The 44 phonemes




This is a follow up of my previous post. I got the idea for this post from a debate I heard a few days ago where Jonathan Solity said that 10 single graphene phoneme correspondences represent 70% of words in children’s books.

When I see the 44 phonemes in the chart above I ask myself if this is one of the problems faced by students as well as teachers who stubbornly stick by it.


The grapheme A is used to represent the word ant. What about all the other phonemes of the letter ‘A’ which I referred to on my previous post?


If we say that the phoneme A’ as in the word aim is represented by the phoneme ‘ai’ as in the word rain then how do I explain to my students when I teach them the words able, alien and ace.


Will a kid not be confused when I ask him to read the word ‘paper’? Where in the chart above is the phoneme for the letter ‘a’ in paper? 

    
The SSP proponents will probably explain it by saying the ‘a’ in the word paper is long; it is at the end of a one vowel syllable. Do I want to teach my students all these rules when I myself forget most of these rules? By the way, I learned these rules only after I started teaching and did not learn this at school.


Similarly, with the letter ‘a’ in the word erase. 


I find that teaching the sounds represented by vowels as in my previous post to be easy for my students. When they have the requisite vocabulary they will automatically know which sound symbol to use. 


They will know instinctively which one of the ‘sounds’ to use when reading the word ‘paper’.


How do we teach a kid to read the words all, always, although? 


This post is written off the cuff.
Your input will be appreciated.

I saw the following quote in our Daily Express this morning.


You must be bold, brave, courageous to find a way... to get in the way.
John Lewis