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Teaching young learners: Phonics or letters first? Reading after letters?

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  • kumori
    Participant
    31 January, 2016 at 8:23
    • Total posts: 2

    Hello,

    I’m struggling with a 6 year old Japanese who has yet to recognize ABC letters. His parents don’t speak English at home and I only get to see him for an hour per week. He’ll be using “Family and Friends 1” by Naomi Simmons (primary 1 textbook) in a couple of months.

    https://elt.oup.com/catalogue/items/global/young_learners/family_and_friends/level_1/?cc=global&selLanguage=en

    I’ve been racking my brains to come up with a suitable course to get him up to speed, but am still clueless to go about it. Below are some questions I have, and will appreciate if you can advise or share your experience, please?

    1. Should I start off with phonics first follow by letters?
    2. Should I do reading lessons after the learner has familiarized himself with letters? (e.g. picture books with minimum words)
    3. Should I use online reading resource after the learner is comfortable with letters? (In addition, I find that most online story books require young learners to have some basic language; or should I not be too concerned with it?)
    4. I’m also struggling with effective teaching instructions to get the learner engaged in the activities. Presently, I’m adopting TPR methods with lots of repetitions to get the learner to guess my intentions, but I think there are better effective ways to go about it. Any tips or teaching resource to share, please?

    Thanks.

    Kumori

    MaryP
    Participant
    31 January, 2017 at 20:06
    • Total posts: 2

    I’m a bit late, but here are my 2 cents.

    1. Should I start off with phonics first follow by letters?
    Depends, you have to know in what matter your kids learn. I personally would start by teaching them the normal ABCs then phonics.

    2. Should I do reading lessons after the learner has familiarized himself with letters? (e.g. picture books with minimum words)
    Not until the child knows the ABCs and Phonic ABCs, that is how I would approach it.

    3. Should I use online reading resource after the learner is comfortable with letters? (In addition, I find that most online story books require young learners to have some basic language; or should I not be too concerned with it?)
    You have very short CVC words (3 letter words) online. So yes.

    4. I’m also struggling with effective teaching instructions to get the learner engaged in the activities. Presently, I’m adopting TPR methods with lots of repetitions to get the learner to guess my intentions, but I think there are better effective ways to go about it. Any tips or teaching resource to share, please?
    Kids under 8 needs games, songs, drawing, coloring and minimum writing. They lose focus every 5 – 10 minutes. TPR methods are best at that age.

    If you want the kid to be better at this, they NEED to work at home on a daily base.

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