Pronouncing the alphabet sounds

Students require alphabet knowledge in order to embark on the process of learning to read and spell. However, rather than letter naming ability, letter sound knowledge is the more important skill for entry into formalized literacy learning.

For example:

  • In order to spell the basic word ‘dog’ a child must first “sound-out” (or phonemically segment) “d”, “oh”, “g” and then the child must recall and apply in correct order the alphabet letter sounds.
  • In order to read the word ‘dog’ a child must recognize each letter symbol and convert each symbol into the correct sound “d”, “oh”, “g” and then the child must blend the sounds together (phonemic blending ability).

In neither of the above early spelling and reading processes did alphabet letter naming come into the equation.

Many years of experience working with students has revealed a pattern. It is alphabet letter sound ability that is the more difficult of the two areas for students to acquire and it is alphabet letter sound ability that parents have difficulty pronouncing.

This video clip provides a model of the pronunciation of each of the alphabet sounds with an Australian accent. The viewing of the clip aims to assist those working with children to articulate the best model of the common sound linked to each alphabetic symbol and thereby assist the transition to early reading, spelling and writing.