Teaching ESL
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Alphabet Families
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Author:  Jenny [ Sat Aug 05, 2006 12:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Alphabet Families

I found that spelling is really helpful for students of all ages, and making children aware from the beginning on how to decode combinations of letters can make a big difference in class.
The first step to do that is to be sure that students know the alphabet and I realized that it is more important for children to learn words individually than in order; if they forget one they cann't keep going!
I teach them the alphabet by families; every family has its similarities: color and sound. I prepare one flashcard for each letter by writing every letter in the word processor and printing them as large as possible. You can print every letter in the color of the family and have a frame around it in the same color. Pick a family each day and do a repetition drill or a game with it, you can even invent stories about the family; students get used to perceiving a sound that is similar in all the letters of the family which helps them decode the ones they don't remember.
These are the alphabet families: colors are optional, choose whichever you like. Just make sure to keep the letters with similar sounds in the same family.
Family #1 (red) -- a h j k
Family #2 (blue) -- b c d e g p t v z
Family #3 (yellow) -- f h l m n s x
Family #4 (green) -- i y
Family #5 (orange)-- u q w
Family #6 (purple) -- o
Family #7 (pink) -- r

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