Teaching Letter Names and Sounds | Teaching Reading Resources

Children Learning Reading

By: ChildrenLearningReading.com

Hello moms, today we’ll talk about Teaching Reading Resources. So, you want to teach your child to see, but before a young child can learn to learn, he or she must first learn at least a few of the letters in the alphabet, their names, and the sounds that they represent. To manage to read, a young child must have the ability to recognize the letters, know the sound of the letters, and manage to recognize the letters quickly and say the sound without hesitation. There is sufficient 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 believe the debate on this really is settled when 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 child only letter names, or only the sounds which the letters represent. However, studies have settled this debate by discovering that teaching a kid alphabet names and sounds together produces the best results. Actually, studies have discovered that there’s little value in teaching preschoolers letter forms or letter sounds separately. This is indicated by an Australian study involving 76 preschool children. The children 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 analysis found 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 study found that there’s little value in training in letter form or letter sounds separately. [1]

As you can see, there is basically no point in mere teaching either the names of the alphabet letters, or the sounds the letters make. A young child must learn the name and the sound of the alphabet letter. When teaching your son or daughter the alphabet, as opposed to simply teaching them the name of the alphabet such as for instance “this is the letter A”, teach them like so:

“This is actually 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 son or daughter one other alphabet letters in this way including both name and sound of the letter. Here is 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 to receive instructions in letter names and sounds, letter sound only, or numbers (control group). The results of the study are in keeping with past research results in that it found children receiving letter name and sound instruction were most likely to understand the sounds of letters whose names included cues with their sounds. [2]

To have the ability to effectively teach your children the sounds of letters, you should first master the correct 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 kids, and this really is much tougher than it could seem. Thank you for reading this article about Teaching Reading Resources 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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