Join hundreds of primary teachers in the TES Primary group. Find lesson ideas and inspiration, share best practice and get your questions answered by your peers. This is also the place for debate on the latest issues in primary teaching.
jo cooke I wonder if it would be more benficial to spend more time learning some more alternative sounds..
MszAll the sounds should have been taught in reception and the alternative spellings of those sounds should have been taught in Y1
Wow! I wonder how many teachers manage that.
I'll paste in the 69 graphemes with alternative pronunciations first,
followed by the 80 graphemes with variant spellings (including the figures for common words with them).
69 graphemes with more than one sound:
a: and - apron, any, father
a-e: came - camel
ai: wait - said, plait
al: always - algebra
all: tall - shall
are: care - are
au: autumn - laugh, mauve
-ate: to deliberate - a deliberate act
ay: stays - says
cc: success - soccer
ce: cell - cello
ch: chop - chorus, choir, chute
cqu: acquire - lacquer
e: end - English
-e: he - the (car)
ea: mean - meant, break
ear: ear - early, heart, bear
-ee: tree - matinee
e-e: even - seven, fete
ei: veil - ceiling, eider, their, leisure
eigh: weight - height
eo: people - leopard, leotard
ere: here - there, were
-et: tablet - chalet
eau: beauty - beau
-ew: few - sew
-ey: they - monkey
ge: get - gem
gi: girl - ginger
gy: gym - gynaecologist
h: house - hour
i: wind - wind (down)
-ine: define - engine, machine
ie: field - friend, sieve
imb: limb - climb
ign: signature - sign
mn: amnesia - mnemonic
o: on - only, once, other
-o: go - do
oa: road - broad
o-e: bone - done, gone
-oes: toes - does, shoes
-oll: roll - doll
omb: combine - bomb, comb, tomb
oo: boot - foot, brooch
-ot: despot - depot
ou: sound - soup, couple
- ough: bough - rough, through, trough
ought: bought - drought
oul: should - shoulder, mould
our: sour - four, journey
ow: how - low
qu: queen - bouquet
s: sun - sure
sc: scent - luscious, molusc
-se: rose - dose
ss: possible - possession
th: this - thing
-ture: nature - mature
u: cup - push
ui: build - fruit, ruin
wa: was - wag
wh: what who
wo: won - woman, women, womb
wor: word - worn
x: box - xylophone, anxious
-y-: type - typical
- -y: daddy - apply
z: zip - azure
Main spellings for the 44 English sounds and variants:
1. a: cat – plait, meringue (466 – 3)
2. a-e: plate – wait, weight, straight, great, table
-ain: rain – lane, vein, reign, champagne (39 – 19)
-ay: play – they, weigh, ballet, cafe, matinee (35 – 20)
3. air: care – hair, bear, aerial, their, there, questionnaire (31 – 27)
4. ar: car – are + (Southern Engl. bath) (138 – 1)
5. au: sauce – caught, bought, always, tall, crawl (44 – 76)
-aw: saw – (0) - but in UK 11-aw + 39 or, four, sore, war
6. b: bed (0)
7. ca/o/u: cat, cot, cut – character, kangaroo, queue (1022 – 33)
cr/cl: crab/ clot – chrome, chlorine (192 – 10)
-c: lilac – stomach, anorak (89 – 9)
k: kite/ kept – chemistry (124 – 7)
qu: quick – acquire, choir (78 – 4)
x: fix – accept, except, exhibit (98 – 15)
8. ch: chest – cello (155 – 1)
-tch: clutch – much (24 – 7)
9 d: dad – add, blonde (1,010 – 3)
10. e: end – head, any, said, wednesday, friend, leisure,
leopard, bury (301 – 67)
12. ee: eat – eel, even, ceiling, field, police, people,
me, key, ski, debris, quay (152 – 304)
--y: jolly – trolley, movie, corgi (475 – 39)
13. f: fish – photo, stuff, rough (580 - 44)
