Learning Through Play
Letters and Words
The Sounds of Letters
Tips for teaching your child the sounds:
- It is important for a child to learn lower case or small letters rather than capital letters at first. Most early books and games use lower case letters and your child will learn these first at school. Obviously you should use a capital letter when required, such as at the beginning of the child's name, eg. Paul.
- When you talk about letters to your child, remember to use the letter sounds: a buh cuh duh e ... rather than the alphabet names of the letters: ay bee see dee ee . The reason for this is that sounding out words is practically impossible if you use the alphabet names. eg. cat, would sound like: see ay tee When saying the sounds of b, d, g, j and w you will notice the 'uh' sound which follows each, for example buh, duh... You cannot say the sound without it, however, try to emphasise the main letter sound.
- Do not teach letters in alphabetical order. Avoid teaching letters of a similar shape such as b and d, or p and q together. Allow time and other letters to come in between such pairs of letters. c, o, a, d and g is a good order to start with because they are all formed in a similar way when you write them. Teach only one letter at a time and do not go on until your child is confident with the current one.