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The idea that you have to be able to perceive a sound in order to produce it is somewhat intuitive. No? I’m referring to what is known as the perception – production link. It is a much-discussed topic in L2 teaching literature, and the most influential speech theories, Speech Learning Model, the Perceptual Assimilation Model, […]

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I came across a quote from Dr. Silvana Montanaro, the founder of Montessori Schools, the other day. I was looking for something else, but the quote is important for what we do at Aka-Kara English. She wrote: …a course was recently developed, consisting of playing English language cassettes to infants. When, at the age of […]

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For the last I don’t know how long, I have finished my posts with “… and that is what b4 does.” I thought this was clever. I recently learned just what “that” is was not always clear. This is about “that.” The first thing a native speaking child learning any language learns is the sounds […]

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For the last I don’t know how long, I have finished my posts with “… and that is what b4 does.” I thought this was clever. I recently learned what “that” is was not always clear. This is about “that.” The first thing a native speaking child learning any language learns is the sounds of […]

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Reading involves the ability to pronounce words (silently in one’s head) quickly and accurately and to read unknown words by decoding them. In alphabetic languages like English, readers link the letters (written units that represent sounds, like c or ck) to the phonemes (sounds of a language, e.g., /k/). This happens in two ways. One […]

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Journal: Frontiers in Systems of Neuroscience: (2013)  doi: [10.3389/fnsys.2013.00090] Title: Learning, neural plasticity and sensitive periods: implications for language acquisition, music training and transfer across the lifespan Authors: White, Hutka, Williams Moreno This article is about brain plasticity. It examines how and why humans experience periods when learning is easier and quicker that during other […]

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The conclusion to an article I recently read states “the ability to discriminate non-native phonemes is crucial to word learning in a nonnative language.” Nothing new there. I’ve been saying that for years. The research has been there for years. It was an interesting article, however, involving over 100 native English speaking children and 9 […]

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Research has shown that phonemic awareness is the single strongest indicator of a child’s success at learning to read an alphabetic script. Strong phonemic awareness, when used to segment and blend sounds, helps children decode and understand what they are reading. Phonemic awareness allows readers to build another important element of reading: phonics. Phonics (the […]

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This post is about an article I recently read. It is titled: Phonemic Awareness and Reading Comprehension among Japanese Adult Learners of English. It was published in, Open Journal of Modern Linguistics, 4, in 2014 (http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/ojml.2014.44039). The authors are L. Yoshikawa and J. Yamashita.   The purpose of this study was to see whether phoneme […]

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Phonics, phonological awareness and phonemic awareness are often confused. While these terms are related, they’re not the same thing. Here’s a look at what they are and how they work together to get kids ready to read.   Phonological Awareness   Phonological awareness covers many skills. (One of them is phonemic awareness.) It isn’t based […]

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