FIRST 15 minutes: TRY SOME OF THE GAMES HERE!
What is phonics?
Teaching English reading using phonics involves relating certain rules about
* Each letter is like an animal, which has a name and the sound(s) that it makes. e.g.
A cat says "meow".
* Each vowel has two sounds: one long and one short.
The long sound is the same as its name.
The long sounds are in Ape, Eat, Eye, Oh, and You.
Their short equivalents are A (a as in at), E (e as in elm), I (i as in it),
O (o as in hop), and U (u as in up).
Every vowel has a third sound -- the schwa -- in an unstressed syllable.
The schwa is the most frequent vowel sound in English.
The 'a' in 'father' is different from the 'a' in 'cat'.
* Each syllable is made by blending the sounds of each component.
e.g. reading the word by adding one sound at a time, as in -e, -ed, bed.
* When a single vowel letter is in the middle of a word (or syllable),
it usually says its short sound. e.g. "Got", "Bed".
* When a single vowel letter is in the end of a word (or syllable),
it usually says its long sound (or its name.) e.g. "Go", "Be".
* When two vowels go hand in hand in the same word (or syllable), the
first vowel usually says its own name
(long sound) and the second vowel stays silent.
e.g. "Bake" (Ay sound + silent E), "Goal" (Oh sound + silent A), etc.
But there are many exceptions to these rules. See irregular vowels below.
* Irregular vowels: Many combinations of letters do not follow the single
or two vowel rules mentioned above.
These special combinations and sounds must be memorized.
o IGH as in "High" and "Sight" o -NG as in "Sing", "Song", "Sung". o OST as in "Most" (but not "Lost" or "Cost"!) uses the long sound
instead of the usual short sound.
o OW has two different sounds as in "Low" and "Cow" o ED has three different sounds as in "Lifted", "Walked", "Played". o OI does not follow the two vowels rule, e.g. "Moist", "Boil". o Double O has two different sounds as in "Book" and "Loose". o OUS as in "Nervous". o AU as in "Fault", "Haul", etc. o -SION and -TION and -CIAN are pronounced as "shun". o OUGH has at least seven different sounds, e.g. in "bough", "cough",
"hough", "tough", "thorough", "thought", and "through"
* Many words do not follow these rules; they are called "sight words".
Sight words must be memorized since
the regular rules do not apply. e.g., "The", "Are", "You".
1. Did you study phonics in junior high school?
2. Do you think it would be better to teach phonics in junior high school? Why or why not?
3. Do you ever read "take" as "ta-ke" (or other words like this)?
It actually has been tried....SOUND-SPELLING HARMONY
WHY is English spelling so weird anyway?
One reason is the great vowel shift:
Great Vowel Shift
While we're at it let's learn Grimms Law too:
Phase Change Germanic examples Non-Germanic examples
1. Proto-Indo-European voiceless stops change into Germanic voiceless fricatives.
*p→f English: foot Latin: pēs, *t→� English: third Latin: tertius *k→h English: hound Latin: canis, *kʷ→hw English: what, Latin: quod
2. Proto-Indo-European voiced stops become voiceless.*
*b→p German: Pegel Latin: baculum *d→t English: ten Latin: decem *g→k English: cold Latin: gelū *gʷ→kw English: quick Latin: vivus 'alive',
3. Proto-Indo-European voiced aspirated stops lose their aspiration and change into plain voiced stops.
- bʰ→b English: brother, Ancient Greek: φρατηρ
*dʰ→d English: door Ancient Greek: θύρα (th�ra) *gʰ→g English: goose Ancient Greek: χήν (khēn) *gʷʰ→gw