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Fine Tuning Phonics 2

Phonemic awareness (PA) is the ability to perceive and manipulate the sounds of a language. Yeong & Rickard-Liow (2012) define it as the ability to segment words into constituting sounds and to blend these sounds to form new words. This type of awareness requires the recognition of phonemes, which are the smallest unit of language […]

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I ended my last post with a quote from Dr. Usha Goswami, the Director of the Centre for Neuroscience in Education at Cambridge University:       …the way in which the brain represents the sound-structure of spoken language -phonology-     is critical for the future development of literacy. The brain develops phonological   […]

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This is the second post regarding the question: Do People Read Different Writing Systems Differently?   In my last post, I pointed out that there are two ways to look at the question of whether people read different writing systems differently. Of course, there are more nuanced ways, but these seem to be the two […]

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A reader recently told me my posts are “a bit academic.” It was stated kindly enough, but I took it as “a bit” of negative criticism. I can’t argue, though, my posts are sort of academic – for good reasons. The first is that I am not a gifted writer. Eloquence doesn’t flow from my […]

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Pronunciation Instruction: Forgotten? It has been suggested that pronunciation is the forgotten orphan of language teaching (Gilbert, 2010). This is odd, isn’t it? Pronunciation is what people notice most when speaking to a non-native speaker of any language. An L2 speaker can live without perfect grammar. If she cannot say something grammatically complex, she can […]

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The Importance of Phonemes in ELF (English as a Lingua Franca)   Back in graduate school, way back in graduate school, I learned of the importance of supra-segmentals. The idea was that supra-segmental features, things like stress, rhythm, and intonation, are more important for improved intelligibility than segmentals, the individual phonemes. It made sense and […]

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Phonemic Awareness and Word Learning My earlier posts give an overview of the research in phoneme acquisition and discuss the best way to teach phonemic awareness. I believe these posts offer a basic understanding of the what and the how of phonemic training. My next posts will focus on the why. They will answer the […]

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Phonemic Awareness and Phonics Phonics is the method of teaching beginning readers to connect the sounds of spoken language with letters. Children are taught the letters and the sounds the letters “stand for.” This is NOT the same thing as phonemic or phonological awareness. The terms are not interchangeable.  To be clear, phonological and phonemic awareness are not […]

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I presented at a recent ETJ Expo on phoneme acquisition, which is what I’ve been posting about in this blog. One of the questions that arose was about the Native Language Magnet Theory (NLM). I have already written on the topic, and in this post I will say a bit more. I will briefly place […]

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The Best Technique for Phonemic Training  The last two posts pointed out that before children speak their native language, they create a sound map which requires a perceptive shift from distinguishing all sounds to only distinguishing the sounds of their native language.  This is not to say that children cannot learn L2 sounds. On the […]

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