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Names of letters, is this right??

(62 Posts)
IWipeArses Thu 06-Dec-12 22:17:16

DS has learnt that an 's' is a' sssss' and an 'S' is an 'Ess'. If you see what I mean.

So upper case (capital) letters are said as the name of the letter, but a lower case letter is the "sound" it makes.

This is bollocks surely?

learnandsay Thu 06-Dec-12 22:19:24

Yup, it's rubbish.

learnandsay Thu 06-Dec-12 22:20:12

You could describe the capital letter as a capital s.

IWipeArses Thu 06-Dec-12 22:21:14

Thought so.

What is the 'official' way of saying a letter? I assume that you would use the letter name when spelling and the sound when sounding out?

learnandsay Thu 06-Dec-12 22:23:27

Not necessarily. You can spell using the letter sounds too. Traditionally, or conventionally one spells using the letter names. But there's no reason why one has to. One can spell cat using cu-a-t.

IWipeArses Thu 06-Dec-12 22:25:00

But you couldn't spell ceiling with a 'cu'

TravelinColour Thu 06-Dec-12 22:26:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

squeezedatbothends Thu 06-Dec-12 22:27:58

It seems odd, but the EYFS states that children should learn the names of letters - obviously they need to know that A is pronounced as /ay/ and so on as we would say them as adults. The names are what we've commonly called the alphabet and all letters have names - aitch rather than 'h' for example. This isn't the same as the sounds or the phonemes which are usually delivered as lower case letters to try to distinguish between names and sounds. So lots of schools distinguish between the name - this is 'A' and the sound that it makes is 'a'. Can't find phonetic markers on my key pad, but hope this is clear. Personally I think that's quite confusing for children, but somehow they seem to get it. Like a cat is called a cat, but it makes a miaow sound...

squeezedatbothends Thu 06-Dec-12 22:29:29

Sorry - cross posting there!

IWipeArses Thu 06-Dec-12 22:30:12

So, shouldn't they learn that 'c' is called a "see" and usually sounds like 'cu', but can be a 'see'?

Spelling and sounding out are different though aren't they. If you try to sound out 'the' with the letter sounds they learn - 'tuh- huh-eh' they won't get it.

blackcoffee Thu 06-Dec-12 22:33:19

the way letters and sounds suggests you teach this - show a horse, what is this? a horse (ie its name)
what sound does it make - neigh (ie its sound)

IWipeArses Thu 06-Dec-12 22:35:16

That's what I would have thought, the letter a can make the sounds - a, ay etc.

DS is quite insistent that A is 'Ay' and a is a (short) 'ah'.

blackcoffee Thu 06-Dec-12 22:35:20

Letter name c (see)
sound c
alternative sounds for c taught later onf
'the' is normally taught as a 'tricky' word

learnandsay Thu 06-Dec-12 22:35:38

It's funny that you say that, because I think that's the opposite of what does happen with some children. I suspect that it's some adults (like me) who have immense problems understanding spelling with letter sounds. "tuh-huh-eh" would make no sense what-so-ever to me. But my daughter would get it straight away. She would also get tee-aitch-ee.

blackcoffee Thu 06-Dec-12 22:36:02

I'd talk to his teacher and clarify this, Arses

IWipeArses Thu 06-Dec-12 22:39:39

I'm going to have to.

blackcoffee Thu 06-Dec-12 22:44:22

if one of my dc thought this I'd like to know so I could iron out the misconception. Parent feedback is really helpful. (disclaimer I am pretty sure none of them do think this)

IWipeArses Thu 06-Dec-12 22:49:37

I was reading him Dr Seuss A B C, and I was just saying the letter names, regardless of whether the letter was upper case or lower case and DS kept correcting me, so he is convinced. Gah!

learnandsay Thu 06-Dec-12 22:56:55

On the whole it probably doesn't matter that much, unless one comes to a road sign which reads:


Because, of course if one tries to read it using letter names one will fail, fall over it and die. But your son is right in the sense that most occurrences of capital letter spellings are acronyms, so SAS is not pronounces su-a-su.

blackcoffee Thu 06-Dec-12 22:58:12

it does matter
it is inaccurate

IWipeArses Thu 06-Dec-12 23:00:20

learnandsay, spelling and sounding out are two different things though aren't they, for cap and cape the last sound is a p, but you need the e to spell it.

maizieD Thu 06-Dec-12 23:00:32

DS has learnt that an 's' is a' sssss' and an 'S' is an 'Ess'. If you see what I mean.

So upper case (capital) letters are said as the name of the letter, but a lower case letter is the "sound" it makes.

Big sigh....

Why no-one thought to take the requirement to learn letter names out of the EYFS once phonics became the officail guidance is a mystery to me. They are completely unnecessary for learning to read and can cause the sort of confusion that the OP describes, especially when crazy teachers actually teach that they represent different sounds. Capital letters represent exactly the same sounds as do lower case letters; 'A' represents /a/ and /ay/ etc.

No harm in learning the alphabet names once lettter/sound correspondences are secure but as far as reading and spelling are concerned you could go through life not knowing the letter names and still be able to read and spell without any problems..

maizieD Thu 06-Dec-12 23:01:44

I'll never make a typist sad 'official'

noseynoonoo Thu 06-Dec-12 23:07:33

We always say, "This is the letter 'a' and it sounds like 'ay' - does that make sense - so there is a separation between the name of the letter and the sound of the letter.

IWipeArses Thu 06-Dec-12 23:07:53

The sound 'sh' is not made by the sounds 'sss' and 'hu', so saying 'ss' and 'hu' to spell a word with 'sh' would be inaccurate.

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