Image Description

Before continuing, please read the INFORMATION page (under Activities), as it explains important information about the course.



                                                                                Play Video

Let's kick things off from the very start! We're diving into the world of how words sound, the cool sounds of letters, and even some letter combos!

Today's activity is all about understanding just how vital the sound of a letter or word is. It's like unlocking a secret code that makes reading and spelling super easy and fun! So get ready to be amazed by the magic of sounds! 🎵🌟



Description automatically generatedsounds is pronounced

Use sound in naming what you see in English words.

For example,

 Cat /c/ for cat. Listen to the first letter, c for cat.

By listening to letter and word sounds, you'll learn to listen, convert, write, and then check back the written word against the sounds you heard.


Image Description



                                                                             Play Audio

When you come across text in this colorful rainbow box, it means it might be a bit trickier to read. But no worries, you've got options!

If you feel like giving it a try, go for it! But if you find it challenging, you can  skip these sections and move on to the next part. Easy peasy!

And guess what? We've got something awesome for you! There's an audio option available too. So, if you prefer listening, just hit play and enjoy the learning experience! You got this! 🌈🎧📚




Sound and Phonics  
A "phonic" is like a little sound superhero – it's a cool unit of sound that makes words come to life!

In the English alphabet, we've got 26 letters, but guess what? They can team up in different ways to create around 44 different sounds. How cool is that? 🌟

Here's the best part – sounds might sound a bit different based on where someone's from (you know, accents and all). But no problem as long as you can say the word clearly and recognise it when someone says it to you, you're good.


Image Description
Image Description

The importance of Sound and the 'Hearing' of letters

Image Description

Let's dive into the fascinating world of sounds and letters!

You know how a letter, like "c" in "cat," is a secret code for the sound /c/? Well, throughout this course, we'll use special symbols like /s/ or /c/ to show sounds in phonics. So when you see /s/, think "sss" sound, and /c/ means "c" sound, just like in "cat." These sounds are called phonics – our superheroes!

Check this out: in the word "cat," the "a" and "t" each make one sound. So that's 2 units of sound! And hey, in "boy," you got 2 more sounds: "b" and "oy" (say "oy" like "boy").

Now you've already learned 5 sounds, high-five! 🙌 But wait, there's more! When you say "car," the letters "a" and "r" come together to make the sound /ar/ (say it loud!). So, "car" has 2 sounds: "c" and "ar." You're on a roll, you've learned 6 sounds now! 🚗💨

Can you think of other /ar/ sounds?
What about tar, or guitar. Here are some more;

  • Star
  • Park
  • Garden
  • Shark
  • March
  • Part
  • Start
  • Harm
  • Target

Say them aloud and listen for the /ar/ sound.

The cool part is, you've actually heard all 44 sounds before, ever since you started listening to English. They just weren't introduced to you one by one. But don't worry, we're here to guide you, even if English isn't your home language. You've already learned 6 sounds, and soon you'll know them all!

Phonics are like magic keys that unlock the mystery of spelling. They help you figure out how to spell words or letter combos. So when you see a word with the "oy" sound (like "toy") or the "ar" sound (like "far"), you'll know the secret!

Imagine trying to spell "car" without knowing how it sounds – pretty tricky, right? But once you hear the sound, spelling becomes a breeze. You're a word-listening pro already! Just like with "toy" and "far," hearing the sounds helps you spell like a champ.

So keep your ears tuned in and get ready to rock those 44 sounds like a spelling superstar! You've got this! 🌟🎉


 Above you saw; 


Description automatically generated importance is pronounced

You will see pronunciations like this throughout the course, such as;


Description automatically generatedpronunciation is pronounced
pruh-nuhn-see-a-shn (which means how to say a word)

If you say (quickly) pruh-nuhn-see-a-shn you will have correctly said the word pronunciation. 
Or if you say (quickly) ihm-pawrt-tans you will have correctly said importance.

Non-English speakers will improve their English accent, by following the pronunciations given, and also by knowing the 44 sounds.

The above words show how English is often spelled differently from that of the pronunciation, eg,  for sowndz for sounds.



Foreign Accents 

                                                                        Play Audio

No matter where you're from or what accent you have, it's super important to learn how to sound out and listen to the sounds in English words. Even if you speak other European languages, getting used to English phonics (the 44 special sounds) is a must. And for friends from places like Asia, adapting to English phonics is essential.

Here's the deal: if you don't understand how an English word is pronounced, you'll have a tough time spelling it right.

For example, in South Africa, some folks pronounce "car" Car Wash as 'cor.' Yikes! See how tricky it can be when you're spelling "car" with the wrong sound?

