Frequently Asked Questions

Find out the answers to frequently asked questions, such as 'How do I pronounce the phonemes/sounds correctly?'

I am not sure how to pronounce the phonemes/sounds correctly. How can I find out?

The link below will take you to a page where you can click on a letter/grapheme and hear the sound it makes. NB: There may be some regional variation in pronunciation, but the important thing is not to pronounce 'uh' on the end of each sound.

click here for the link... 

Should I teach my child letter names or sounds first?

It is better to teach him/her the sounds of the letters first, as he/she will then be able to use this knowledge to sound words out to read them and break words into their sounds for spelling. Knowing the letter names does not help your child get started on reading/writing. Once your child knows the sounds of the letters it's worth learning the names (the traditional alphabet song is quite useful for this, pointing at the letters as you go). When your child starts learning digraphs (2 letters that make 1 sound eg sh, ch, th), it's a good idea to talk about the names of the letters you are using eg 's' (name) and 'h' (name) make /sh/ (sound).

Should I teach my child capital or lower case (little) letters first?

It is useful to learn the lower case letters first, as most words are written using these. When teaching your child to write his/her first name, it should start with a capital letter and all the other letters should be lower case. Please do not teach your child to write his/her name in capital letters, as this can then be difficult to relearn at school. Once children can recognise and write the lower case letters, they need to be able to do the same with capital letters. It's worth pointing out that some are the same shape, just bigger eg oO, pP, sS etc.