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71. Spelling and Phonics

Once children are confident with letter sounds (see no.47) they can begin to understand spelling and how - rather unhelpfully for everyone concerned - the way a word sounds isn’t always how it is spelt. 

71. Spelling and Phonics

Once children are confident with letter sounds (see no.47) they can begin to understand spelling and how - rather unhelpfully for everyone concerned - the way a word sounds isn’t always how it is spelt.

 

Spelling can be divided into two types: phonetically plausible words, such as dog, cat or frost, and tricky (official term) words such as friend, caught, gnome. Plausible words can be sounded out; tricky ones can’t and have to be memorised.

 

Sounding out a new word is straightforward. Say the sounds individually out loud and then again with the sounds closer together.  You’ll find your child will usually guess the word long before they reach the last letter.

 

Schools work from a list of 100 high frequency words such as: he, and, a, to, said, in, he, I, of, it, was, you. Most of these are tricky and have to be learnt by sight. These words become the first members of a child’s sight vocabulary , words which are recognised immediately and don’t have to be sounded out. They are taught in parallel with phonics in Reception classes (there are further lists for older children).



In writing, spelling is the opposite of reading. When trying to spell a word, encourage your child to break it down into its constituent sounds. This is known as segmentation. So, to spell dog, ask which sound comes first? (d), and what’s next? (o) and so on. Write each sound down as you go.

May 01, 2016 By Alexis Ralphs

71. Spelling and Phonics

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