G1 English Language Arts - Phonics
Grade 1 students in GKA learn phonics as they learn the alphabet. Phonics is a widely adopted method used in English speaking countries for teaching reading and writing to beginning learners. As learners’ phonemic awareness is developed- the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate letter sounds- they apply the patterns they’ve learned to read or write by “sounding out” the words. For instance, the word “mat” can be described phoneme “/m/”, “/a/”, “/t/” or letters “m”, “a”, “t”. In the word “shut,” the “s” and “h” do not make their own individual sounds, but rather the /?/ for “sh.” Students are taught that two letters used together can represent a distinct sound, referred to as a digraph. In this instance, “s” and “h” form the digraph /?/, and would be sounded out “/?/”, “/u/”, “/t/” or the letters “sh”, “u”, “t.”
There exits reliable rules of spelling patterns which are applicable to more than 75% words including “/f/” for “ph”,/?/ for sh ,or /θ/ and /d/ for “th” when considering syllable structures, phonetics and accents.
These were written by G1 students in July after studying phonics for three months. As they practiced the sight word “my”, students were instructed to create and write a sentence of their own. They had to apply the phonetic rules they’d learned to try to sound out and spell unknown words on their own. In the first example, the word “toy” is pronounced as “toi”, so the student wrote “toi” as he heard the sound.
In example two, the word “favorite” has a silent “e” which is not pronounced when sounding out the word, so the student omitted it when writing the word.
In the third example, the student did not know the letters to create the “oo” sound in fruit, so she spelled “fruit” as “frit.” She also knew the correct spelling for “blue” but not for “berry,” so her final spelling for “blueberry” was “bluebele.” (Confusion between the “r” and “l” sound is very common for native Japanese speakers learning English as there is no distinction between the two sounds in Japanese.)