14. g: garden – ghastly, guard (171 – 28)
15. h: house – who (237 – 4)
16. i: ink – mystery, pretty, sieve, women, busy, build (421 – 53)
17. i-e: bite – might, style, mild, kind, eider, height, climb
island indict sign (278 – 76)
-y: my – high, pie, rye, buy, i, eye (17 – 14)
18. j: jam/ jog/ jug (0)
jelly, jig – gentle, ginger (18 – 20)
-dg: fidget – digit (29 – 11)
19. l: last – llama (1,945 – 1)
20: m: mum – dumb, autumn (1,128 – 19)
21. n: nose – knot, gone, gnome, mnemonic (2,312 – 34)
22. -ng: ring (0) 22
23. o: on – cough, sausage, gone (357 – 5)
want – wont (19 – 1); quarrel – quod (10 -1)
24. o-e: mole – bowl, roll, soul; old – mould
-o: no – toe, dough, sew, cocoa, pharaoh, oh, depot (106 – 59)
25. oi: oil – oyster (29 – 1)
-oy: toy – buoy (12 – 1)
26. oo (long): food – rude, shrewd, move, group, fruit, truth, tomb,
blue, do, shoe, through, manoeuvre (95 – 101)
-ce: face, fence – case, sense (153 – 65)
37. u: up – front, some, couple, blood (308 – 68)
38. u-e: cute – you, newt, neutral, suit, beauty, Tuesday, nuclear (137 – 21)
-ve: have – spiv (116 – 3) [80 with surplus –e]
-v-: river – chivvy (73 – 7) – v/vv after short vowel
40. w: window – which (216 – 31)
41. y: yak – use (31 – 11)
42. z: zip – xylophone (16 – 1)
wise – size (UK 31 – 3, US 11 – 22))
43. zh: -si-/-su-: vision, measure – azure (20 – 3)
44. Unstressed, unclear vowel sound (or schwa),
occurring mainly in 8 endings and 2 prefixes:
-ccle: bundle (2 consonants + l) (0)
-al: vertical – novel, anvil, petrol (200+ – 32)
-ary: ordinary – machinery, inventory, century, carpentry (37 – 55)
-en: fasten – abandon, truncheon, orphan, goblin, certain (73 – 132)
-ent: absent – pleasant ((176 – 58)
butcher – picture (42 –ure)
de-: decide – divide (57 – 29)
in-: indulge – endure (73 – 30)
Consonant doubling rule for showing short, stressed vowels
merry (regular) – very(missing) – serrated(surplus) - (381 – 439 – 153)
Sorry about the erratic variations in font size and colour.
2,039 common words with phonically inconsistent graphemes are listed here:
3,700 words with one or more unpredictable graphemes here:
The latter are the reason why nobody becomes a proficient speller of English in less than 10 years.
Learning to read is easier, because other letters in a word, and also context or illustrations, can help to access tricky graphemes like ou in sound/ soup/ sought/ should/ shoulder / touch.. until pupils learn to recognise them as whole words, without any more need for decoding.
For spelling, the tricky bits have to be learned word by word.
I should perhaps have explained that I obtained the figures for words with main and variant spellings by analysing the 7,000 most used English words, not including derivatives like 'worked, working, works' from work.
Any 16-yr-old who can read and spell all of those would be an excellent reader and speller.
Well masha none of them will have taught your list that's for sure
you really do need to sign up for a good phonics course if only to learn the phonemes.
Email me if you would like a few resources for the doubling rules.
I suggest that the listed content of 'Phase 6' as coming 'after' Phase 5 is not a great idea.
The Phase 6 suggestions should be introduced 'drip drip' from whenever children are starting their phonics learning. Words with suffixes, prefixes, verb endings, plurals, spelling patterns - all are needed in words which are real and in books and in the wider curriculum.
