Teaching Letter Names and Sounds | Teaching Five Year Old To Read

Children Learning Reading

By: ChildrenLearningReading.com

Hello moms, today we will talk about Teaching Five Year Old To Read. So, you wish to teach your son or daughter to see, but before a kid can learn to read, he or she must first learn at the very least a number of the letters in the alphabet, their names, and the sounds they represent. To manage to read, a child must be able to recognize the letters, know the sound of the letters, and be able to recognize the letters quickly and say the sound without hesitation. There is plenty of discussion and disagreement on whether it’s better to instruct children using whole language programs or using methods which incorporate phonics and phonemic awareness instructions. I do believe the debate on that is settled once the National Reading Panel stated from their findings of reviewing over 1,900 studies that phonics and phonemic awareness produces superior reading results than whole language programs.

There is also some debate on whether to show your son or daughter only letter names, or only the sounds which the letters represent. However, studies have settled this debate by discovering that teaching a child alphabet names and sounds together produces the best results. In fact, studies have discovered that there’s little value in teaching preschoolers letter forms or letter sounds separately. This was indicated by an Australian study involving 76 preschool children. The kids received 6 weeks of training in either letter awareness, phonemic awareness, or control tasks, and then received another 6 weeks of training in either letter-sound correspondence or control tasks. The study unearthed that training in either phoneme or letter awareness assisted with learning of letter-sound correspondences, and that the phonemically trained children group had an edge on recognition tasks. The research found that there’s little value in training in letter form or letter sounds separately. [1]

As you will see, there is basically no point in mere teaching either the names of the alphabet letters, or the sounds the letters make. A child must learn the name and the sound of the alphabet letter. When teaching your youngster the alphabet, instead of simply teaching them the name of the alphabet such as for example “this is the letter A”, guide them like so:

“This is the letter A, and the letter A makes the /A/ sound.” (note: the /A/ denote the sound “A” makes, and not its name). Similarly, you can teach your child another alphabet letters in this way including both name and sound of the letter. This is actually the way I teach my children the alphabet letters. Other studies have determined that teaching the letter names and sounds together helped children learn.

58 preschool children were randomly assigned for instructions in letter names and sounds, letter sound only, or numbers (control group). The outcome with this study are consistent with past research results in that it found children receiving letter name and sound instruction were almost certainly to learn the sounds of letters whose names included cues to their sounds. [2]

To have the ability to effectively teach your young ones the sounds of letters, you must first master the proper pronunciation of the letters yourself. It is important for you personally as a parent to be able to first say the sounds of the letters correctly before teaching your young ones, and that is much tougher than it might seem. Thank you for reading this article about Teaching Five Year Old To Read and see you next time.

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Notes:

1. J Exp Child Psychol. 2009 Sep;104(1):68-88. Epub 2009 Mar 5.
The genesis of reading ability: what helps children learn letter-sound correspondences?
Castles A, Coltheart M, Wilson K, Valpied J, Wedgwood J.
Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia.

2. J Exp Child Psychol. 2010 Apr;105(4):324-44. Epub 2010 Jan 25.
Learning letter names and sounds: effects of instruction, letter type, and phonological processing skill.
Piasta SB, Wagner RK.
Preschool Language and Literacy Lab, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.

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