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WHY IS PHONICS THE EASIEST WAY TO LEARN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE?


When you have mastered the material on this one page, you will be able to pronounce 1232 one syllable words that contain the short vowel sounds, if you already know the 28 primary sounds of the 26 letters of the English alphabet.

Imagine how long it would take just to memorize over 1,000 words and instantly recall each word's correct pronunciation.

However, by mastering a knowledge of phonics, there is no limit to how far you can advance in your pursuit of excellence in English language skills.

 

FIRST, LET'S REVIEW THE FACTS ABOUT THE STUDY OF PHONICS IN AN EXCERPT FROM "FOUNDATIONAL PHONICS", A THREE VOLUME CURRICULUM AUTHORED BY BILL AND JANAE COOKSEY.


THEN FOLLOW ALL THE DIRECTIONS ON THIS PAGE AND YOU WILL HAVE A HEADSTART ON YOUR JOURNEY INTO THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF READING!


1.Betty Tillapaugh, a Reading Specialist in the State of Arizona, did extensive research on the phonetic approach to the English language some years back. Her findings included the following:

2.There are 1320 one syllable words that contain the short vowel sounds. i.e. hat bed lid hot nut etc. Only 88 of these are not purely phonetic and must be memorized as sight words. The others are easily sounded out.

3.Tillapaugh claims that a person who has a thorough knowledge of phonics will be able to attack independently 94 percent of our English words that contain just the short sounds of vowels.

4.There are 268 words containing the short sound of "a" as in "at".

5.There are 223 words containing the short sound of "e" as in "get".

6.There are 365 words containing the short sound of "i" as in "pig".

7.There are 134 one syllable words containing the short vowel sound of "o" as in "mop".

8.There are 251 one syllable words containing the short sound of "u" as in "mud".

9.An individual will have independent command of 62 percent of the phonetic syllables of the entire English language when he recognizes short vowel blends. i.e. Blends with short vowels: Fred (Fr is the blend.), plan (pl is the blend), etc.

10.When the ability to sound correctly all of the consonants and the long and short sounds of the vowels is fully mastered, the student will have the first foundation of the necessary phonetic skills which build the English language and he will thereby be ready to attack the final 28 percent that remains.

11.As you can see, the conclusive studies of this Arizona Reading Specialist prove once again the importance of the mastery of phonics.

 

HOW TO REMEMBER THE LONG AND SHORT SOUNDS OF VOWELS


The following presentation for teaching students how to remember the difference between the long and short sounds of each of the five most prominent vowels is to be dramatically exaggerated and repeated until the student can sound both sounds of each vowel perfectly without hesitation. Each of the next exercises is to be reviewed continually until all ten of the vowel sounds presented here are mastered.

 

In the following learning exercise the vowels "a"..."e"..."i"..."o"... and "u" will be shown to have two sounds each.


In the first part of this exercise each of the vowels will have a long sound which will be symbolized exclusively here by a plus sign after each vowel demonstrated as in A+...E+...I+...O+...U+
In the second part of this exercise each of the vowels has a short sound which will be symbolized exclusively here by a minus sign after each vowel demonstrated as in A-...E-...I-...O-...U-

It's easy to remember the long sound of the five vowels, because we hear the long sound when we say each vowel's name.
Can you hear the long sound of A+ in the word---APE---?
Let's say it together---APE---! Let's say it again------APE---! This time let's hold the A+ sound out until we can silently count to three before we finish sounding the other two letters


Here We Go!
A+......A+.......A+......PE!
....(1)......(2).....(3).......
Let's do that again! That's fun!
A+......A+.......A+......PE!
....(1)......(2).....(3).......
I know! Let's say it that way three times in a row!
A+.....A+........A+......PE!
....(1)......(2).....(3).......
A+......A+.......A+......PE!
....(1)......(2).....(3).......
A+.....A+........A+......PE!
....(1)......(2).....(3).......
Very Good!

Now let's try the vowel, "E".
Can you hear the long sound of E+ in the word---EAT---?
Let's say it together---EAT---! Let's say it again------EAT---! This time let's hold the E+ sound out long enough to silently count to three before we finish sounding the other two letters


Here We Go!
E+.......E+.....E+......AT!
....(1).....(2)....(3).......
Let's do that again! That's fun!
E+.......E+.....E+......AT!
....(1).....(2)....(3).......
I know! Let's say it that way three times in a row!
E+.......E+.....E+......AT!
....(1).....(2)....(3).......
E+.......E+.....E+......AT!
....(1).....(2)....(3).......
E+.......E+.....E+......AT!
....(1).....(2)....(3).......
Very Good!

Now let's try the vowel, "I".
Can you hear the long sound of I+ in the word---ICE---?
Let's say it together---ICE---! Let's say it again------ICE---! This time let's hold the I+ sound out long enough to silently count to three before we finish sounding the other two letters


Here We Go!
I+.......I+......I+.......CE
....(1).....(2).....(3)......
Let's do that again! That's fun!
I+.......I+......I+.......CE
....(1).....(2).....(3)......
I know! Let's say it that way three times in a row!
I+.......I+......I+.......CE
....(1).....(2).....(3)......
I+.......I+......I+.......CE
....(1).....(2).....(3)......
I+.......I+......I+.......CE
....(1).....(2).....(3)......
Very Good!

Now let's try the vowel, "O".
Can you hear the long sound of O+ in the word---OPEN---?
Let's say it together---OPEN---! Let's say it again------OPEN---! This time let's hold the O+ sound out long enough to silently count to three before we finish sounding the other two letters


Here We Go!
O+.......O+......O+......PEN!
....(1)......(2)......(3).........
Let's do that again! That's fun!
O+.......O+......O+......PEN!
....(1)......(2)......(3).........
I know! Let's say it that way three times in a row!
O+.......O+......O+......PEN!
....(1)......(2)......(3).........
O+.......O+......O+......PEN!
....(1)......(2)......(3).........
O+.......O+......O+......PEN!
....(1)......(2)......(3).........
Very Good!

Now let's try the vowel, "U".
Can you hear the long sound of U+ in the word---UKE---?
Let's say it together---UKE---! Let's say it again------UKE---! This time let's hold the U+ sound out long enough to silently count to three before we finish sounding the other two letters


Here We Go!
U+.......U+.......U+......KE!
.....(1).....(2).......(3)......
Let's do that again! That's fun!
U+.......U+.......U+......KE!
.....(1).....(2).......(3)......
I know! Let's say it that way three times in a row!
U+.......U+.......U+......KE!
.....(1).....(2).......(3)......
U+.......U+.......U+......KE!
.....(1).....(2).......(3)......
U+.......U+.......U+......KE!
.....(1).....(2).......(3)......
Very Good!

Now let's try the short sounds of these five vowels!
Remember, the short sound of each vowel will be symbolized here by a minus sign after each vowel as in A-...E-...I-...O-...U-


Can you hear the short sound of A- in the word---APPLE---?
Let's say it together---APPLE---! Let's say it again------APPLE---! This time let's hold the short sound of A- sound out until we can silently count to three before we finish sounding the other letters in the word


Here We Go!
A-........A-.......A-......PPLE!
.....(1)......(2)......(3)...........
Let's do that again! That's fun!
A-........A-.......A-......PPLE!
.....(1)......(2)......(3)...........
I know! Let's say it that way three times in a row!
A-........A-.......A-......PPLE!
.....(1)......(2)......(3)...........
A-........A-.......A-......PPLE!
.....(1)......(2)......(3)...........
A-........A-.......A-......PPLE!
.....(1)......(2)......(3)...........
Very Good!

Now let's try the short sound of the vowel, "E".
Can you hear the short sound of E- in the word---EGG---?
Let's say it together---EGG---! This time let's hold the short sound of E- out until we can silently count to three before we finish sounding the other letters in the word


Here We Go!
E-........E-......E-......GG!
.....(1).....(2).....(3)........
Let's do that again! That's fun!
E-........E-......E-......GG!
.....(1).....(2).....(3)........
I know! Let's say it that way three times in a row!
E-........E-......E-......GG!
.....(1).....(2).....(3)........
E-........E-......E-......GG!
.....(1).....(2).....(3)........
E-........E-......E-......GG!
.....(1).....(2).....(3)........
Very Good!

Now let's try the short sound of the vowel, "I".
Can you hear the short sound of I- in the word---IGLOO---?
Let's say it together---IGLOO---! This time let's hold the short sound of I- out until we can silently count to three before we finish sounding the other letters in the word


Here We Go!
I-........I-......I-......GLOO!
.....(1).....(2).....(3)...........
Let's do that again! That's fun!
I-........I-......I-......GLOO!
.....(1).....(2).....(3)...........
I know! Let's say it that way three times in a row!
I-........I-......I-......GLOO!
.....(1).....(2).....(3)...........
I-........I-......I-......GLOO!
.....(1).....(2).....(3)...........
I-........I-......I-......GLOO!
.....(1).....(2).....(3)...........
Very Good!

