Advanced search

Get £10 off your first lesson with Mumsnet-Rated tutoring service Tutorful here

Help needed to decode some "tricky" words

(19 Posts)
Arkadia Sat 11-Nov-17 19:57:59

We have received the new list of tricky words to learn. So, I am trying to do my homework and decode them, but I have problems with some of them and I hope that you_know_who_you_are might help me out.

1) "Beautiful". How do I deal with "eau"? I feel it should be one grapheme, but it doesn't seem to exist and I cannot find another words that contains it with the exception of beauty (things like "plateau" obviously don't count). But I am not satisfied that it should be "e" and "au" either. To me "eau" should be /yoo/, but it is not in the list (there again, nobody is stopping me from adding it to the list :D)
2) "little" how do you deal with "-le" (and countless variations thereof?)
3) "Ireland", is that a case of /i-e/? Does it count when it is in the middle or at the beginning of a word?
4) How do you deal in general with schwas? They can be spelled (and pronounced?) in countless different ways.

Thanks ;)

Cheerybigbottom Sat 11-Nov-17 20:06:50

My sons tricky words are non decodable words. I'm new to most of this, but aren't tricky words 'red' words that phonics don't apply to?

Cheerybigbottom Sat 11-Nov-17 20:09:09

Oh my goodness now I have homework, just googled graphemes etc. I could do with completing primary 1 over again.

Caroian Sat 11-Nov-17 20:55:13

I'm not an expert at all, but:

1. I read it as <ea> making the sound "e" as in "bead" and <u> making the sound "oo". (If you slow down your own pronunciation of the word it is really b-eee-ooo-tiful)

2. <le> is an alternative representation for "l"

3. Yes, I believe it's the same even at the start of a word

4. I'll wait for the experts on this one...

Norestformrz Sat 11-Nov-17 21:04:52

*“*^*My sons tricky words are non decodable words*^*”* Tricky doesn’t mean non decodable. All words are decodable.

drspouse Sat 11-Nov-17 21:19:19

For no 3 I think you can see it as "Ire+ land"

Schwas in England are spelled in a lot of ways
a like in sofa
etc (she says having lost the power of thought after DS had a playdate earlier).

Norestformrz Sat 11-Nov-17 21:20:41

In the word beautiful (beauty) the spelling eau is the sounds /yoo/.
The spelling le is an alternative spelling for the sound /l/
Ireland is I-e Spelling for /ie/ sound
Schwa just means a weak vowel sound and they vary with accent. They aren’t really a problem when reading but obviously cause a problem when spelling words we’ve not seen before.

Norestformrz Sat 11-Nov-17 21:24:27

*“*^*1. I read it as <ea> making the sound "e" as in "bead" and <u> making the sound "oo". (If you slow down your own pronunciation of the word it is really b-eee-ooo-tiful)*^*”* that’s a useful way to remember the spelling bea u ti ful

catkind Sun 12-Nov-17 10:20:40

Thought of you lot when we got this week's homework sheet telling us all about tricky words which "can't be sounded out". On the plus side it went on to talk about "the tricky part of the word" so presumably some sounding out happening nonetheless.
They're such a muddle, glad neither DC has needed to learn to read at this school.

Norestformrz Sun 12-Nov-17 10:31:47

You explain the tricky part and then decode the whole word. Unfortunately many teachers think Tricky means memorise as a whole word.

catkind Sun 12-Nov-17 10:54:06

That's what I'm doing when I help as a volunteer mrz, seems to work okay. I'm not enquiring too closely into what they do in class. It looks like lip service to phonics methods with a lot of look and say still hanging around. Previous gems have included "encourage your child to guess from the pictures", and decodable books are only sent home at weekends.

Norestformrz Sun 12-Nov-17 11:06:04

You’ve just dashed my illusion that the school was teaching phonics wink

Arkadia Sun 12-Nov-17 13:39:26

Thanks a lot.

Still not clear how to deal with the likes of -el and -le, besides remembering. Actually I feel that all schwas have to be remembered by heart and that's that.

Norestformrz Sun 12-Nov-17 13:46:35

They’re taught as alternative spellings of the sound /l/ so fairly easy for reading. For spelling I’d recommend using a “spelling voice” saying the word very precisely as it’s spelt so penc il pet al marv el .
The more often the words are seen written correctly and more times they are written the easier it becomes.

Norestformrz Sun 12-Nov-17 13:48:07

Schwa is the most common sound in English and found in far too many words to memorise. Again reading is much easier than spelling but spelling voice helps

Arkadia Sun 12-Nov-17 14:28:36

Not sure what you mean with "spelling voice". Do you mean pronounce the word the way it is spelt, like there is no schwa? So you say "Marv" and "ehl"?

Norestformrz Sun 12-Nov-17 14:35:15

Yes that’s it exactly. Handwriting the word while saying the sounds helps establish motor memory as well as spelling.

irvineoneohone Sun 12-Nov-17 15:01:01

That's exactly how my ds learns new spelling, and never seem to forgets it.

Fairenuff Tue 14-Nov-17 19:51:18

The Ire in Ireland is 'ire' as in fire (f-ire).

The 'le' is just an alternate to 'l' or 'll' (makes the same sound)

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: