How to Put Together the Parts & Pieces That Make Language Work: Phonics & Spelling Competencies Part II

How to Put Together the Parts & Pieces That Make Language Work: Phonics & Spelling Competencies Part II

This article covers the second half of Parts & Pieces B: Do Phonics & Spelling. To see all the “Parts & Pieces” available for each of the nine primary competencies B-1 to B-9, click on the circled puzzle piece below B: Do Phonics & Spelling.


(Behind each of these competencies, there are at least 86 sub-competencies, or segments, in all. Even more material is available on our homepage.)
After you work through [B-1] Start with Phonics & Spelling Concepts, [B-2] Focus on Initial Sounds & Letters, [B-3] Cover 'Rhyming-Word Families,' and perhaps [B-4] Consider Phonetic Symbols for Sounds, you’ll be ready to move on to [B-5] Tackle Vowel Sounds & Spellings, [B-6] Master Consonant Sounds & Spellings, [B-7] Optimize Use of Phonics & Spelling Bingo & Lotto, [B-8] Apply P & S Principles to Syllables, and [B-9] Review, Summarize, & Test.
As in the previous blog, "How to Put Together the Parts & Pieces That Make Language Work: B = Phonics & Spelling Competencies (Part I)," in the second half of Parts & Pieces Chart B: Do Phonics & Spelling, teachable competencies B-5 to B-9 are numbered to point to information, lessons, or materials in usable sequence.
The third column of Chart B describes the Subject Matter: Language Skills including five (5) complete Phonics & Spelling products: 2 spellers; 4 levels of Phonics & Spelling puzzles; 3 levels of Vowel Sounds & Spellings Card Packs & Activity & Idea Book; 4 levels of Phonics & Spelling Bingo/Lotto materials; and a complete Phonics & Spelling How-to Resource Book.
Clicking the links in any of the five commentaries that follow Chart B will get you some of the actual Parts & Pieces that are contained in those products. (Full versions are available on the website.) 
B-5. Tackle Vowel Sounds & Spellings. Oh, the (over) 16 dreaded American-English vowel sounds and their countless diverse spellings!  Still, there are many palatable multi-skills-level methods of acquiring and practicing these—with pedagogy, instructional steps to follow, “Multi-Level Pointers,” exercises, two-sided Picture & Word Cards, Bingo/Lotto Grids, “Spelling Dyads,” worksheets, quizzes, pronunciation vs. spelling cards, “Vowel-Sound Phonics & Spelling Puzzles,” Word-Reference Lists, and more. 
B-6. Master Consonant Sounds & Spellings. As long as they’re effective, use any materials and techniques you have—text pages; picture, letter, and word puzzles; illustrated four-of-a-kind card decks; and the like to review and reinforce initial consonant sounds and spellings. Then move on to final and medial consonants in vocabulary items—not only those with regular one-letter spellings but also blends and other combinations.  
B-7. Optimize Use of Phonics & Spelling Bingo/Lotto. To present, practice, and/or assess mastery of most vocabulary, Bingo/Lotto materials and procedures motivate, engage, and truly work! Bingo focuses on oral skills (comprehension + pronunciation of meaningful words or their matches). Lotto is for visual matching of printed items with their duplicates or counterparts.
With 4 Activity & Idea Books, 4 sets of Caller/Matching Cards, and 80 Boards for 8 P & S Games at 4 Learning levels, there’s plenty of printed matter to download and use.  And you can apply your grasp of their principles and content to create your own materials and/or devise your own procedures. There are many appealing (entertaining) games to play. 
B-8. Apply Phonics & Spelling Principles to Syllables. Before or while becoming aware of medial sounds & spellings, language learners and new readers will want to know about (numbers of) syllables (uninterrupted speech units, each containing one vowel sound or “beat”), syllable-stress patterns, and syllabification. They’ll benefit from aural/oral practice, worksheets, multi-leveled word puzzles, extensive syllable-rime lists, and more. 
B-9. Review, Summarize, & Test What You Know about Phonics & Spelling. Despite their (seemingly endless) intricacies, the “main ideas” of English sound vs. spelling systems can be summarized in a concise two-page printed article. So can a 3-level Comprehension Quiz
So where did most of these “Phonics & Spelling Parts & Pieces” come from? Check out Part 1 of this blog here for links to Work/Life English products designed to ensure that users get and use the principles and patterns.


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About Work/Life English
For over 35 years, Work/Life English has been dedicated to improving the lives of English language learners. We offer a comprehensive range of fun, effective English language improvement lessons and activities to help adult education ESL educators successfully engage their English language students and improve their English competencies, leading to a host of positive effects in students’ professional and personal lives. Better English, Better Life. For more information, visit  
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