Now let's try the short sound of the vowel, "O".
Can you hear the short sound of O- in the word---OX---?
Let's say it together---OX---! This time let's hold the short sound of O- out until we can silently count to three before we finish sounding the other letters in the word


Here We Go!
O-.......O-......O-......X!
.....(1).....(2).....(3).....
Let's do that again! That's fun!
O-.......O-......O-......X!
.....(1).....(2).....(3).....
I know! Let's say it that way three times in a row!
O-.......O-......O-......X!
.....(1).....(2).....(3).....
O-.......O-......O-......X!
.....(1).....(2).....(3).....
O-.......O-......O-......X!
.....(1).....(2).....(3).....
Very Good!

Now let's try the short sound of the vowel, "U".
Can you hear the short sound of U- in the word---UMBRELLA---?
Let's say it together---UMBRELLA---! This time let's hold the short sound of U- out until we can silently count to three before we finish sounding the other letters in the word


Here We Go!
U-.......U-.......U-......MBRELLA!
.....(1).....(2)......(3)..................
Let's do that again! That's fun!
U-.......U-.......U-......MBRELLA!
.....(1).....(2)......(3)..................
I know! Let's say it that way three times in a row!
U-.......U-.......U-......MBRELLA!
.....(1).....(2)......(3)..................
U-.......U-.......U-......MBRELLA!
.....(1).....(2)......(3)..................
U-.......U-.......U-......MBRELLA!
.....(1).....(2)......(3)..................
Very Good!

Let's review the long + and short- sounds of the five vowels

A+ as in APE
A- as in APPLE

 


E+ as in EAT
E- as in EGG



I+ as in ICE
I- as in IGLOO



O+ as in OPEN
O- as in OX



U+ as in UKE
U- as in UMBRELLA



REFER TO THESE EXAMPLES OF THE LONG AND SHORT SOUNDS OF THESE FIVE VOWELS AS YOU SING THE SONG WHICH FOLLOWS THE ILLUSTRATIONS BELOW.


THE BEST WAY TO BE SURE THAT YOU UNDERSTAND THE FOLLOWING ILLUSTRATIONS IS TO STAND IN FRONT OF A MIRROR AND PRETEND YOU ARE TRYING TO TEACH SOMEONE ELSE EACH OF THE SHORT SOUNDS OF THE FIVE MOST PROMINENT VOWELS.


NEXT, REQUEST FROM TEN FRIENDS THE OPPORTUNITY TO PERFORM YOUR FIVE NEW ILLUSTRATIONS DESCRIBING HOW TO REMEMBER THE SHORT SOUNDS OF THESE FIVE VOWELS.



We already know that the long sound of each vowel is heard when we say the vowel's name.


Let's take a few moments and learn more about the short sound of the vowels.



There are 268 words containing the short sound of "a" as in "at".


How To Remember The Sound Of Short ***A-***


The short sound of the letter A is the same sound as a baby makes when he goes to the store and wants candy and Mama says,"NO!". The baby sits down on the floor and with his mouth wide open and tears pouring down his cheeks cries loudly making the short sound of the letter A. Can you hear him making the short sound of the letter A as we learned it in the word ,Apple? A-...A-...A-...! Cry, Baby cry! Come on you cry with the baby making that same sound as the A in the word Apple. A-...A-...A-...! Cry, Baby cry!
Cry the short sound of the letter A.



There are 223 words containing the short sound of "e" as in "get".


How To Remember The Short Sound Of ***E-***


The short sound of the letter E is the same sound that an old man who is hard of hearing makes when he cups his hand over his ear to hear you better. And he says, "Eh?" You tell him again. But each time he cups his hand over his ear and says, "Eh?"


Pretend he said that short sound of the letter E seven times in a row like this.
"Eh?" "Eh?" "Eh?" "Eh?" "Eh?" "Eh?" "Eh?"


Come on. Cup your hand over your ear and say it seven times as if you were the old man trying to hear what I said.


"Eh?" "Eh?" "Eh?" "Eh?" "Eh?" "Eh?" "Eh?"


Now you know the short sound of the letter E. And you've practiced up for when you get much older. "Eh?" What did you say?" "Eh?"



There are 365 words containing the short sound of "i" as in "pig".


