About the speaker: Dr Valerie Muter is a consultant clinical psychologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital where she specialises in working with children with both developmental and neurologically based learning disorders. Visit Val's website at www.psykidz.co.uk.
Further information about this Talk
Visit Val's website at www.psykidz.co.uk.
To get hold of Valerie Muter's and Helen Likierman's latest book on how parents can prepare their child for school please click here.
Key Points Covered in This Talk:
- When children start to learn to read and write at school they'll be introduced to the sounds of the alphabet letters, not the names. As adults we're much more familiar with the names (A, B, C etc.). Young children starting to learn to read will begin by learning the sounds, the names will come later. It is important for parents to be familiar with this when doing sound based games or when introducing their child to the letters of the alphabet during their preschool years.
- The Schwa sound: The important aspect of this to avoid what is technically called the schwa sound when your producing the individual sounds of the alphabet. What this means is that you need to pronounce each alphabetic sound as clearly as possible without introducing a following "a". You need to make each individual consonant sound as short and a as clipped as possible, avoiding the "a" sound after it. Some of the alphabetic sounds are easier than others. Some of the more difficult ones to say without producing the shwa sound involve the sounds that go with the letters, m, n, y, and x. The important thing is to say them as clearly and as short and clipped way as possible. If you do this you will be getting very close to the letter sounds that your child will be learning when he or she starts school.