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Phonics help please

(19 Posts)
rrbrigi Wed 07-Nov-12 11:05:36


Can I find a list somewhere about different letters with the same sounds?
E.g.: <ie> as in pie <igh> high <i-e> time <i> kind <y> my?
So I know that I need to pronounce these different letters in the same way.

Also I need some help how I can continue my son phonics learning. He knows the how to sound out the alphabet, he knows the double letters (e.g.: th, sh, ch, ai, ee, oo, etc...), he know couple of "three letters" sounds (e.g.: igh, ure, etc...). So what is the next step?

We are not English but live in England, and phonics are very important for us. My son is a good reader and sometimes he asks me how to pronounce a word and I am not always sure how to do it correctly. Hope if we learn to phonics our pronunciation will be better.

He is in Reception so I do not think the teacher will go any further with him with phonics and reading so I try to help him improve these skills at home.

Thanks for you advice.

meditrina Wed 07-Nov-12 11:07:37

This might help.

rrbrigi Wed 07-Nov-12 13:25:40

Thanks meditrina. I have cheked this page and it is useful for me.

Any advice how should I continue the phonics with my son?

simpson Wed 07-Nov-12 17:03:22

Does he get reading books from school??

You can always check out the Oxford owl website it has loads of free ebooks for him to read to you...

My local library also has loads of phonics books which my DD started on when first learning to read...

rrbrigi Thu 08-Nov-12 10:42:36

He gets reading book from the school. He is on red level in the school; however we read ORT 3 blue books from the Oxford owl. Sometimes he has a couple of words what he cannot pronounce in the first time (like: everybody, away, wishes etc.). He can recognize some bit of these words but not the whole words. So I just tell him how to pronounce the whole word, but I cannot explain him why. Also he asked me last time that th -ed at the end of the word is "t" when we pronounce. I said yes, but I am not sure. And he has more and more question like this and I do not know or not sure about the answers. sad His comprehension is not as good, because of his first language is not English. He cannot tell back the whole story for me in English, but if I ask him questions he can answer to the questions.

I wanted to ask from Oxford owl. If I choose to show all books for me, than the books are in order? I mean the easiest in the top shelves and the hardest in the bottom shelves? Or is it just true if I choose the Oxford reading trees books?

So do you think if we go to the local library they can recommend an appropriate level of phonics book with cd or dvd for us? Probably I can use the school Library?

His teacher is very nice but she does not want to move him further with his phonics, because he has some problem with pronunciations (e.g.: he has no difference or very little difference how he pronounce the letter a, e. Or not pronounce perfectly the letter th, ng.). But I cannot help him to pronounce right these letters, because for me there is no different between a and e.

learnandsay Thu 08-Nov-12 10:55:34

When my daughter was very young we used to sing the phonics song

FossilMum Thu 08-Nov-12 11:36:51

Mumsnet has compiled a few potentially useful links on this; see:

However, as English is not your first language, perhaps you're not fully aware that, annoyingly, many English words are NOT pronounced according to the general phonics rules, so this is probably why you can't always explain some pronunciations to your son. It is important to realize that there are rather a lot of exceptions to the general rules, and that you just need to learn (eventually) to recognize these on a case-by-case basis. "Thought, through and trough", for example, are pronounced more like "thawt, throo and troff", respectively… It can be a bit of a nightmare! Perhaps this is why your son's teacher doesn't want him to push ahead with more complicated words right now, but instead gain confidence by consolidating the simpler ones and practicing his enunciation.

I tell my DS (5) that there are 2 types of words in English: 'sensible spellings', which follow the phonics rules, and 'silly spellings', which you eventually learn how to recognize with practice, as you come across them in various books over the years.

From what you say, it sounds to me like he is actually reading quite well for Reception level - better than many native English speakers! I don't think my own son has mastered 'igh' or the vowels combinations yet.

rrbrigi Thu 08-Nov-12 12:11:38

FossilMum the three words you mentioned "Thought, through and trough" for me is tout, sroo and troo. That is how I pronounce. sad

I understand that he needs to master the basic phonics, but truly he won't master it reading with me, because his pronunciation won't be better if he listen my English. But also he finishes his red books within 1 or 2 minutes, he does not want to read them again, because he already learnt all of the words from the first reading and he know the story. Anyway probably we need to understand that his English level is holding him back. We have the same problem with math. E.g.: he knows how much is 5+3, or what the missing number between 14 and 16 is, but he cannot explain it to the teacher in English.

So basically what you are saying to me, that I cannot do anything more just read books with him, and probably better if he reads for me and not I read for him.

Just to say that I am not worried about his education, I know he is doing well. I just wanted to find a way how I can help him develop further at home.

Do you think it would be a good idea if I would use my mother language to teach things for him at home? We did this before he started school, but I changed to English because of the reading books and because he cannot explain himself in English.

learnandsay Thu 08-Nov-12 12:44:41

Where are you from?

rrbrigi Thu 08-Nov-12 13:08:58

from Hungary.

Bonsoir Thu 08-Nov-12 13:16:40

I know plenty of parents here in France whose children are learning English and who use CD+ book combinations of stories to read "to" their children, to ensure they hear correct pronunciation. Might that be a way forward for you?

rrbrigi Thu 08-Nov-12 14:14:40

Thanks Bonsoir. We do something like this, through youtube and other internet site. But also I will ask in the Library.

Bonsoir Thu 08-Nov-12 14:30:44

Usborne do some book+CD combinations - you could look on their website for ideas and see whether they are in your library or whether maybe your library could order them.

mrz Thu 08-Nov-12 18:54:59
The oxford owl ebooks are free and have an audio option

rrbrigi Fri 09-Nov-12 10:42:52

Thanks mrz. We use that website at home. Please could you tell me if all of the books are in order on the oxfordowl website? When I choose only Oxford reading tree books they are in order, the easiest one is on the top shelves and the hardest one on the bottom shelves. It is good for me, because I can choose books for him easily, or can show him which the right shelf to choose a book. But I am not sure if I choose to see all of the books (not only the oxford reading tree books) the case is the same or not (the easiest books in the top and the hardest book in the bottom). Also if for example there are two books next to each other one from oxford reading tree and the other one from Prjocet X or First experience, are they in the same level?

mrz Fri 09-Nov-12 16:40:21

yes the books are in order of difficulty regardless of reading schemes

FossilMum Sat 10-Nov-12 19:50:57

I hope I didn't sound negative, rrbrigi, I was trying to be positive! Your son does seem to be doing well with the basic phonic sounds. And you seemed to think it was a lack of knowledge of further phonic sounds on your own part that made you unable to "explain" some words to him, so I just wanted to point out that it wasn't your "fault" that you couldn't explain them, just an idiocy of the way many English words are spelled.

Anyway, Bonsoir's suggestion of using book+CD combinations from the library sounds great. In our library these combinations are mostly limited to books with songs that go with them (good in themselves), but you could also try seeing which standalone CDs they have, and then look to see if they also separately have the matching books.

For a brief diversion, you might also like
Hovering the mouse over each letter reads and spells out a sample word [albeit with a slight American accent!]; clicking on each letter reveals a little game, some of them involving spelling/pronunciation guides. [The main Poisson Rouge website also has lots of other games, and similar alphabet games in a few other European languages.]

Good luck!

FossilMum Sat 10-Nov-12 20:31:01

And perhaps you might find some of the links on here useful:

mrz Sat 10-Nov-12 21:08:08

The link is to a resource for phonetics which is slightly different to phonics so perhaps not the best choice

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