Learning Letter Sounds

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In order to read successfully children have to be able to blend sounds together in words. They therefore need to be able to hear and say the precise pronunciation for each letter sound. For children to hear these pure sounds we need to model them correctly. 

Watch Jane on our https://www.readysteadyschool.co.uk/parents/ page demonstrating the sounds of the English alphabetic code. Each sound is modelled followed by a short pause allowing you time to practise together with your little one.

When introducing children to letter sounds it is important to aim for a fun and informal approach. Here are some key tips that we hope will help you in this process.

Top Tips

  • When learning letter sounds it is really important to use lower case letters initially, the only exception is the first letter of your child’s name

  • Always limit the number of letter sounds that your child is working on at one time. These are often the letters in their name and most schools will start with s-a-t-p-i-n

  • Keep known letters with new letters to give the opportunity for revision and to build up your child’s confidence

  • Linking letter sounds to pictures can give children an anchor point, so ‘c’ ‘cat’. This also lays the foundations for when children are learning initial sounds in words ready for reading and writing them

  • Put the letters around in the environment so that there is daily exposure to them

  • It is important that you progress at the rate set by your child

  • Little and often at these early stages is always best

  • Involve the whole family

  • Any reluctance may indicate that a child is not developmentally ready for a stage and it is prudent to wait until they are ready

  • Make activities fun by incorporating the learning into games, treasure hunts, sound walks etc

  • Praise every attempt, effort and achievement however small!!

  • Involve your child in normal everyday reading activities such as spotting the letters whilst shopping in the supermarket

  • Have the selected letters attached to a keyring, this makes them accessible and portable at all times. It also gives your child a sense of ownership

  • The Ready Steady School Letters and Sounds box contains 26 letter sound cards with bright colourful pictures on the reverse of each one plus a keyring clip. These are one small component of a comprehensive resource that takes you through the stages of learning to read and write simple words in a fun and informal way.

Learning to read and write is not a race but a lifelong skill. It is a complex skill as it involves many stages. The adult’s role is to support by demonstrating each game and activity.