Letter-sound knowledge helps students to ‘decode’ written language and teach themselves new words.
What is letter-sound knowledge?
Letter-sound knowledge is knowledge of the letters or groups of letters which represent the individual speech sounds in language. Letters and letter patterns that represent speech sounds are also called 'graphemes', while the speech sounds of a language are also called 'phonemes'.
For example, the letter "d" in the word "dog" represents this speech sound:
The letters "kn" in the word "knife" represent this speech sound:
Why is letter-sound knowledge important?
Letter-sound knowledge (also called 'graphemic knowledge') helps students to ‘decode’ written language and teach themselves new words, since students can use letter-sound patterns to say the word, even if it is unfamiliar to them. Difficulties with these skills are hallmarks of the struggling reader. Teaching methods that begin by explicitly teaching letter-sound relationships have been shown through research to be significantly more effective than other approaches to teaching reading, regardless of whether students do or do not have reading difficulties. Such an approach is called 'synthetic phonics', and is supported by the past several decades of reading research. The evidence is clear: letter-sound knowledge is crucial in learning to read and spell since it helps students to teach themselves new words!
Which Reading Doctor® apps help with developing letter-sound knowledge?
Research suggests that letter-sound knowledge should be explicitly taught in a hierarchical sequence, with easier letter-sound patterns taught first and longer, less common patterns taught once more basic skills have been established.
Apps for teaching basic letter-sound relationships
The following Reading Doctor® teaching tools help you to teach single letter-sound relationships, in which students are taught the speech sounds that individual letters of the alphabet typically represent. These tools are recommended for beginning readers (aged 4-8) and older, struggling readers who still require help in developing basic letter-sound knowledge. For more information about how each app teaches letter-sound knowledge, please click on the links:
Apps for teaching longer letter-sound patterns
Once students have mastered individual letter-sound patterns, the following tools can help you to teach letter-sound patterns in which speech sounds are represented by two or more letters. For more information about how each app teaches letter-sound knowledge, please click on the links: