Tuesday Tip - Continuous Sound Blending

TT - Continuous Sound Blending

In today's Tuesday Tip, I discuss teaching children to blend sounds using continuous phonemes first, before introducing stop sounds.

Video Transcript

Hello everyone, I'm Jocelyn and it's time for another Tuesday Tip. We all know that when we're helping our young children to learn to read, that we are going to have a few who struggle to learn how to blend with graphemes. So if the children are able to blend orally, so you can say, m-a-t, and they can tell you that that's "mat", then you can use graphemes to help them read words for themselves.

But one of the things that will make it easier for them is if you focus these initial blending efforts on continuous sounds so, <m>, <s>, <l>, <n>, we can hold those sounds for longer. Other sounds like <t> and <p> are stop sounds, so they get cut off. And what that does in my very- (I am not a speech therapist speak) but, uh, in my way, I think of it that it creates a little micro break.

So the difference is this m-a-n compared with p-i-t, there's a little break in between each sound. And my observation is that can actually make it harder for some children to learn how to blend. So focus first on the continuous sound, being really careful that you don't distort the vowel in the middle. So <i> held for too long is going to sound like <e>.

And so just making sure that you have that vowel sound just remain as a pure sound. If you are going to add a stop sound in after we've got the blending with just the continuous sound pop, the stop sound at the end, so, m-a-p, m-i-t, so that we've got the stop at the end and that's not gonna cause so much of an issue.

So that's my top tip for you today for children who are struggling to blend with graphemes. Make sure that they have automatic phoneme-grapheme correspondence with those sounds and then focus on the continuous sounds.

Thanks everyone. Bye.

Want to know more?

Click here to find out more about students who aren't blending.

Click here to find out more about pacing phonics instruction.

Click here to find out more about blending.

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1 comment

Danina Ward

Thank you for the tip. I think this will be very helpful 😊

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