Children are astounding at learning technical words. Well, I guess if they can say tyrannosaurus rex they can say phoneme!
Have a look at unfogging phonics part 1 for more on this, and how to correctly and clearly say the first set of sounds or phonemes taught. Link to blog unfogging phonics part 1?
So, here is the next bit of our guide to phonics – we’re going to be talking about two little bits….
Cue – technical words….
Digraph and trigraph
A digraph is one sound but made up of 2 letters and a trigraph is also one sound but made up of 3 letters
What does that mean?
So here are some examples – try them out… each one only makes one sound…
- zz (a two letter trigraph – like in the word buzz)
- ng (a two letter trigraph – like in the word ring)
- ear (a three letter trigraph – like in the word fear)
Why is it even important?
As we said before, phonemes are like bricks; they allow us to build words and put them together in all sorts of different ways to make new words – So, in part one we said we need to learn about how some letters go together to make even more sounds and this continues with the next set of sounds in the video below.
With an ever increasing amount of sounds you can make even more words up. So once you've learnt the next set you can make; fizz, whizz, sing, dear, bring...
The tricky part is spotting these in words.
- ‘Church’ has 3 digraphs ch-ur-ch.
- ‘Spring’ has 4 single phonemes and 1 digraph s-p-r-i-ng
- ‘Gear’ has 1 single phoneme and a trigraph g-ear
But how you say them is important too…this is the moment to stop reading and have a look/listen to the video attached to this post – it explains the right way to say each of the next set of sounds.
Each of the sounds is what we call a ‘pure sound’ that means it doesn’t have an ‘uh’ sound attached. Try saying ‘t’ – do you actually say ‘tuh’?
It’s important to keep each sound ‘pure’ because that makes it easier for children to put the sounds together into words.
Fun Activity for you to try….
Find a few items from around the house. When you’re talking to your child, split up the object name into the sounds…
So for example if you had a toy cow, toy king, toy pig, shell and maybe a cup name them and place them in front of your child. Then say c-ow, or k-i-ng, or sh-e-ll etc.
Can your child point to the correct object?
They will need lots of repetition at this to get better at it.
This activity will help them to hear the individual sounds which make up a word and start to orally blend it together.
A first and very important step towards reading words.
Watch out for more blogs to explain more aspects of early language.