Many of the students we have attending the DSF Literacy Clinics have formed some bad habits when it comes to correct pronunciation of the English speech sounds. The main problem is the addition of an ‘uh’ sound added to the consonants.
So we will hear students pronounce sounds as ‘muh’ ‘fuh’ ‘vuh’ ‘luh’ for /m/, /f/, /v/ and /l/.
Why is imprecise pronunciation of the sounds a problem?
This becomes an issue for students as they are changing the pure consonant sound by adding an extra sound, which can then cause issues with spelling and reading. So writing ‘mg’ for the word mug and reading ‘jump’ as ‘j’ ‘u’ ‘m’ ‘puh’…jumper.
When working with the students in the clinic we first teach the sounds and when the students have a solid grasp of the sounds we introduce the letter names. We spend a great deal of time teaching students precise pronunciations and then mapping these to the spellings.
If you are also unsure of the correct pronunciation of the English sounds then the below video demonstrates each of the 44 sounds and it also lists the spellings we use to represent these sounds.
If you’re a teacher, parent or other educator and you’ve never been taught the 44 sounds of English, how to articulate them, or how each one is spelt, then this video in a fantastic resource for you.
Spelfabet also has a free PDF book: 44 speech sounds, 200 spellings. So if you’re unsure of the spellings we use to represent our speech sounds, then this book clearly shows you 200 of the most common spellings with matching pictures. This is also a handy resource to use when teaching particular sounds/spellings to children.