Letter Names & SSP

A Structured Synthetic Phonics (SSP) approach to literacy instruction starts with pre-literacy instruction (phonemic awareness, blending and segmenting) and teaching the alphabet sounds.
Because it is the letter sounds that allow children to sound out and decode (read) words, the letter names are not as important as learning the letter sounds.

The best time to teach letter names is when a child can draw on their knowledge of letter sounds and decode CVC words.

Once a child has knowledge of the alphabet sounds and is using them to decode simple CVC words, they can be introduced to letter names. With the introduction of digraphs (e.g. sh, ch, th) at Stage 1 Target 2 of the PLD program, letter names need to be established. As digraphs are introduced, children will be taught “see (C) and haych (H) [letter names] make the sound ‘ch’.”

It is imperative in the Foundation year of schooling that students start decoding early in the year.
In the PLD seminars and online training videos we explain that children typically read first, spell second, and write third. Term 1 focuses upon preparation for literacy (alphabet sounds, phonemic awareness, blending and segmenting). Later in the year once children are decoding, introduction to letter names can occur and this prepares the students for the learning of digraphs. Children are taught lowercase letter formation in conjunction with learning the letter sounds.
This is an excerpt from PLD's Foundation Teaching Sequence Manual:

Foundation Term 1 Pre-Literacy Instruction

Teaching the Alphabet Sounds
Designed by Speech Pathologists, the PLD teaching resource Alphabet the Multisensory Way aims to establish strong alphabet and phonic sound ability. You can find this resource here: https://pld-literacy.org/product/alphabet-the-multi-sensory-way/?attribute_pa_book-type=ebook#book

Further Information
Top Tips for Learning the * Alphabet: https://pld-literacy.org/top-tips-for-learning-the-alphabet/
Are Alphabet Sounds Important to Literacy? https://pld-literacy.org/alphabet-sounds-why-this-is-important-for-literacy/
Watch this video: Pronouncing the Alphabet Sounds: https://youtu.be/Lh1XwB7ARPQ
The evidence-base for PLD: https://pld-literacy.org/what-is-the-evidence-base-for-pld/
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