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Teachers and anybody with experience with this, please, writing F instead of TH, thanks

(13 Posts)
strictlovingmum Fri 07-Oct-11 12:01:33

DD Y1 is getting ten spellings every week to learn and to be tested on once a week in school, last week she came home with this list:
Thanking
Thinking
Flag
Singing
Sang
Leg, and so on.
The ones beginning with TH she had written down as if they are beginning with F, Why does she hears F instead of TH, and is this a problem?, we have rewritten them at home in the right way, but still occasionally if I ask her to tell me the sounds for e.g think, she will get muddled up and say it's Fink, anybody, any insight into this, and how can I help her?, thanksconfused

haggisaggis Fri 07-Oct-11 12:07:10

My dd does this - and she is 9! Discussed it with her learning support teacher (she's dyslexic) and she advised that you can get them to differentiate if you ask them how they make the sound with their mouth - ie "th" - tongue behind top teeth.
They sounds are very alike so totally normal to confuse them.
I am assuming right enough that she does actually say "f" and "th" - I know my brother didn't until he was about 7..

alittleteapot Fri 07-Oct-11 12:12:07

When I was about five I did it the other way round and wrote "my grandpa has a death aid!"

It's v common to confuse these sounds. My little girl still pronounces "th" as "f" - she can't write yet but I can see why she does it. I'd talk to her teacher but am sure she'll grow out of it.

strictlovingmum Fri 07-Oct-11 12:12:19

She knows the difference between the two, when reading her books she differentiate with no problem, but for some reason when writing words beginning with TH and F sometimes she muddles them up.

strictlovingmum Fri 07-Oct-11 12:14:46

Thanks all, DH says she practising for the role in "Eastenders"grin

pilates Fri 07-Oct-11 13:05:59

I think it's quite a common problem for children generally especially younger ones.

I have taught my children to say the "th" sound with their tongue sticking out, you can pretend it's a rude sound because you stick your tongue out and the "f" sound you show your teeth and they come down on your bottom lip. Does that make sense? It's quite hard to describe in writing.

bluegiraffe Fri 07-Oct-11 21:05:28

pilates, I used the "tongue sticking out" technique with DD too when she started regularly saying "fank you" - every time she said thank you for weeks afterwards she would proudly announce to me "Mummy, I said thank you with my tongue sticking out", even in public. It has worked though, and for "three" and i'll use it with every "th" word for the foreseeable future .. though hopefully she won't still be telling me she did it right with her tongue sticking out when she's an adult! ;-)

IndigoBell Sat 08-Oct-11 05:47:16

Maybe work on words in pairs for a bit to show her the diff? Or the importance of the difference?

Than - fan
Then -fen
Thin -fin
That - fat

Bucharest Sat 08-Oct-11 06:43:45

I use the tongue between teeth (and then pull it back in quick before the teeth chomp the tongue) with my foreign students.

I think it's very common to say it when children are small. I do cringe when my 40 something nursery manager cousin says it though wink

alittleteapot Sat 08-Oct-11 20:38:49

actually my daughter (4) says f or d for th. So fanks for thanks and den for then and de for the. I haven't corrected her as I assumed she's grow out of it but should I start to?

CecilyP Sat 08-Oct-11 21:08:23

It's nothing to worry about. She will probably grow out of it unless everyone around her pronounces th as f. Even those who don't grow out of saying it, still eventually manage to spell the relevant words correctly. Think how many foreign English language learners can't manage to pronounce th - they can still spell it though.

maizieD Sat 08-Oct-11 21:48:44

Tongue between teeth, blow gently through and don't try to produce any sound, just a bit of a hiss! I tell the (older) children I work with that it's the only time they're allowed to be rude to a teacher and stick their tongue out at them.

It is sometimes really difficult to convince children that the sound at the beginning of thing, think, thought etc. is a /th/ when they hear it as /f/ all around them. Though I agree that in Y1 it may well just be developmental.

2kidsintow Sat 08-Oct-11 21:54:53

Replacing th with f and th with d can just be an immaturity thing with speech that they grow out of, but not always. If by school age they are still doing it, then it is time to start correcting it by gently repeating the word they mis-say after them, or just repeating the sound.
My dd particularly mixed up the th and f in finger and thumb.

I've taught 10 year olds that have never grown out of it and who stand out because they don't live in an area where it is part of the regional dialect/accent to pronounce it like that. The later you start to try and fix a bad habit, the harder it is, and if they are saying the sounds wrong, then they often write it wrong too.

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