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Are these phonics books American and does it matter?

(57 Posts)
ilovetosleep Thu 22-Oct-15 19:34:47

Its the Lego Super Heroes Scholastic box set.

Its not a school book but one I've bought DS (reception age) I think its a bit advanced for him right now but was just flicking through the first one and I'm a bit confused. The book focuses on the short a sound but lots of the key words are not short a to a normal English accent. The list on the back is:

etc etc you get the picture. Surely Asks is not same a sound as Bad. All these words in the book are in bold. It's going to be too confusing for him isn't it? Is there a way to explain this?

Thanks in advance

spanieleyes Thu 22-Oct-15 19:37:06

They are all short a to me, even ask! Much depends on your accent!

dementedpixie Thu 22-Oct-15 19:38:31

They're all short to me too

SilverHoney Thu 22-Oct-15 19:43:21

When you say "normal" English accent, I think this is a North / South issue. I'm guessing you're down south?

Northern accent:
In a northern accent all these words do have the short a (ah for apple) sound.

Southern Accent:

Does this make any sense?? Sorry v hard to type phonetically!

ilovetosleep Thu 22-Oct-15 19:43:33

I don't think I understand what short means then. I thought it was like the first a sound they learn as in a is for ants. Can someone explain it? I'm confused. I get that in some accents the a in blast sounds like the a in bat, but its not in my pretty normal english (non regional) accent.

ilovetosleep Thu 22-Oct-15 19:45:59

cross post yep I suppose I am southern - definitely not northern - but in fact I don't live in UK.

spanieleyes Thu 22-Oct-15 19:50:56

I'm northern so to me ask and ant have the same initial sound. one of the joys of phonics is that you teach the sound to match the accent. So if to you and your DS the a makes an /ar/sound then that is what you teach!

MrsKCastle Thu 22-Oct-15 19:51:00

Your 'normal' English accent sounds very much like my Southern accent. I would also say 'arsk' and 'blarst' but many, many people with 'normal' English accents wouldn't.

It's not a problem, it just means southern children have to learn quite early on that 'a' can be 'a in ant' or 'ar in ask'.

SilverHoney Thu 22-Oct-15 19:51:47

Short vowel sounds
a = ah for apple
e = eh for egg
i = ih for igloo
o = oh for orange
u = uh for umbrella

SilverHoney Thu 22-Oct-15 19:53:57

Long vowel sounds (aka letter name) normally represented by the capital letter.

A = ay for hay
E = ee for theme
I = eye for tired
O = oh for open
U = you for tune

80sMum Thu 22-Oct-15 19:54:37

It can be very confusing! DD learned to read in the USA. I remember her showing me the word "fast" (which we pronounced "farst") and saying, "look mummy, this word says 'fairst', it means 'farst'. She was treating US English as if it were a foreign language.

atticusclaw2 Thu 22-Oct-15 19:56:37

My family are from the South but my DSis now lives in the north. She told me yesterday that its been much easier to teach her DD to read because she uses short vowel sounds and so there isn't the complication about the long a and the short a, up North they're all short.

Yes the books are american. We had the Go Diego Go phonics set which caused a number of complications when sounding out.

ilovetosleep Thu 22-Oct-15 19:58:17

Sorry I didn't mean to offend by saying 'normal' english! So there is short, there is long, and there is something in between for southern english people! Is there a 'rule' or something that can help him figure out whether he should read ah or ar?

ilovetosleep Thu 22-Oct-15 19:59:39

I guess I'm just srprised that in a beginners phonics reading book that is supposed to focus on one specific sound there are actually words with two variations of the sound. Its not so basic after all.

atticusclaw2 Thu 22-Oct-15 20:00:54

Silver I suspect you're northern?

short vowel sounds

a as in cat
e as in egg
i as in igloo
o as in orange
u as in umbrella

southern long a is

ahh as in words with ar like parcel or like father

then the vowels can also make the name sounds

a as in face
e as in wee
i as in eye
o as in Oh!
u as in university

atticusclaw2 Thu 22-Oct-15 20:03:06

If you have a southern accent you just have to teach them that the letter a is special because it can make three sounds (all the others only have two sounds) and then you get them to try each sound out to see which fits when they're sounding out the word.

then there's also magic e at the end of a word which changes an a(cat) into ay (face)

mrz Thu 22-Oct-15 20:09:13

Short a isn't a useful description and nit encouraged in many of the newer phonics programmes. It's misleading to children the sound is either /a/ in apple or /ay/ in apron they both take up the same space on the page (not longer or shorter) and the same length of time to pronounce (nit longer or shorter).

The words you mention all contain the sound /a/ in a northern accent

mrz Thu 22-Oct-15 20:14:21

If you have a northern or southern accent you teach that the spelling <a> can represent the sound /ar/ as in father (there just happen to be more words where the spelling is /ar/ in a southern accent than a northern).

The spelling <a> can be /a/ in cat /ay/ in apron /o/ in was /or/ in water and /ar/ in father good phonics programmes will teach all the alternatives.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Thu 22-Oct-15 20:40:03

And very rarely /e/ in any/many.

ilovetosleep Thu 22-Oct-15 20:41:58

thanks everyone. think I'll leave it to the teachers!

MimsyBorogroves Thu 22-Oct-15 20:49:01

I'm a northerner, son learnt to read in a school in SW England. Except I did most of the reading with him, so he spoke with a very traditionally SW accent, yet read in a fantastically northern accent. It was hilarious. to me anyway

Snossidge Thu 22-Oct-15 20:52:18

I'm from the SW and we say blast not blarst.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Thu 22-Oct-15 20:54:46

It's probably easier to deal with than you think.

If he gets to a word where the letter 'a' is a spelling for /ar/ then just point to the letter and explain that it can also be /ar/, then get him to blend the word as he would any other word. You might need to remind him of this a few times but eventually he will pick up the idea that the same letter or group of letters can represent different sounds and be able to apply that knowledge.

maizieD Fri 23-Oct-15 13:40:50

Long vowel sounds (aka letter name) normally represented by the capital letter.

Well, no, they're not normally represented by a capital letter. That's a really poor teaching meme left over from the Look & Say era. Capital letters represent exactly the same sounds as do lower case letters. If this belief really operated CAT would spell 'kate' and lady would spell 'laddie'; which they clearly don't...

AllPizzasGreatAndSmall Fri 23-Oct-15 13:48:21

Children are taught that a-e, as in face, is a split digraph, please don't start talking about magic e.

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