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ICRWY - Self-Teaching Reading and Spelling with the Phoneme - Speech Sound - Monsters

When you come to a workshop you will learn about 'phonetic symbols' and the British IPA. This will help you become a more effective teacher of reading and spelling.

Speech Sound Monsters are 'concept' characters - making something children can't see (speech sounds/ phonemes) 'visible' : a direct visual link to the phoneme. 

The International Phonetic Alphabet is an alphabetic system of phonetic notation devised by the International Phonetic Association in the late 19th century as a standardized representation of speech sounds in written form.

When teaching reading and spelling we are linking speech sounds to their representations on paper ie graphemes.


As we are speak the language differently - accents, dialect etc - we need a universal spelling code. Miss Emma linked the IPA with the written code to make it 'visible'. Instead of a phonetic symbol there is a phoneme character - a Speech Sound Monster. 

Only 1 phonetic symbol isn't used - based on over a decade of working with tens of thousands of learners and seeing how they hear and Duck Hand words. That one is redundant - and can cause confusion.

Although Miss Emma talks to young children about 'talking on  paper' this is to make the concept of organising 'Sound Pictures' (Sound Pics/ graphemes) on paper to spell words easier. As the children explore words using the Spelling Routine, and by 'following the monster sounds to say the word' they discover the differences between spoken and written language. As is the norm within the ICRWY approach, we constantly expose learners to different concepts - guiding them towards understanding. There are simply too many concepts to teach explicitly, or teach as a 'scope and sequence'. Learning to read and spell (as quickly and easily as possible) doesn't happen like that - learners need a certain amount of explicit and systematic instruction, but this will very much depend on  the individual. Great teachers understand what is needed, but know that most of this can't be 'planned' as their 'teaching' needs to be reactive: in  response to what is happening in that moment. Teachers need to understand and keep introducing concepts, with the goal of each learner moving into the 'self-teaching' phase. 

The Speech Sound Monsters make it easier for learners to get to that stage: implicit learning accounts for most of the learning to read and spell journey. When children can SEE the 'sound value' used for this universal written code, they understand the mapping, know the word and (with vocab knowledge) can store in orthographic lexicon - for future retrieval. 

Because English has an opaque orthography this ability for learners to SEE the phoneme to grapheme correspondences is CRUCIAL. This has never been done before. Thank you for being a part of the journey. Let's make learning to read and spell in English accessible to ALL.


They can focus on the 'phoneme' FIRST to figure out the word -  when they can't instantly decode it with existing code knowledge - and THEN check out the mapped graphemes (shown with the black/ grey segmentation - another of Miss Emma's inventions) 

All it takes, to then store the word in brain word bank, is phonemic awareness. 
The DOK Daily activities develop high level phonemic awareness.

Please book DOK Daily training - and you will learn all about this from Miss Emma herself!    
2.5 hour training - book in-house training for your school or organisation, or look for a workshop!    

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