Béarla / English

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When your gasúr starts to learn to read the emphasis is placed on sounding out each letter sound; or most common phoneme. The next stage is the development of a blending ability so that they see 'str', 'at' and other blends as sound units rather than individual letter sounds.  With time we all expand our list of sight words that we recognise and know the sound of without any analysis; a good starting point for developing this list is the Dolch word list. If you think your child is still a bit weak on blending sounds to aid spelling then have them try this online Wordblender Game. He can be a bit annoying but they should enjoy it.

A list of Reading Tips from the Reading Rockets website. Once the readers they bring home grow longer feel free to use common sense in listening to their reading aloud. Perhaps get them to read a selection of pages, in a block or randonly chosen, to you before they finish it and get a replacement. The vital thing is that they get to read aloud every night and get help and/or feedback on their reading. Encourage them to alter their voice for spoken parts and to use pacing and changing intonation to bring the story to life for the listener(s).

We use the workbook Spellbound as the basis for their English spelling lists. This book builds on the phonics work carried out in class; using a variety of resources and with an emphasis on reading aloud. Each school week there are sixteen words whose spelling should be learned. On the top of the page the spelling patterns, and blends, being focused on are printed; week one focuses on 'at', 'am' and 'ad'. Learning how to spell these first would be the best way to approach the week's words. The front cover flap is there to assist in the Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check word spelling strategy. Tips on learning spellings are on this page. Don't worry if your child isn't sure of the meaning of every word or able to put them in explanitory sentences. 

English is quite a complicated language to learn to read, and especially spell, correctly. There are many more phonemes in English that the simple 26 letter sounds that unfortunately used to dominate teaching methodologies; even worse was the focus on letter names that often have very restricted connections to the sounds they can represent. Learning to associate certain letter combinations with phonemes and blends is a vital next step after learning the most common letter sounds.

Examples:    the phoneme ue is linked to blue, dune, spoon, drew

      str is better thought of as single sound blend in place of s-t-r