B-4 Consider Using Phonetic Symbols for Sounds
Who It’s For: Teachers & Independent Learners That Value Phonetic Symbols in Pronunciation, Oral Reading, & Spelling Instruction
Why You Need Them: Because they involve extra learning steps, few materials or procedures use universal or dictionary symbols to clarify the difference between sounds in words and the alphabetic characters that spell them. Even so, some educators and bilingual language learners find the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) and/or Dictionary Pronunciation Symbols helpful in bridging the gap. These pages offer explanation and exercises in both systems.
What You’ll Do:
 Review the advantages of symbols that always stand for the same sounds regardless of their spellings in words (as opposed to respelling in alphabetic letters). Offer practice in differentiating IPA characters from dictionary sound-symbols—and in pronouncing the sounds they stand for.
 For learner use, print out (and enlarge and/or project) reference charts of the systems. Referring to these in reading and/or spelling lessons will help participants learn their meanings.
 Print out and cut apart the deck of sound-symbols containing 40 two-sided cards of IPA images on one side; American dictionary, on the other. Use them as Flash Cards and in activities involving characters that aren’t meant as alphabet letters.