Teaching children the correct letter sounds is an important part of teaching beginning readers. When you are modeling the individual sounds that letters make, you must pronounce them in a way that makes them “blendable.” Be careful not to add a vowel sound such as a schwa (an uh sound) or a short u sound after each individual sound. For example, when sounding out the word bat, you want to say /b/ /a/ /t/ not buh – a – tuh.
Asking students to blend sounds is hard work! It becomes a lot harder for students if they are hearing the sounds pronounced incorrectly. This video pronunciation guide may be helpful to you. Hang in there -- the consonants start about half way through the brief video. And here’s a handy chart for your reference! DOWNLOAD
If you like these explanations of key literacy ideas SIGN UP HERE for Literacy Teacher, a short newsletter delivered to your inbox each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.