job when I volunteer.
    I can't see a week by week sequence to the spelling lists that come home so I am trying to add a bit more "round the edges" so my daughter ticks the weekly spelling test box but behind the scenes gets a bit more out of the time that we have to spend on it as there is a compulsory four evenings of Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check. e.g. a recent list was just words ending -or.
    The way my daughter's mind works if I had not added the context she would think this list was teaching her that now she should write -or every time a word ends with the unstressed /er/ sound. My reason for thinking this is because over a year ago there was a list with -er for the endings, and since then everything with an /er/ sound in it as been spelled with an "er" in it. Perhaps they are doing the alternatives at school and my daughter is a little dim, but I have no way of knowing. I'm pretty sure they are not though, so I'm finding this all very helpful. Thanks everyone.
    Logically I think now I need to work on the spellings of the /er/ sound not at the end of a word e.g. Saturday before some strange versions for that start to pop out from her.
  4. I would counteract this with some word sorting. Give her a mixture of words with both the spellings (and include others such as 'ar' (collar), 'our' (harbour)' 'ure' (picture) and get her to sort them by the spelling of the final sound. I advise always encouraging her to say the sounds as she writes them (to improve kinaesthetic memory).
    I don't think that Look Cover Write & Check is a good strategy for learning spellings; it encourages learning spellings as 'letter strings' and doesn't make explicit the connection between the sounds in the word and the way each sound is spelled. I would modify it to:
    Look - read the word and note any 'tricky' bits
    Say - the word and segment it into its component sounds
    Write - each sound in the order inwhich it comes in the word, saying the sound as you write it.
    Check - by decoding and blending all through the word to make sure it 'says' what it is meant to 'say'.
    Kinaesthetic memory is hugely important for spelling as each word has a unique pattern and 'feel' when written. Repetition is really important for establishing kinaesthetic memory. Cursive writing, if the child can do it, is very helpful in maintaining the rhythm and 'feel' of the word.
  5. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    She has beautiful cursive writing so that's one thing out of the way!! Thank you I will use your version of Look Cover Say Write Check - it makes a great deal of sense. It will make a change too as we've got very sloppy with it as the new words don't take much learning at all for the test, but whether they stick longer term is another matter altogether.
  6. U have just made me realise that I had not looked for exceptions to the unstressed /-er/ sound within words (ferocious, general). I don't think there are many, but these are the ones with <ur>:
    <font face="Calibri">auburn, corduroy, hamburger, jodhpurs, saturate, Saturday. </font>
    <font face="Calibri">I've listed 'saturate' and 'Saturday' under 'missing doubled consonants (cf. batter, fatter), but the 'ur' is unpredictable too</font>
    The spelling of the stressed /er/ sound is a complete mess, as u've probably already noticed.
    In short words: 72 ur (burn), 39 ir (bird), 16 er (her), 11 ear (heard), 8 wor (word) + were.
    In longer words: 55 er (certain, alert) + courtesy, journal, journey; attorney, nasturtium.

  7. There is no /er/ in corduroy or saturate. The 'u' in both words spells a /y'oo/ sound. Or are you tring to alter spoken English as well?
  8. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Interesting, I would say there was an /er/ sound in corduroy but not in saturate - but I've heard saturate said either way. I need a course in received pronunciation too!!
  9. That rather neatly illustrates the point that most people make (over and over again) about masha's proposed spelling reforms. They do not accommodate differing pronunciations of the same word.
  10. During my 47 years of living in the UK I have never heard anyone pronounce 'saturate' as 'sat-yoorate'. The OED and Collins pronunciation guides both give the phonic equivalent of 'satcherate' and 'corderoy' for 'corduroy'.
    I haven't actually proposed any. I merely try to make people aware which spellings are tricky to learn and why, i.e. which ones take a lot of teaching and learning.

  11. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    I agree
  12. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    U havn't?
  13. Well, as a native English speaker for rather more than 47 years I can assure you that, despite the OED &Collins, I have never pronounced them in any other way than 'cor dyoo roy' and 'sat yoo rate'. Neither has anyone else that I know.
    Thankyou, HBF.
  14. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I've just conducted a straw poll of the people present in the msz house (8 people) and none say cord er oy with a split between cor doo roy and cord yoo roy ...

  15. moonpenny

    moonpenny Occasional commenter

  16. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Well I think you are all going to have to come up with your own phonics schemes that accommodate regional and family variations. How do you deal with things like the Cumbrian pronunciation of ewe ( they make it sound like yow, rhymes with cow)?
  17. It's not a question of coming up with individual phonics schemes. The whole 'point' of phonics is that the letters represent the sounds in words as people pronounce them.
    I am a Southerner working in the North East. I pronounce the 'a' in glass, grass, pass, father etc. as an /ar/ sound. The children I work with pronounce it as the /a/ in 'cat'. They wouldn't believe me for one moment if I told them that the 'a' in 'grass' represented an /ar/ sound. For them it doesn't (in fact, they think it's extremely odd that I say it that way...) Phonics is not elocution lessons, it's teaching children how the sounds they say are represented by letters.
    If masha could bring about spelling 'grass' as 'grars' the NE children would still say /a/ for the vowel sound. They'd just think that the /a/ sound was spelled 'ar'...
  18. moonpenny

    moonpenny Occasional commenter

    It illustrates the limitations of sounding out words though, doesn't it?
    I totally agree with the need to reinforce knowledge but a drip, drip often needs to more like a torrent of torrential rain to get the multitude of different ways of representing sounds to stick in some pupils long term memories.
    I marked the NC tests for year 6 for the last few years and the majority of pupils are still making many spelling mistakes - I can't believe I have just drawn the short straw and got all the schools which still have year 6 children who make lots of spelling mistakes. I'd say this was the norm......
    The other thing that strikes me is that I often read on here that some primary teachers need to receive better training in synthetic phonics, yet we expect parents to know how to teach their children to read in this way and then give them a hard time when they don't have the knowledge needed to do this.
  19. Why use an apostrophe to show the missing "ha" but not for the missing "yo"?
  20. Dream on. What you are proposing is rubbish which is why you have a vanity published book and no peer review of your ideas. You are a laughing stock. You spam so much that it's inevitable that you'll get some hits. They mean very little.The real danger of your nonsense is that people who don't know better may take it seriously and use it as an excuse for inaction. Blame the language instead of reading with children.

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