So, the key is to master those English phonics. Once you do, you'll be a spelling champ, no matter where you come from or how you talk. Keep practicing, and you'll be spelling like a pro in no time! 🌍🌟


Image Description

When to “Sound it Out” aloud

Hey language detectives! Let's talk about when to "Sound it Out" (aloud) and crack the code of letter-sounds!

Sometimes, letters can be sneaky and cause confusion because their sounds are different from their names in the alphabet. 🤔

Take "c" for example. When you learn the alphabet, it sounds more like "cee/see" – you know, when you say A, B, C (see/cee). But when it's in the word "cat," it's got a different sound, like /c/. So "c" (see/cee) is its name, while /c/ (for cat) is the sound it makes.

Here's the deal – the letter "c" can have two different sounds! For instance, in the word "centre," it says "cee/see," but in "cat," it's all about the /c/ sound. That's why we must "sound it out" – listen carefully to see which "c" sound it's making, either its name or its sound.

But guess what? This cool secret applies to all the 26 letters of the alphabet! Each letter can have two or more sounds. Mind-blowing, right?

For example, "a" in "apple" decode book makes the sound /a/, Or a for apron is the a's name.
While "b" in "book" decode book makes the sound "b". But says its name in "b" for the word bee.

So when you read words, always listen for the sounds each letter is making.

Say these four words and listen to the sounds;

There is a lot more on this as we work forward.


Discovering Consonant and Vowel Sounds

Sounding it out – naming the sound not the name

English words have lots of words that are spelled phonically, which means they sound just like they're spelled. That's why we kick off this course with phonic words – they're like the key to unlocking the secrets of spelling!

In the upcoming Activities, we'll reveal the awesome Patterns for the sounds of words. This way, you can spell them based on their sounds – how cool is that?

But here's the twist – as you become a word master, you'll notice that not all words are spelled phonically. Some words are pronounced differently from how they're spelled – tricky, right?

Long, long ago, people spoke languages before they even invented writing. When they created the written alphabet, that's when the phonic (sound) alphabet and the name alphabet were born.

Check out the chart below with the consonant letters of the alphabet (without the vowels). Notice the two letter sounds on the right-hand side (like "ch" for "church"). You can even click on the audio button to listen to the alphabet being sounded out!



So, as you've seen above, each letter can be said in two ways. The first is the sound of the letter, like "c" for "cat." The second is the name of the letter, like "c" is "cee" for "center." The sound of the letter is what you'd hear at the beginning of words like "cat" or "dog" or "frog" – it's the letter's sound!

So, get ready for this epic adventure into the world of sounds and letters. Let's rock those words and become spelling champs! 🌟🔤🎉


                                                                              Play Video

The second way to say the alphabet is to say the name of the letter. In print, this is much harder to explain, so to give you examples we will use the Alpha-Bravo-Charley chart (see below).



                                                                           Play Video

I am sure that you have heard this used in movies or TV where a cop or soldier might be spelling out a word – perhaps the word is apple, and you will hear her say;

  • A for Alpha
  • P for Papa
  • P for Papa
  • L for Lima
  • E for Echo

Say aloud the first letter of a for apple and pronounce it in exactly the same way as you would say (a)pple. Now say the word apple but pronouncing the first letter in the same way as A for alpha – it will sound something like (ape)le  

You see the difference? One is the sound of the letter, the other is the name. As most of us were taught to use the name of the letter (A for Alpha), then phonically, the spelling will often be incorrect, and you might end up writing apele! angry

If you do not use the phonics of a word, then it is much harder to spell. By saying its sound (a for apple) the word can be easily worked out (if it is phonic).




The Alpha-Bravo-Charley chart


Now you know there are two ways to say the alphabet, the phonic-alphabet (saying its sound), and the Alpha/Bravo/Charley alphabet (saying its name)

As you listen to the alphabet, follow along with the letters below;

a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Listen to the audio of first sound, then the name

Listen again, but this time say it aloud with the recording, pronouncing in the same way.


That is why the alphabet letters are often called their name, such as, a for alpha, b for bravo, c for charley, as opposed to a for apple, b for baby and c for cat (saying their sound). 



Reading Application (e-reader)
Alright, listen up, word champions! Get ready for your first reading practice using our super cool Reading game!
There are more tricks for reading on our page that will help you with your reading..

Just below these instructions, you'll find a blue button – click on it to begin your reading adventure.
Then click the Start button, and in just a second or two, a word will pop up in the text-box. Let's say the word is "dog."

Now, it's your turn to shine! Read the word "dog", out loud, so your computer speakers hear you say "dog." If you got it right, awesome! The next word will appear, and you'll read that too. Keep going, and the words will turn into phrases or sentences. (But for this first time, it'll be letters of the alphabet since we're focusing on the alphabet and its sounds.)

Now, if you happen to get a word wrong, no worries! Our e-reader is patient. It will wait for you to give it another try until you get it right. You've got this!