Also, the letter/s-sound correspondences for the complex or extended alphabetic code ARE a very large number. Do people consider that these can all be learnt by the end of Year One?
And even if they are learnt for reading purposes, they will not be learnt for spelling purposes.
Thus, a Year Two teacher (and KS 2 teachers) could revisit the various letter/s-sound correspondences and continue to focus on spelling word banks - especially for the slightly more unusual, or rare, spellings.
Msz none of them will have taught your list
because in YrR and Yr1 they make a very rudimentary start with learning to read and write, particularly learning to write.
mashabell Msz none of them will have taught your list because in YrR and Yr1 they make a very rudimentary start with learning to read and write, particularly learning to write.
Of course, masha, you know all about what goes on in YR and Y1 because you are an experienced Early Years teacher with a thorough knowledge of the principles and practice of synthetic phonics teaching
debbiehepI suggest that the listed content of 'Phase 6' as coming 'after' Phase 5 is not a great idea.The Phase 6 suggestions should be introduced 'drip drip' from whenever children are starting their phonics learning. Words with suffixes, prefixes, verb endings, plurals, spelling patterns - all are needed in words which are real and in books and in the wider curriculum.Also, the letter/s-sound correspondences for the complex or extended alphabetic code ARE a very large number. Do people consider that these can all be learnt by the end of Year One?And even if they are learnt for reading purposes, they will not be learnt for spelling purposes.Thus, a Year Two teacher (and KS 2 teachers) could revisit the various letter/s-sound correspondences and continue to focus on spelling word banks - especially for the slightly more unusual, or rare, spellings.
Isn't this one of the problems about dividing our language up into modules? If people are too literal about which module is taught when then children are not being exposed to the language that they use. I'd seen somewhere a teacher saying that her Y5 pupils were having difficulty creating sentences. I hope she was referring to a remedial class of some type. But it made me wonder if such Y5 children can speak in sentances. If they can't (and I know some adults can't use proper sentences,) then I do sympathise with the teacher. But if they can then I'm struggling a little to see why their ability to speak can't be used as a tool to help them to write. In the same way that many children already know various prefixes, suffixes, verb endings and so on in speech. So they don't have to be re-taught exactly, they just have to familiarise themselves with learning to read and write what they already know.
I agree that being 'too literal' with teaching specific information can be a danger.
The overarching guidance that I suggest to teachers goes beyond teaching a 'simple alphabetic code' at first, followed by the 'extended code'.
The worry is that this would not relate to wider literature - and to spoken language. And that teachers will feel unable to teach children routinely in spellings in particular words - thus allowing an 'invented spelling' system and attitude to become embedded right from the start.
So, I promote 'two-pronged systematic and incidental phonics teaching' meaning that the school has a specific phonics programme delivered in a specific order - with masses of support material which matches the alphabetic code taught to date - but, in addition, the supporting adults (teachers, teaching assistants and parents for example) can teach any alphabetic code at any time.
It doesn't matter if children don't learn the code mentioned incidentally - because it will be revisited through the planned programme of work and regular practices such as 'revisit and review'.
Two-pronged phonics teaching, however, dramatically raises children's awareness about the English alphabetic code, the fact that English spelling is tricky and they will need help for many years - and that even adults need to call upon one another for some spelling information - or they need to call upon the dictionary (even if the adults contrive this).
If classrooms include a large-scale Alphabetic Code Chart, this aids the two-pronged approach and it addresses differentiation and the wider curriculum.
The danger is that there is divide between the planned phonics material and more natural language that teachers don't know how to deal with - so they don't deal with it.
Then, support for understanding the complex Alphabetic Code can continue for as long as it takes - which might mean throughout primary - particularly for spelling.
Masha is right about the complexities of the English spelling system - but where we differ is that Masha appears intent on drawing attention to this for spelling reform whilst phonics programme writers are doing their best to unpick the complexities to make them both teachable and learnable - working with the system that we currently have.
