Breaking the Alphabet Code — The key to Reading, Punctuation and Writing

Alphabets are a symbol representations of the sounds in a language. Over history many attempts have been manufactured in various countries, at various times, to make symbols that represented whole words. It didn’t work. Interestingly, each time these systems reached around 2, 000 word symbols the attempt was abandoned as too cumbersome. All dialects have a much smaller set of sounds (called phonemes) than words. Successful alphabets have a symbol which goes along to a distinct sound. These ‘rules of sound’ make the position of learning how to decode the symbols into the language easier. So just why is English so difficult to spell? And why do people have difficulties reading and writing English?

The main problem arises because English is a living language which explores words from other dialects. In the process of earning new words (called transliteration), the ‘rules of sound’ are applied. Other dialects use sounds which do not occur in English. So the transliteration must use a combination of symbols created to represent English sounds to estimated the sounds of the other language. This results in unusual and non-phonetic spellings. Additionally, a lot of the actual comes from the ways reading, punctuation, and writing are taught. Many parents (and teachers) don’t know how to teach a child how to decode (read) and encode (write) the alphabet. Here are some information, tips, and resources which will help.

Hear first, see later. Children are born with the ability to distinguish between fine variations of sound. Listening to the speakers around them is essential for developing their capacity to understand the language being voiced. These first information into language all come from sound — not view. As the brain continues to develop and more of its parts are, literally, wired up, the ability for understanding summary concepts begins to emerge. At around the age of four and a half, the child’s brain is just about to start connecting the sounds it has been processing to the symbols we use to see and write. Teaching needs to go from the known to the unknown. So, in the case of learning the alphabet, the requirement is to go from the sound to the a symbol representation we call a letter. Make the sound, and then show the letter. Only after the child knows the basic sounds associated with each letter should the letter mixtures which represents all of those other phonemes be presented (i. e. /sh/ and /ch/).

Pronunciation is important. In the English language, punctuation a word phonetically can be correct or at least close enough for a reader to determine the intended word. Phonetic punctuation requires clear pronunciation and a firm grip on the basic alphabetic code. Many of us are sloppy in our pronunciation and this increases the confusion of a beginning speller. Say the word slowly and clearly. Have your child say the word back to you so you can be sure they are using the correct sounds. Then you can keep them associate each sound with a letter or letter combination, as appropriate.

How to study punctuation. When children are studying their vocabulary lists for their punctuation lessons, you can keep them follow the process described here.

Look at the word closely. Create a mind image of the word. Serotonin levels retains the image and will match it as to the one writes down later. If it does not look right, it probably is not. This also means it is important to see the word spelled correctly. If your child spells the word incorrectly, make sure he sees the word’s correct punctuation many times. As with any learning process, duplication is useful.

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