How To Remember The Short Sound Of ***I-***


The short sound of the letter I is the same sound that you would make if you put on your finest clothes and without looking first you sat down in a chair covered with peanut butter! You'd probably make this terrible face with your nose wrinkled up and your top lip raised half way to the bottom of your nose. Then would come this repulsive sound of the short sound of the letter I as we heard in the word I-GLOO! You'd say, "I-....I-...I-".


This is also the same sound you would make if you went into the kitchin at 3:00 AM, turned on the light and saw 50,000 roaches crawling all over the floor and out of your sink. You'd scream the short sound of the letter I as we learned it in the word, I-GLOO. Come on and scream before the roaches crawl on you. "I-...I-..." . You know I- as in the repulsive response " I-...CK!"


You taste something that is really sour and you immediately say, "I-...CK!". Come on let's practice for the roaches in your kitchen tonight! I-...I-...I-...I-...I-...I-...I-..."I-GLOO" Good! Roaches are scared to crawl on igloo floors. You might say it's because they have cold feet! I-GLOO!



There are 134 one syllable words containing the short vowel sound of "o" as in "mop".


How To Remember The Short Sound Of ***O-***


The short sound of the letter O is the same sound that you would make if you had been in the desert for 3 days without anything to drink. And then you tripped over a cooler of delicious ice cold Pepsi Colas. As you taste that cool, comforting wet beverage streaming down your dry, parched throat, you would be sighing the short sound of the letter O. You'd be saying "Ahhhhh." Over and over you'd be saying "Ahhhhh". "Ahhhhh". "Ahhhh". "Ahhhh".


But your mouth would be in the shape of a big round circle when you said. "Ahhhh!" Can't you taste that Pepsi as you say the short sound of O that we learned in O....X? Have some more Cola. Don't hold back. Say it out loud as it goes down slowly. "Ahhhhh". "Ahhhhh". Just like the short sound of the letter O in the word OX.


"Ahhhhh". "Ahhhhh". "Ahhhh". "Ahhhh". "Ahhhhh". "Ahhhh". "Ahhhh".


Just saying the short sound of the letter I would make anything taste good. "Ahhhh". "Ahhhh". Can I have some more, please? Ahhhhhhhhhh".

 


There are 251 one syllable words containing the short sound of "u" as in "mud".


How To Remember The Short Sound Of ***U-***


The short sound of the letter U is the same sound that you would make if you were trying to lift your car up by reaching under the back bumper and straining real hard. You"d be saying, "Uh...Uh...Uh".


Yes, it is just so heavy that you cannot stop making the painful short sound of the letter U that we learned in the word, UMBRELLA.


Come on, let's lift! " Uh...Uh...Uh...Uh...Uh...Uh...Uh".


Okay, take a break. But don't forget the short sound of the letter U is like the first sound you hear in the word, "Uhhhhh...MBRELLA!"


Hey, you better move that car before it starts to rain!



Before we learn how to sing this next song together, let's review the long + and short- sounds of the five vowels. Don't forget to match the symbol with the appropriate long and short sound of each vowel as you sing.

A+ as in APE
A- as in APPLE


E+ as in EAT
E- as in EGG


I+ as in ICE
I- as in IGLOO


O+ as in OPEN
O- as in OX


U+ as in UKE
U- as in UMBRELLA


REFER TO THESE EXAMPLES OF THE LONG AND SHORT SOUNDS OF THE FIVE VOWELS AS YOU SING THE FOLLOWING SONG:

IT'S GRADUATION TIME!!!


LET'S SING SOME VOWEL SOUNDS TOGETHER!!!


We are going to sing the melody to that Christmas favorite, "Jingle Bells". We will not sing the words that you are used to singing. But rather we will replace the traditional words with long and short vowel sounds. But you have to watch the symbols after each letter to know exactly how to sound each vowel. Don't guess. Refer back to your chart often until you know that you know that you know you are able to sing every sound correctly.


***(x over a word means you leave out that note of the melody in that line of the song)Remember, we are only interested in exaggerating examples of the long and short SOUNDS of the vowels. Certain words are spelled funny so you can see more clearly how to replace the original lyrics with the vowel sounds. Everybody knows that Jingle is not spelled with two "g"s except in this song to help you learn your vowel sounds



.A+...A+.....A-
Jing-gle Bells

E+....E+.....E-
Jing-gle Bells

..I+.....I+.....I-....I-.....I-
Jing-gle... All The Way

.O+.....O+.....O-
Oh What Fun

x....U+.. U+....U-....
(It) Is....To....Ride)

.x...x...A-......E-..........I-...O-.......U-......
(In A) One... Horse... O...Pen... