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Why does 'get squiggling' use 'aye, bee, cee' and alphablocks use 'ah, buh, kuh' ?

(122 Posts)
peanutbuttersarnies Wed 15-May-13 09:14:47

Is it cos get squiggling isn't using the correct sounds as per the Phonics ? I have no idea, cos my eldest is only 3. But he is starting to be interested in letters. And I have been trying to tell him the alphablock type sounds. But then get squiggling comes on and confuses the situation!

learnandsay Wed 15-May-13 09:37:52

My two year old knows the ay, bee, cee names from the alphabet song and the phonics song 2, ay is for apple, ah, ah, apple. bee is for ball, buh, buh, ball, off by heart

and she's happy with all of it.

roadkillbunny Wed 15-May-13 09:41:59

I always explained it like this, letters have a name and then they also have a sound like a dog is called a dog and the sound it makes is woof. My children have managed to grasp this, including my youngest with SN.

alixari Wed 15-May-13 09:45:50

Get him used to both. You can say the name of the letters are aye bee see but in most cases they are read as ah buh kuh.
My DS is 4 and he is bilingual, and the way we pronounce the alphabets in other countries is different from that of English.
He was a bit confused when he was 3, but now he gets that one letter can have several different way of pronouncing (he can't read yet).
I'd say you shouldn't get too stressed about it. Just say that A is ah for apple or aye for acorn.
They'll take it on board. That's the beauty with kids, they just absorb and not question the norm.

peanutbuttersarnies Wed 15-May-13 09:46:05

Thanks. That's very helpful. Will try and explain like that.

MolotovCocktail Wed 15-May-13 09:54:04

At my dd's school (she's at nursery) they use a system called Synthetic Phonics to start them of with reading. It's so that they learn to identify letters and the 'pure' sounds they make, so a = ah, m = mmm (not 'muh'). Next step is to 'blend' sounds together in consonant/vowel/consonant (CVC) words, so d-o-g = dog.

It's fantastic but like the posters upthread, I encourage my dd to learn the letter's 'name'. This is useful too, as letters don't always use that pure sound: e isn't always 'eh' at the start of words; sometimes is 'ee' (as in evening).

I limit dd watching programmes intended to be educational because I don't want her to get confused when she's learning with an excellent and transparent method. I think ypu're right - there are contradictory programmes on the same channel.

lougle Wed 15-May-13 10:00:03

Get squiggling is about writing.

Alphablocks is about reading.

When we write, we need to know what letters to use, and each letter has a name.

When we read, we need to know how the letters that have been used sound, so we use phonics.

So, I need to know that 'cat' uses 'c' 'a' 't' but the sound isn't 'seateee' it's '<c> <a> <t>.

christinarossetti Wed 15-May-13 10:33:49

Alphablocks gives the correct pronunciation of the letter sounds (and others) ie it's 'mmmm' not 'muh'. These are used in synthetic phonics to teach children to read and write.

Get Squiggling gives the names of the letters.

Just explain that letters have a name, and also make a sound.

ClayDavis Wed 15-May-13 10:54:48

That's not quite true, lougle. It's just as important to know the sound when writing. When they sound out a word to spell, they need to know which letters represent that sound. Knowing the letter names won't help with that.

However well you explain it, some children do have problems when the idea of letters having names is introduced too early and end up using the name and sound interchangeably when trying to blend. Unfortunately you won't know whether that's your child until its too late. Personally, I'd leave introducing the idea that letters have names and sounds until he is blending confidently.

lougle Wed 15-May-13 13:38:01

Of course, ClayDavis, which is why I've said that when writing, we need to know that 'cat' uses the letters c,a,t but the sound isn't 'seatee'

TeenAndTween Wed 15-May-13 14:44:57

From my experience listening to readers at school, children need to know the sound of the letters way before the names of the letters.

tbh my Y3 child is still a bit iffy on some letter names but it doesn't cause a problem. Hopefully before y4 she will be sound on them, as it does make testing spelling verbally a bit tricky sometimes.

imo for the majority of children pre-school and reception age, parents would be much better off just sticking to the sounds and not trying to also include letter names. (I don't know Get Squiggling, but I would be tempted to switch it off if it uses names not sounds)

(btw MolotovCocktail, I think that in the word evening, it's not the e at the start that sounds as ee. It is the e_e which gives the initial sound of the word.)

JollyOrangeGiant Wed 15-May-13 14:47:52

When i first saw the Get Squiggling with the letters being called that I was unimpressed. I think that a tv programme for pre-schoolers would have been better using the letter sounds rather than the names.

Mashabell Wed 15-May-13 16:19:29

The differences stem from the fact that the vowel letters a, e, i, o and u have what are commonly referred to as short and long (or closed and open) vowel sounds, the latter being the same as the names of those letters in the alphabet song.

Because children generally start learning to read with short words in which those letters are closed (cat, them, sit, not, cut), rather than with longer words in which they are 'open' (late, halo, theme, hero, bite, biped, note, notable, cute, cuticle), they usually get taught the short sound first.

Masha Bell

mrz Wed 15-May-13 17:17:05

The programme aims to teach correct letter formation but I'm afraid I would encourage the parents of the children I teach to avoid Get Squiggling ... (the letter formations aren't accurate either).

learnandsay Wed 15-May-13 17:21:54

In many words the names and the sounds are indeed used interchangeably based on vowel proximity. So, the trick is to know which words are which.

mrz Wed 15-May-13 17:33:25

Any examples learnandsay?

learnandsay Wed 15-May-13 17:37:19

kite, gaol, alien, visor, bison

mrz Wed 15-May-13 17:42:55

Kite is a split spelling i-e
gaol is a vowel digraph ao

mrz Wed 15-May-13 17:43:33

any words where the consonant names work?

learnandsay Wed 15-May-13 17:50:03

You can call them whatever you like, you can call them wiggly-boogles if you want to. It doesn't change the fact that the letters are using their names not their sounds.

learnandsay Wed 15-May-13 17:56:05


learnandsay Wed 15-May-13 17:59:05

Lots of words which start with u.

steppemum Wed 15-May-13 17:59:29

It is because alphablocks is made by people who actually thought for 2 minutes about how early introduction to letters works, and squiggle is made by people who know very little about children, as are many Tv programmes.

You really need to focus on the sounds not the names. Also if you write your child's name PLEASE write it 'name' not 'NAME' as they need lower case letters before capitals.

so when they want to know the letters in their name, you tell them it is 'nnn, aaa (like apple) mmmm, eee (like elephant)
not en, ay, em, ee

If your child gets both - great! But most at reception are still learning sounds and need them before the letter names

mrz Wed 15-May-13 18:00:14

that's one slightly doubtful example ...any more?

and no the letters aren't using their name hmm

learnandsay Wed 15-May-13 18:02:32

When you were in Brownies did you wear a unniform then?

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