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The Alphabet: Learning 26 Letter Sounds

Automaticity with sounds is critical for reading fluency and comprehension.

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Tips Tips

  • It is helpful to begin with common letters: f, m, n, r, s, a, t, p, i, b, l and h.
  • Be sure to teach qu together as /qu/ rather than teaching q alone. I tell learners that the queen broke her leg so the u carries her around. (The Q that most students learn to write has a “backwards” facing tail which can look like a broken leg.)
  • Practice the sounds for a minute or two at a time, many times each day.
  • Learn about working on new words or sounds with flashcards.
  • As you are practicing the letter sounds, work on Playing With Sounds.
  • Begin working on the first sight words in Beginning Sight Words.
  • See below for a video to watch to practice the letter sounds. Can your learner beat me in saying each sound? (Cards from Zoo-phonics.)

Watch for voiced and unvoiced letter pairs
To pronounce each letter in a pair, the mouth position is exactly the same. The difference is the vocal cords in the voice box are activated (voiced) for one letter, and the other letter is a breath sound (unvoiced).  Put your fingers on the front of your throat to feel when the vocal cords are activated.  These are easy letters to mix up!
These pairs include:
b and p
d and t
g and k
v and f
z and s
th (the) and th (thin)

Alphabet sounds to learn and practice

Alphabet Sounds to learn and Practice

Practice Reading Practice Practice Reading

Alphabet Activities

Next continue with:
Playing with Sounds,
Beginning Sight Words,
And begin:
Big Sounds Pack: More Than Letter Sounds and
Step 1 Short Vowels.