Building Spoken Vocabulary for Phonics
When children learn to read with phonics they learn to connect written symbols to the sounds they use when they speak.
A ‘phoneme’ is a sound. The written symbol for a phoneme is known as a ‘grapheme’.
Phonemes = sounds (like ‘phone’) Graphemes = symbols (like ‘graphics’)
When most children begin school they can already speak nearly all the sounds needed to speak the English language.
When they begin phonics they learn to break down the sounds in words they can speak. For example they learn there are three phonemes in the word ‘bat’: ‘b’ ‘a’ ’t’.
At the early stages children focus on learning the individual sounds: ‘b’, ‘a’, ’t’.
Eventually they learn to blend the individual sounds into a complete spoken word: ‘bat’.
Children with bigger spoken vocabularies have a considerable advantage when they learn to do this because they can more easily identify when a written word ‘sounds right’.
You can help your child develop their spoken vocabulary simply by speaking with them. They learn by hearing you speak words and how you connect words together into sentences.
The Vocabulary Builder includes activities to help children build their spoken vocabulary and grammar. Use it at the early stages of children’s phonics learning.
It’s also ideal for interventions and for supporting children that don’t speak English as their native language.