This is all oral (spoken). Your child will not be expected to match the letter to the sound at this stage. The emphasis is on helping children to hear the separate sounds in words and to create spoken sounds.
Oral blending and segmenting is a later skill that will be important when the time comes for your child to read and write. Being able to hear the separate sounds within a word and then blend them together to understand that word is really important.
What is Blending?
The separate sounds (phonemes) of the word are spoken aloud, in order, all through the word, and are then merged together into the whole word. This merging together is called blending. For example, the adult would say c-a-t = cat
How can you help with Blending?
Think of words using the letters ‘s, a, t, p, i, n’ (e.g. sat, pin, nip, pat, tap, pit, pip) and sound them out, clapping each phoneme with your child in unison, then blend the phonemes to make the whole word orally.
What is Segmenting?
The whole word is spoken aloud, then broken up into its separate sounds (phonemes) in order, all through the word. For example, the adult would say cat = c-a-t.
How can you help with Segmenting?
- Teach your child to segment sentences into individual words. Identify familiar short poems such as “I scream you scream we all scream for ice cream!” Have your child clap their hands with each word.
- If you child is more advance in their ability to manipulate oral language, teach them to segment words into syllables or onsets and rimes. For example, have your child segment their names into syllables: e.g., Ra-chel, Al-ex-an-der, and Rod-ney.