Developing Spelling Skills Through Phonics Advisory Teaching Team NET Section, CDI, EDB 6 and 7 March, 2012
Objectives: To identify students’ strengths and weaknesses in spelling To understand the importance of applying Phonics Skills in spelling as one of the major learning strategies To explore and to plan activities for students to practisePhonics Skills for spelling
Dictation Task One (seen) • Study the dictation passage. • You have 3 minutes to prepare and familiarise yourself with the text.
Dictation Task Two (unseen) • Write the passage as it is read aloud to you.
Teachers’ reflection • Discuss in pairs possible problems students would have in doing both seen and unseen dictation. Are the problems the same? Why/why not? • Did you encounter any difficulties completing either task? What were the difficulties? Discuss in pairs.
How do most students prepare for dictation? Look at the word and spell it, letter by letter. Copy the spelling words numerous times to help memorise the shape of the word.
Student Weaknesses in Spelling • Lack of phonics skills (e.g. recognition of letter-sound relationships, encoding skills) • Inability to identify contextual clues to decide upon the correct spelling (e.g. bare, bear) • Lack of opportunities to apply the spelling skills in writing for communication
What is Phonics? Phonics is the relationship between letters and their sounds Phonics usually refers to a way of teaching reading and spelling
According to the English Language Curriculum Guide 2004:- “Phonics usually refers to a useful strategy in the learning and teaching of reading. It involves supporting learners to recognise basic letter-sound relationships in English words and to apply this knowledge in reading and spelling.” English Language Curriculum Guide (2004) P.171
Why Teach Phonics? • To develop phonological awareness • To provide strategies to decode and read unknown words • To provide strategies to encode and spell unknown words • To help readers make approximate pronunciations of words • To provide skills that impact positively on English reading, writing, spelling and vocabulary building
Phonological awareness helps readers: • decode unknown words for reading and • encode unknown words for spelling
Why do students need spelling skills? • The ability to spell easily and automatically enables students to become more efficient writers
Learning to spell is not simply memorising lists of words. It is a developmental process of learning to apply different phonics skills appropriately, so that the writer can spell correctly the words he/she writes.
How can teachers support students in the development of effective spelling skills? • Be aware that students will go through different stages in developing spelling skills
Stage 1 The Child: • Relies heavily on the most obvious sound in a word, e.g. KT (kitten), WT (went), BE, (baby) • Represents a whole word with one, two or three letters. Uses mainly consonants, (e.g. KGR(kangaroo), BT (bit) • Recognises some sound-symbol relationships in context, e.g. points to “ship” and says “sh” or recognises first letter of name.
Stage2 The Child: • Chooses letters on the basis of sound without regard for conventional spelling patterns, e.g. kaj (cage), tabl (table) • Chooses letters on the basis of sound e.g. pepl (people) • Represents all the essential sounds of a word, e.g. spidr (spider), kitn (kitten)
Stage 2 The Child: • Uses common English letter sequences, when attempting to spell unknown words, e.g. thousend (thousand), cort (caught), doller (dollar) • Uses letters to represent all vowel and consonant sounds in a word, placing vowels in every syllable, e.g. holaday (holiday), gramous (grandma’s) • Is beginning to use visual strategies, such as knowledge of words, e.g. silent letters, double letters
Later Stage The Child: • Is aware of the many patterns and rules that are characteristic of the English spelling system, e.g. common English letter patterns; relationship between meaning and spelling. • Uses a multi-strategy approach to spelling • Is able to recognise when a word doesn’t look right, and to think of alternative spellings. • Analyses and checks work, editing, writing and correcting spelling.
Where do we start? • What do we teach? • How do we teach it?
