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


Discussion in 'Early Years' started by jocraigie, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. jocraigie

    jocraigie New commenter

    I have grappled with the English language now for many years and the more I do the more frustrated I feel at having to teach this language to youngsters.
    Currently I am tutoring 2 young children who both have difficulties with reading and others who have gaps, I am using the government publication letters and sounds as a guide to introduction of different phoneme/graphemes correspondences but I fail to see the difference between ur and er! I also don't see ng as a seperate phoneme - I can hear both the n phoneme and the g phoneme - am I the only one!
  2. I have to ask why are you tutoring children with difficulties with written English when you have difficulties with it yourself?
    It sounds as though you need a well resourced high quality programme (L&S is really just 'guidance') and top quality training -then it's easy, straightforward and effective!

    Have a look at http://www.dyslexics.org.uk/index.htm

  3. I can sympathise. I am sure most teachers who have learned or taught other languages can.
    My blogs and website explain what makes learning to read and write English difficult, but many English-speaking adults who first met English spelling on their parents' lap have difficulty grasping this.
    The graphemes <er>, <ir>, <ur> (her third turn) are pronounced identically in standard UK English, as are <or> and <ear> in 'learn words'.
    U can see all common words which don't use the main spellings for a particular sound at
    <font color="#0000ff">http://englishspellingproblems.blogspot.com/2010/11/english-spelling-rules.html</font>
    Those for the stressed /er/ir/ur/ sound are particularly tricky, because there is no real main spelling for that sound.

  4. You've pinpointed the big problem. Quite simply some phonemes can be represented by a variety of graphemes, and some graphemes can represent a variety of phonemes. There are no short cuts here; children have to learn all the ambiguities. No wonder they struggle. It's not as easy some phonics enthusiasts like to suggest, and the fact that you are aware of the difficulties is a plus not a minus. How someone can suggest that you should not be teaching reading because you have noticed that the is no difference between the sounds represented 'er' and 'ur' is beyond me. And the 'ng' thing is open to debate too. However, if you say 'thin' and then say 'thing' you will notice that the 'ng' isn't quite the same as 'n' with 'g' added (think about what your tongue does). I would suggest you have a look at Debbie H's phoneme chart to get a summary of all the GPCs in their various incarnations. Googling 'Phonics international alphabet chart' should get you there.
  5. jocraigie

    jocraigie New commenter

    Thanks for the encouragement - I needed it!

Share This Page