What is See the Sound - Visual Phonics?
See the Sound - Visual Phonics is a system of 46 unique hand cues and symbols that represent the sounds of English without the ambiguity of English orthography. Included are the sounds commonly referred to as vowels, consonants, diphthongs and digraphs. It is somewhat of a simplified, visual, kinesthetic version of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).
In English there is not a consistent one-to-one correspondence between the letters in a word and the sounds those letters supposedly represent. Consider the words "dough," "through," "thought," "tough." In each case the "ough" stands for a completely different sound. Many beginning readers have no real problem with these ambiguities, but for others the "untrustworthiness" of English spelling becomes a life long handicap. It's too confusing for them and they simply never learn to decode well. They spend years in "remedial work" and never get the chance to read really deep or interesting text; many get frustrated and bored and end up giving up on reading entirely.
See the Sound - Visual Phonics has a way to break that cycle. Each student is taught a hand cue for each of the 46 sounds in English. Each hand cue is associated in some way with the production of the particular sound. The hand cue for the sound "t" makes is made by flicking the forefinger off the thumb at the same time the tongue "flicks" off the top of the mouth. The written symbol is a simplified picture of the hand cue. Most beginning readers remember the hand cue and then look at their hand to write the symbol. The written symbol for the "t" sound is
Click on the video clips below to see the sounds in the word "cat."
Once beginning readers have learned some or all (depending on age) of the hand cues, they can begin to decode words using these symbols as a crutch. They read as they make the hand signs to help them blend the sounds into a word. All the symbols can be used at first and then reduced to only those letter combinations that are confusing, and finally dropped altogether as they learn to recognize the word on sight. Consider the four words we mentioned in the beginning
The Visual Phonics symbols make it very easy to teach the differences in sound and spelling. Because the sounds and written symbols are so perfectly consistent many readers internalize the standard spelling rules without being taught them directly. This speeds up their reading and improves comprehension.
Who will benefit from using See the Sound - Visual Phonics?
How does See the Sound - Visual Phonics help?
The QuickTime player is required to play the three video clips on this page, if you do not have the QuickTime player installed on your computer, follow this link to download QuickTime player.
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