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Why don't we use 'magic e' any more?

(115 Posts)
Pozzled Tue 30-Apr-13 19:23:35

And is it a problem if my child is taught in that way? I'm not very impressed (especially when I've already taught her 'split digraph') but want to know if it really matters.

learnandsay Tue 30-Apr-13 20:49:43

I don't think o_e = oooo

I think it's o as in toe

and so on

Periwinkle007 Tue 30-Apr-13 20:50:03

using magic e though move would be m oh ve

our language has so many exceptions for everything. you could write an exception to every rule and incorporate it into some sort of official teaching methodology I am sure but in real terms there are just some exceptions you have to learn or try more than one strategy

simpson Tue 30-Apr-13 20:52:22

I guess that's why the magic e doesn't work.

learnandsay Tue 30-Apr-13 20:54:15

I don't think magic e was ever envisaged as a cast iron rule. I think it's just supposed to be a neat and clever way of introducing the fact to young children that a lot of words which end in e sound different from the way they would have sounded without the e at the end. Just like the cow didn't really jump over the moon and there is no tooth fairy.

learnandsay Tue 30-Apr-13 20:55:55

Then the split digraph doesn't work either.

mrz Tue 30-Apr-13 20:58:07

No TravelinColour the <o> is the spelling for the /oo/ in move and prove and lose the o-e doesn't represent the oo sound

simpson Tue 30-Apr-13 20:59:40

But the split diagraph way means its easier to have "exceptions to the rule" I think...

The problem DD had with the magic e (last year) was that she was fine with words like late, gate, make etc etc but when the e was not at the end of the word (as it was shown on alphablocks) she found it tougher ie later, maker etc.

I don't think she would have struggled with this (at the time) if she had been taught a/e o/e etc...

Chubfuddler Tue 30-Apr-13 21:00:58

It doesn't advance the thread in any way but I have to say when I read threads about reading I have no idea what people are talking about with all this terminology. Is everyone on this thread a teacher because I don't know any parent who uses this kind of terminology.

mrz Tue 30-Apr-13 21:02:22

I think we need to get away from the idea of rules

simpsin in later and maker the letter <a> represents the sound /ai/ the sounds are /l/ /ai/ /t/ /er/ /m/ /ai/ /k/ /er/

mrz Tue 30-Apr-13 21:03:43

No one needs to use the terminology Chubfuddler it's far easier to talk about sounds and their spellings.

TravelinColour Tue 30-Apr-13 21:04:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

simpson Tue 30-Apr-13 21:10:03

Oh is it not a/e sound in later then?


simpson Tue 30-Apr-13 21:11:26

Chub - I am not a teacher and my understanding of phonics is basic blush

mrz Tue 30-Apr-13 21:12:13

'fraid not simpson

learnandsay Tue 30-Apr-13 21:16:01

It's not ignorant


I can't think of too many incarnations of the English digraph ae
Latin has a couple!

beanandspud Tue 30-Apr-13 21:19:11

Apologies for a silly question but I'm sure I heard/read somewhere that 'when two vowels go walking, the first does the talking'.

Is this used? Have I dreamt it up? It seems to make sense but not sure if it's considered to be at all useful.

simpson Tue 30-Apr-13 21:20:08

I just thought it was
Late r
Make r
Like s
Make s
Hate s

Etc etc...

You learn something new every day grin

simpson Tue 30-Apr-13 21:20:42

Bean - that's the magic e.

learnandsay Tue 30-Apr-13 21:21:13

Some people say it and others point out all the times that it fails to work. But English is a language in which you get a full time job pointing out when rules fail.

Karoleann Tue 30-Apr-13 21:23:29

No magic E for us either, I've just taught mine it.

Magic, magic eeeeeee magic magic eeee. Pin becomes pine with me, din becomes dine with me, see what you do with me, I'm magic, magic E, magic magic eeeeeee.

Wordy anyone?

beanandspud Tue 30-Apr-13 21:23:49

Thank you! blush

mrz Tue 30-Apr-13 21:30:01

Apologies for a silly question but I'm sure I heard/read somewhere that 'when two vowels go walking, the first does the talking'.

It's from the Jolly Phonics book but there are too many words where it isn't true for it to be useful

mrz Tue 30-Apr-13 21:30:56

Think break and bread etc

mrz Tue 30-Apr-13 21:32:37

simpson it is
likes and hates and makes but not in later and maker and paper etc

learnandsay Tue 30-Apr-13 21:35:42

I think part of the problem for ae as a recognisable digraph in English/Old English (not Latin where two distinct letters are now being used) is that in English the ligature Ash has most often been replaced by a single e.

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