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What b4 does…

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 of the language. Before children learn any words, any grammar, phonics – anything – they learn to distinguish the sounds of their language or languages. This occurs around the first year of life, before they start talking, and makes learning the sounds of other languages more difficult.

b4 is called b4 because it teaches what native speakers learn before they learn anything else – the sounds. How does it do that? The same way native learners who have trouble hearing and distinguishing the sounds are taught. Good old-fashioned minimal pairs, but on steroids.

There are children who have trouble hearing certain sounds of their native language. What the professionals do to treat children with these problems is what b4 does. It is called High Variability Phonemic Training. You have to make the sounds salient. You do this by contrasting them, exaggerating them, and by using different speakers. That is what b4 does, and we do it at

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