But hey, if you're feeling stuck and can't figure out the word, no problem. Just click the Next button, and the correct answer (like "dog") will pop up in the text-box. Then, you'll get the next word to read.

Keep reading until you reach the end of the text or when you feel like you've had enough practice. And guess what? The more you read these words over and over again, the faster you'll become a reading pro!

But it's a good idea the reread these over and over again as your reading speed will really improve.

When you're all done, just click the Back button, and you'll come back to the Activity. Easy peasy!

So, let's get started, and let the reading fun begin and click on Reading...




                                                                          Play Audio

Decoding words and listening to the sounds of letters or syllables – it's like cracking secret codes!

Now, English is known as a phonic language, which means it's based on sounds. But here's the twist – not all words are spelled phonetically, meaning they don't sound exactly how they're written. Sneaky, right?

Things can get even trickier when non-English speaking countries create their own versions of the Alpha-Bravo-Charley spelling alphabet. But we'll guide you through it. The chart given is the most commonly used one.

Now, some languages, like Egyptian and Chinese, use logographic writing, which means they use symbols to represent phrases or words – totally different from the English letters we use.

Within English schools, there's a debate about whether to teach the names of letters at the beginning of schooling. Why? Because it can cause some confusion. But once you become a phonic master and learn phonic words, it's essential to know not just the names of the letters but also their sounds.

So, let's keep our ears open and our decoding skills sharp. As we dive into this word adventure, we'll become expert sound detectives! 🕵️‍♂️🔤🔍



Right now!... Stop reading Can you remember how your various English teachers taught you this sound/name confusion? This will help you understand why you may not ‘get’ how to spell some words.


Thumbs Up Listen up: a letter, or letter combination of letters, is really a snap-shot of a sound. So a phonic sound is a snap-shot of a sound. If you keep in mind that word-sounds are made from letter combinations, or that sounds are really representations of letter combinations, it will help you improve your spelling
                                                                            Play Video


Using your Decoding Book decode book go to the page with the above Activity and make notes on the above discussion. Make sure you copy out the Alpha-Bravo-Charley chart.




Hey spelling champs! Get ready for your first e-Dictation game – it's time to show off your spelling skills!

Below, you'll find a red button – click on it to begin the spelling fun.
Click the Start Game button, and in just a second or two, you'll hear a word through your computer speakers. But hold on, for this first time, it won't be a full word – it'll be a letter of the alphabet since we're focusing on the alphabet and its sounds.

So, let's say you hear the letter "h" (for hat) in the box where it says "Type the word," click inside and type the letter "h."

Now, here's the cool part – when you finish typing, click the Next Word button. If you got it right, the typing space will become empty, ready for the next word, and you'll see "Perfect" appear. Great job!

The game will keep going, and you'll hear the next word, and so on.

But hey, if you happen to make a mistake, no worries! It's just between you, Easy-Spelling, and your computer. Easy-Spelling won't tell anyone, promise!

If you get a word wrong, you'll see "Wrong" at the top. Don't stress! The game will wait for you to try again and get it correct. And if you're still feeling unsure, you can click the Answer button, and the correct answer will appear at the top. Type it in while thinking about why you got it wrong, and then click Next Word to move on.

If you need to hear the word again, there's a Replay button for you to use.

BTW, it's good plan to redo each of these e-Dictations over again, several times.

When you're all done and feeling like a spelling champion, click the Back button, and you'll return to the Activity.

So, let's get spelling and show off those word-wizard skills! You've got this! 🎮🔠🌟

Spelling Test (Sound)



And lastly, for this Activity, we talk about Syllables       


                                                                                 Play Video


Description automatically generatedSyllable is pronounced

A syllable is a sound within a word.
A syllable is a small unit of pronunciation within a word, usually with a vowel.
A syllable divides up a word.

Words are made up of one or more syllables:
book is a one syllable word
reading is a 2 syllable word (read-ing)
concentrate is a 3 syllable word (con-cen-trate)

When we listen to letter sounds, we also listen to a syllable sound. So if we are spelling concentrate, it helps to sound it out: con-cen-trate.
It is a good idea to think of syllables as a beat to music.
      The word reading is two beats; read-ing (dar-dum)
      The word concentrate is three beats; con-cen-trate (dar-dum-dar)

A method that helps to hear the 'syllable-beat' is to place your hand on your chin as you say a word. Every time your chin drops, that's a syllable. Try it – with your hand on your chin, say make. Your chin will drop once so there is only one syllable.
Say happy = two chin drops (hap-py) = two syllables.
Say wonderful (won-der-ful) = three chin drops = three syllables.

A syllable often contains at least one vowel, and a consonant.


Before you finish off this Activity, copy the above into your Decoding Book.



The next Activity: More on Sounds and Safe Vowels