How to teach students to form English words through the phonic method without rote learning

Introduction to word formation

Recap!

In the previous article, I discussed how to introduce English letters of the alphabet to the students in the ENK classroom.


A brief takeaway from the last article on Introduction to Letters

  • Letters are introduced as groups of commonly used letters rather than the conventional alphabet method. 
  • Students become familiar with clusters of letters and their sounds.

  • Activities in the introduction of letters follow the thatte process.
  • Each letter is introduced in 5 steps. Go to the article to know the 5 steps.

In today's article, you will learn how Word Formation is taught using the phonic approach.


Introduction to Word Formation

Why Phonics?

We already discussed how the teaching of phonics is an important aspect of beginning reading instruction especially for students learning English as a foreign language. 

Now let us see how it is actually applied by the student while learning to form words.

The phonics approach focuses on the analytical skills required by the child to decode written language. This approach also encourages students to make sense of the sound of letters and rote memorization based on a child's visual memory of words.
 
Students learn letter-sound relationships. For example words ‘cat’, ‘pat’, or ‘cot’ ‘pot’ having different onsets (beginning sounds) but the same rime family or word family‘-in’. 

Children are trained to use these spelling patterns across the target words. Knowledge of these patterns helps children sound out familiar or known words, and predict the pronunciation of unfamiliar or unknown words.

Introduction to Word Formation

In each milestone, word formation using these letters are taught by combining them to read words.
  
Students are taught the sounds of letters along with the letters, for example, the sound of the letter C is “ka “ ‘O’ says Aw, A says ‘Ah’ P says ‘Pa“, T says ‘ta’. Word formation is then taught using onset and rimes.


What are onset and rime?

Introduction to Word Formation

Onset is the initial phonological unit of any word (e.g. ‘c’ in cat) and Rime is the string of letters that follow, usually a vowel and final consonants (e.g. at in cat). 


Children already know the sounds that the letters C, O, A, P, T make. This makes it easy for them to use these letters to make words by making sense of their sounds. 

This way children learn about word families, which can lay the foundation for future spelling strategies
In the first milestone, they learn to form words belonging to the word families ‘A T’, AP, OT, and O P.

Watch this video to understand the above process.

Watch this video to know how this is done in the classroom.


Let us sum up 

  • The teaching of phonics is an important aspect of beginning reading instruction especially for students learning English as a foreign language.
  • The phonics approach focuses on the analytical skills required by the child to decode written language.
  • Students make sense of the letter sounds and rote memorization of words while reading.
  • Word formation is taught using onset and rime- letters and rime or word families.
  • Onset is the initial phonological unit of any word (e.g. ‘c’ in cat) and Rime is the string of letters that follow usually a vowel and final consonants.
  • Word formation in ENK is taught through a set of 3 activities.

Download the module: Introduction to Word Formation

Credits: Samagra Shikshana Karnataka and UNICEF


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