The thing is, the complexities ARE teachable and learnable even though not all pupils will learn them as easily, or as well, as one another. We simply have to try our best under the circumstances.
We've come a long way in recent years to raise the profile of phonics teaching - but phonics teaching is in danger of being associated only with Reception and Year One under the current focus. This is in danger of putting KS 1 teachers under untold pressure with the notion that children who haven't learnt a comprehensive code have not been taught well enough.
And returning to the Phase Six notion, this is particularly unfortunate because it suggests that the Year One teachers should have been able to teach all their children a comprehensive alphabetic code in readiness for the grammar and spelling features in Phase Six which is a double-edged sword:
1) That the Phase Six elements will have been sidelined in Reception and Year One
2) That Year One teachers may be considered not to have done their phonics teaching thoroughly enough
That Year Two teachers might be left hardly knowing where to start with their children who are likely to have varied knowledge of the alphabetic code - so they are faced with the problems of knowing what to teach to whom, and when and how.
mashabellMsz none of them will have taught your list because in YrR and Yr1 they make a very rudimentary start with learning to read and write, particularly learning to write.
No masha because your list contains so many errors
69 graphemes with more than one sound:
al: always - algebra all: tall - shall-ate: to deliberate - a deliberate actcqu: acquire - lacquer -et: tablet - chalet-ine: define - engine, machineimb: limb - climboes: toes - does, shoes-oll: roll - dollomb: combine - bomb, comb, tomb -ot: despot - depotought: bought - drought-ture: nature - maturewa: was - wagwo: won - woman, women, wombwor: word - worn
Mszyour list contains so many errors
mashabellMszyour list contains so many errorsU keep claiming that, but never manage to point out a single one.
I think you will find I have
al: always - algebra in algebra the letters <a> <l> are two separate graphemes
all: tall - shall in shall <a> and <ll> are separate graphemes
-ate: to deliberate - a deliberate act <ate> contains two graphemescqu: acquire - lacquer acquire <c> <qu> representing the sound "kw"are separate graphemes
-et: tablet - chalet tablet <e> <t> separate graphemes
-ine: define - engine, machineimb: limb - climboes: toes - does, shoes-oll: roll - dollomb: combine - bomb, comb, tomb-ot: despot - depotought: bought - drought-ture: nature - maturewa: was - wagwo: won - woman, women, wombwor: word - worn
I think you get the idea
faithbasedI'm struggling a little to see why their ability to speak can't be used as a tool to help them to write.
Because this is English and identical sounds have many different spellings, such as 'wait, late, straight, eight, great'.
To save children from too much confusion and despair when they first start learning to read and write, they are initially taught with words which have simple regular spellings, such as 'a cat sat on a mat' or 'Tim and Pip dig a pit'.
Introduction to the words which children use in their speech every day and would like to use in their own stories is delayed because they have messier spellings (said, to, where, could, buy, pretty, bought...). This makes early literacy teaching contrived and divorced from children's speech, lives and interests.
In other languages the approach is as u suggest.
Msz I think you will find I have al: always - algebra in algebra the letters <a> <l> are two separate graphemes
But a has a different sound, just as it does in 'shall call'.
With all such words it's not just a matter of sounding out letters and blending them into words.
faithbased But if they can then I'm struggling a little to see why their ability to speak can't be used as a tool to help them to write. In the same way that many children already know various prefixes, suffixes, verb endings and so on in speech. So they don't have to be re-taught exactly, they just have to familiarise themselves with learning to read and write what they already know.
That's exactly what should be happening unfortunately some children have such poor language skills they don't use sentences when speaking. We work on the premise if they can't say it they won't be able to write it so place an emphasis on developing children's spoken language when they arrive in school.
Top of page
This website and its content is subject to our Terms and Conditions. TES Global Ltd is registered in England (Company No 02017289) with its registered office at 26 Red Lion Square London WC1R 4HQ.