How is the Alphabet taught in schools now?

(29 Posts)

I'm not really sure how to word this as a Google/thread search so perhaps someone can help

I learnt the Alphabet almost 30 years ago and we were taught ABC as the words Ay, Be, Sea etc and then the sounds they made were taught when learning to read I think. I'm under the impression that it's now taught as the sounds ie Ah, Buh, Kuh etc and although DS is only 23 months I want to make sure that any time we're discussing it (he has an alphabet puzzle and we're giving him a book with the Alphabet in for his birthday)
I'm doing it the same as when he goes to school so if he does pick it up (fairly likely I think as he's copied numbers, and learnt things like opposites from books) he doesn't end up confused/annoying the teachers!

Please can someone explain to me how it is taught or direct me to a website or something about it? I'm particularly interested in if the letters are referred to as their names or sounds - for example I would say this is an aitch for house but the sound it makes is huh' -would they say 'this is a huh for house'??

noisytoys Mon 31-Dec-12 18:57:06

Aahhhh bbbbb cccc ddddd. Be careful not to put 'uh' after each letter.

DD had to re learn her alphabet when I taught her ay bee see

BeehavingBaby Mon 31-Dec-12 18:59:53

Sort of neither I think. You say the sound but try to just say eg the 'p' in'puh' if that makes any sense. Otherwise, when spelling eg jumper, they stop at the p. it gets a bit spitty in my experience though.

dishwashervodkaanddietirnbru Mon 31-Dec-12 19:00:54

dont do the 'uh' sound at the end - the sounds are short i.e. cat would be c-a-t and not cuh-ah-tuh. I told my lo's that the letter name was ay, bee, cee, etc and what the sound was that went with the letter.

LadyKinbote Mon 31-Dec-12 19:01:15

It's sounds but shorter sounds than we learnt (eg 'H' is an exhaled breath not the full 'huh' sound). Alphablocks on CBeebies is good because it reminds you how to pronounce the sounds. The method is called synthetic phonics (I think) and is slightly controversial as it's a bit robotic and obviously there are many words in the English language that simply can't be 'sounded out'.

dishwashervodkaanddietirnbru Mon 31-Dec-12 19:03:29

www.focusonphonics.co.uk/sound.htm - this gives the sounds

mrz Mon 31-Dec-12 19:41:07

Children still sing the alphabet song ay, bee, see, dee, ee ...but they are normally taught the 44 sounds of the English language first and how they are written before learning the alphabet. As people have said the sounds need to be very pure with no added extras
c-a-t is cat
cuh - ah- tuh isn't and neither is see- ay -tee (sounds a bit like city hmm)

Bonbonchance Mon 31-Dec-12 21:44:07

As people have said aaa bbbb ccccc etc, ie letter sounds not names. When they go to nursery, they should start tuning into sounds of words through rhyme (but basic sound discrimination cones first) and then children tend to start to notice individual sounds (like the letters in their name usually) and it just confuses them if parents have taught them A B C etc! (Same with writing in capitals but that's another story!)

Jolly Phonics website might give you more info, lots of schools use this scheme but even if they don't it'll be something similar no doubt.

Thank you all. I was getting confused because it's hard to read the sounds when they're written like that but that website is brilliant. It seems quite complicated to me because it's not how I learnt but it makes total sense and I think it's probably less confusing learning to read when children have learnt the sounds letters make in the words. I've always wondered how i was going to explain that sometimes letters sound one way in a word but at other times another way (not that I'll be teaching him it all but in case it came up) - thank you for explaining it grin

IwishyouaMerryChristmas Mon 31-Dec-12 22:32:53

Unless you're in Wales - the Welsh alphabet is phonetic!

MGove Tue 01-Jan-13 01:55:11

Alpha, beta, gamma, delta..........

ThreeBoostsOneGalaxy Tue 01-Jan-13 01:57:42

Ours were taught with something called Jolly Phonics. Fortunately they have ended up enjoying reading anyway.

mrz Tue 01-Jan-13 10:01:04

Or perhaps they enjoy reading because they were taught with Jolly Phonics ThreeBoostsOneGalaxy grin

ThreeBoostsOneGalaxy Tue 01-Jan-13 10:07:50

I think the three boys would have learnt to read no matter what method was used, but DD never really got to grips with phonics. Eventually she built up a repertoire of words that she recognised by sight and then took it from there. smile

mrz Tue 01-Jan-13 10:16:03

Unfortunately that very much limits her ability to read words not in her repertoire when she encounters them. Jolly Phonics provides an effective strategy for tackling unfamiliar words.

ThreeBoostsOneGalaxy Tue 01-Jan-13 10:20:55

I agree, it's just that unfortunately she found it very difficult. Despite doing Jolly Phonics at school from the age of 4, and having a 1-1 session daily during Y1, it never really "clicked" for her during foundation stage or KS1. Fortunately she now (aged 8) reads slightly ahead of age expectations and comprehension is good too, so she must be using some phonic cues to decode unfamiliar words.

mrz Tue 01-Jan-13 10:29:28

I think children often work out phonics for themselves and even those of us who were never taught phonics apply that knowledge when we encounter new words

GrumpySod Tue 01-Jan-13 11:13:27

ime you really don't need to know these things for now, OP. I didn't know anything about phonics before DC1 started school & he caught onto their system quickly enough. We now have Read Write Inc which is fairly prescriptive, and in spite of workshops I know I get some of the sounds wrong (cannot properly do their t or C sounds, for instance). And I still get confused between u & o. It's not going to make that much difference; other factors like native intelligence or tendency to be articulate, parental willingness to encourage & support, are much more important.

LadyKinbote Tue 01-Jan-13 12:09:50

The most important thing to encourage reading is to have lots of different books around the house that you enjoy together. If he's very keen you'll find he starts to teach himself!

mrz Tue 01-Jan-13 12:31:16

Books in the home are important but unfortunately they don't ensure that every child will learn to reed

LadyKinbote Tue 01-Jan-13 13:21:52

True - every child is different. Phonics works best for children with dyslexia, and 'reading for meaning' works for many others. DD's school does a good mix of both.

mrz Tue 01-Jan-13 13:28:50

Where on earth did you get that idea?

Pozzled Tue 01-Jan-13 13:35:45

Why the distinction between 'phonics' and 'reading for meaning'? Synthetic phonics is a system for learning to decode words, children obviously need to understand what they're reading at the same time. The two are not mutually exclusive!

mrz Tue 01-Jan-13 13:41:29

You can’t read for meaning if you can’t decode the words and while it is possible to learn some words by sight it doesn't provide you with an effective strategy for decoding novel words, for that you need the phonics skills.

LadyKinbote Tue 01-Jan-13 14:28:29

We've opened a can of worms here! (Said it was controversial!). There's lots on t'internet about the debate. I definitely read the dyslexic thing somewhere but can't remember where. My personal conclusion was that decoding is one of many ways we learn to read (guessing words based on context being another) and because English has many, many exceptions to the rules (as it's a language with so many different roots) you can only truly learn to read via a range of methods. I'm certainly not opposed to phonics though. We've highjacked somewhat haven't we..? grin

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