Knowledge and skills to teach • Letter-sound relationship • Sound blending • Sound segmentation • Syllable segmentation (Syllabification) • Phonics/Spelling generalizations
Letter-Sound Relationship • The English language is composed of 44 sounds • Some sounds have more than one way of being written
Phonograms for /f/ sound • /f/ as in fish • /ff/ as in off • /gh/ as in laugh • /ph/ as in phone
Steps of teaching phonics • Hear & discriminate the general sounds, speech sounds & patterns • Hear the phoneme in the initial position • Hear the phoneme in the final position – be aware of onset & rime
Steps of teaching phonics (Cont.) • Hear a short vowel sound in the medial position – onset & rime • CVC segmenting & blending – onset & rime • CCVC segmenting & blending – long vowel sounds • CVC segmenting & blending with digraphs and trigraphs – long vowel sounds
Sound blending Students need to develop an understanding of how letters are blended Cluster-2 or more consonants produced together but each making a separate sound, e.g. /grab/, /black/, /school/ Digraph- 2 letters that represent 1 sound, e.g. /chick/, /easy/ Diphthong – A vowel sound made up from two adjoining and identifiable vowel sounds in the same syllable, both of which contribute to the sound produced, e.g. how /ow/, oyster/oy/
Sound segmentation • Listen for sounds in words to spell • Each sound in a word is represented by a phonogram i.e cat –/c/ /a/ /t/, shop - /sh/ /o/ /p/ • Each sound can be written
Syllable segmentation • First, teach closed syllable of monosyllabic words (CVC), i.e. cat, dog • Next, teach two syllable words made up of closed vowel pattern syllables i.e. pup/pet, ban/dit, pic/nic • After that, introduce long vowel sound patterns i.e. go, ta/ken, tea, name
Spelling Rules • Spelling rules that involve consonants are usually reliable Generalizations: -When a word begins with kn, the k is silent. i.e. know -When a word begins with wr, the w is silent. i.e. wrong -The letter c followed by o or a is pronounced /K/ as in camp
Phonics Generalisations (con’t) • i before e except after c. -receive - When two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking. -each ***Phonics generalizations that involve vowels tend to be much less reliable***
We need to teach: • Phonemic awareness • Blending spoken sounds into words • Segmenting spoken words into sounds • Syllabification • High frequency words • Onset & rime • Explicitly sound spelling correspondences
Good readers have: • Phonemic awareness • Ability to decode simple words • Phonological awareness • Ability to rapidly name letters, words, objects and colours quickly • A good memory and are able to repeat sentences, words, digits accurately.
Don’t Forget…….. • Good readers practice their phonics skills through miles and miles of reading. • A Phonics programme should provide students with the opportunity to use all 4 language skills.
Phonics work should be set within a broad and rich language curriculum that takes full account of developing the four interdependent strands of language; speaking, listening, reading and writing and enlarging children’s stock of words. A key finding of the Rose Review. (2009)
Teach phonics in context • Word attack skills need to be practiced and applied when reading. • Use authentic texts (examples include poems, stories and other relevant texts) • Phonics should be included throughout all English lessons (part of the G.E. programme)
Guest Speaker • Dermot Creagh - CUHK FAA Thomas Cheung School. .
Activity • Keeping in mind what you have learned from Mr. Creagh, create a 5-10 minute activity that you could use in your classroom.
What we know about spelling/final thoughts The ability to spell easily and automatically enables us to become more effective writers. The less energy and thought we have to put into thinking about spelling, the more thought we can put into what is said. (J. Rivalland 1990, Spelling Zoom Notes)
What we know about spelling/final thoughts • Spelling is only one aspect of effective writing. • Good spellers are self-monitoring and self-regulatory. They take responsibility for getting spelling correct. They look for their own errors. • The English language is not a regular language, but it is systematic and patterned. Learning to spell is a process of working out the patterns and systems of the English language, then applying these understandings to new words as we encounter them. (J. Rivalland 1990, Spelling Zoom Notes)
Please, please, please • Take the information and skills that you have learned today and implement them in your school-based phonics programme
Thank you! Special thanks to Mr. Dermot Creagh and CUHK FAA Thomas Cheung School.