Articles on: Literacy

Actions when teaching the alphabet or phonics- To use or not to use?

Students require alphabetic and phonic knowledge in order to embark on the process of learning to read, spell and write.

However, research aligned to the science of reading is generally not supportive of associated alphabet/phonics songs, stories and actions.

Some advocates for Science of Reading will argue for actions to be removed entirely.

PLD's Alphabet the Multi-Sensory Way

Alphabet the Multi Sensory Way aims to establish strong alphabet and phonic sound ability. The resource can be found HERE.
Within this program for 4 to 6 year olds, a multi-sensory approach to teaching the alphabetic and phonic sounds has been adopted.

It is important to note that the reason the actions were incorporated in the first place was to provide a 1-second movement for young learners to engage while seated on the mat session.
While trialing PLD's program in schools, we experienced that the element of movement seemed to help the length of time students could remain seated on the mat session, particularly within schools with low entry levels (and often low SES). This short, quick action was not designed to interfere with the focus.

The movement is the least important element of the instruction. Emphasizing the mouth is far more important.

The following is PLD's suggested process:

1st- Mouth,
2nd- Action,
Drop the action, pause and wait, then
3rd- Verbalise sound.

It is possible to utilise the program without the 'action'.

Teaching Alphabet Sounds with PLD

The following video clip provides a model of the pronunciation of each of the alphabet sounds with an Australian accent. You will also see how both models (with and without actions) can be useful when teaching students alphabet sounds.

The video below, aims to assist those working with children to articulate the best model of the common sound linked to each alphabetic symbol and thereby assist the transition to early reading, spelling and writing.

Updated on: 11/04/2024

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