Sunday, 25 August 2019

Tweaking #1: Phonetically sounding out words/terms

A tweak in my practice:  Phonetically sounding out words/terms.
From my first intervention lesson #1, I read my reflections about sounding out the words and phonetically sighting and sounding the words to deliberately use all throughout the last two lessons I'd taught my year 9's.

I noticed that I never used to think about doing this in the past because when I have taught, I would assume that kids knew the words and knew how to sound the words out and sound them out fluently.  I was also conscious of the lack of time that we have in a lesson and have felt the pressure of getting everything done.  Now, I am trying to think carefully about the words themselves, about the varied learning needs of my kids and how they would need to know how to pronounce the words carefully.

I find myself staying on words/phrases for a lot longer instead of rushing it to the definition.  I give them the time to 'sit' on the word, look at the word, and just process it in their brains.  We clap it out for the syllables, they say it aloud to the class and also to each other.  I've noticed the first time I did this, kids were not receptive but the more times we did this, the more they got used to it, the more it seemed to become normal.

When I discussed this with Jannie and Mele, our ESOL specialist, they said there was important research that supported the number of times a student needs to hear and practice a word 5-16 times before they can properly understand a word.  

For further monitoring, I am thinking that I would like to voice record students sounding out a word and watching me practicing and verbalising the words so that the sound could resonate with them.  I am also think of putting those voice recordings plus movie recordings online to build a rewindable learning library.


  1. Kia Ora Dot,
    I really enjoyed reading this blog post. It reminded me of the importance of slowing down and not making assumptions about word knowledge and understanding. I especially like the fact that the learners were not receptive at first but after time they got use to it. How you at any success at creating a bank of rewindable clips?
    I look forward to reading more about your inquiry in the future. Thank you for sharing about your deliberate acts of teaching.

  2. Hi Clarelle,
    Thank you for your comment. It was hard at first because I tend to talk fast and alot (lol) but I'm getting used to it. That's a really good idea with creating a bank of rewindable clips - I'll give it a go!


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