How to develop reading skills step by step in a child that knows the alphabets  but is not putting sounds together to read

Welcome once again, to the weekly blog of Sashakt empowering lives. A lot of parents come up with this concern that their kid recognizes all the alphabets but is not able to put sounds together and read a word. What follows is like a step by step instruction manual to develop the same.

Once a child knows and recognizes his alphabets, which can be done very easily using you-tube videos, puzzle trays, play dough and various other fun techniques, then it is time to introduce the lower case alphabets. Please note that lower case alphabets should not be introduced as “small a”, which is generally the norm, but one technique that has worked brilliantly with me n my students is to build a story around the alphabets as in , “this is A, and it has a little baby called “a” “ here we will say the sound of a(as in aaa, like in c a t) and not small a, ,it makes the sound of aaa, all this confuses the child. Simply say this is A and this is a(aaa). Once the kid knows all sounds from aaa to zzz(for z), then the next step:

The breakup method. First use the words a child knows. For example you would say, “ice” wait a while and then say “cream” and then clap and say, “icecream”, similarly, “ink”…………….”pot” , clap, then say “inkpot”, try for a few days until the child gets the ideas that you are joining two sounds together and simply saying them quickly. Once the kid figures this out, then say lets play with sounds now. Sit facing the kid and in your right palm keep a flash card or a wooden alphabet, “a” and in the left hand keep any other alphabet ”b” (for example), then bring your right hand forward and say “aaa” then bring your left hand forward and say “bbb” then join your two hands and let the child see “ab” together and say “ab”

Similarly, practice with “ag”, “an” and so on until the child is proficient with joining two sounds. Do not introduce the third sound just yet. Then test by giving dictation, saying ok now write “am” if the kid can write correctly by listening to your spoken “am”, please know that the kid has learnt. Now move to “I” sounds join “I” sound similarly with “g”, “m” “p” and so on to make “ig”, “im” etc. Then move on to “o” sound joining. Thereafter move on to “u” but do not go to “e” and this is massively confusing. We shall take it much later.

Once the child can independently, upon dictation write with ease sound joinings like “am”, “ob”, “in”, “ut” etc, now its time to move on to three sound joining to make a word, then keep a flash card of say, “b” in your right hand and a flash card of “at” in your left hand and repeat the process. Now say, “bbb” then wait a while and say, “at” then join the two and say , “bat” . Practice with “a” sounds first, do not mix vowels until  the child knows and can do all vowel sound joinings with ease. Now give dictation and say words like, “bag”, “rod”, “tip”, “tub” etc. If the child can write upon dictation, now its time to introduce the “e” sound. The procedure remains the same. First join 2 sounds and then join 3 sounds to make a word. With practice on an average, a child with special needs can learn to read cvc(consonant-vowel-consonant) words with fluency within 4 months.

Once this is achieved, please give enough practice and do so experientially. For example, say, put the mug in the red tub.” Place two tubs in front of the child, one red and one any other colour and keep a mug in front , now say, read and do what is mentioned. This way you will ensure that not only is the kid reading but  also comprehending the read material.