Try using this Word Beginning Sounds Chart when you start teaching your child to read. The chart covers twenty of the most common two letter sounds used to begin words.
The chart has bright illustrations that will help your child remember the sounds associated with each two letter sound.
The large lettering allows for practice in reciting the times tables and for quizzes to be played with the chart.
How the sounds have been selected
The chart above contains a range of sounds from letter blends through to digraphs (unique sounds).
Blends occur when each letter can be heard in a particular sound. In the word frog the blend fr occurs. In the /fr/ sound, both the f and r sound can be heard.
The majority of the sounds in the chart are blends that your child can sound out as each letter can be heard in the sound.
The combinations: BL, BR, DR, FL, FR, GL, GR, PL, PR, SM, SN, SP, ST and TR are all blends.
Digraphs occur when two letters form a unique sound. In the word phone, the digraph ph occurs. The letters p and h combine to form the /f/ sound.
Digraphs can not be sounded out. Your child needs to recognize these letter combinations and the unique sounds they form.
The combinations: CH, KN, PH, QU, SH and TH are all digraphs.
Why teaching blends is important
Teaching your child to recognize the sounds of certain letter combinations is one of the steps to take when teaching your child to read. Once your child can recite the alphabet and recognize the letters and the sounds of each letter, it is a perfect time to start.
To help your child when they are learning to sound out words, you need to teach them the sounds that certain letters make in combination.
Let’s take the example of the word chop. The sounds in chop are /ch/-/o/-/p/. However if your child is unaware of the /ch/ sound they will attempt to sound out the word as /k/-/h/-/o/-/p/.
Phonemes – are unique sounds that are used in combination to create words. Examples include ch as in chain, sh in ship, sch as in school.
Digraphs – are combinations of two letters, one of which is a consonant, to form a unique sound (phoneme).
Dipthong – are combinations of two vowels to form a unique sound (phoneme).
Blends – are combinations of two consonants where you can hear each letter in the sound that is formed.
Trigraphs – are combinations of three letters to form a Phoneme. Examples include scr and spr.