Monday, September 27, 2010

Teaching Pronunciation

Many times I get asked about Selena’s vocabulary and how she pronounces such large words. Of course those of you in the blog world do not hear her, so you do not know what her vocabulary sounds like and what words she is able to pronounce, but I wanted to address these questions and the concepts I have used to teach pronunciation with you as well.

I got the idea when Selena was young, she could say so many words, from short to long, easy to complicated, but she could not pronounce her own name. I finally started using a felt board and put her name up on it everyday. We broke her name down by syllables and slowly pronounced it everyday. After doing this exercise with her over the course of a week, she for the first time pronounced her own name without even thinking about it. I have used this same concept to teach many words to Selena. She will hear these large words through our reading, science, geography, or just through our talking with her. She will repeat words back, and at times she just doesn’t quite pronounce the word correctly.

We do not use the felt board anymore but instead we head straight over to the white board. I write the word on the board and we begin.

100_3568 The above words are just some sample words that we have worked on in the past. The only new word is Statistic. I use a colored marker to mark out the syllables as we slowly pronounce the word. I will give Selena a little assistance with the letter blends, by writing sample words that she knows along the side so she can see how the sounds in the long word are the same as those found in words she uses and knows.

100_3569 We will discuss these letter blends and read the commonly used words several times together, making sure we put emphasis on the letter blends she is struggling with in the long words.

We then go back to the long words, and practice. Selena has now been able to start recognizing these words, use them correctly in sentences, know the meaning of the words, as well as pronounce them correctly within a couple of times doing this exercise.

What is Selena’s reaction to learning words this way? Well, I will let the following picture talk for itself.

100_3567I feel she is gaining so much from this exercise then just how to pronounce big words, but she is building upon the concepts she will need as she continues to learn to read and spell. It is my belief that a child introduced to the written word as well as the verbal word, will learn that there is no word they can’t learn to pronounce in their reading, nor learn how to spell. I think this compliments our study through phonics, reading, and language skills. 

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  1. It is a good skill to learn, and I'm trying to decide if my kids would do well with my trying that......

  2. It's an interesting approach. We definitely should start using our own white board for more than displaying Anna's art :) I like the last picture - Selena looks so pleased.

  3. I can see where that could help with spelling. I had to smile at her little drawing of her Papa, watching on - I'm kind of glad you weren't able to remove it - it's very cute :)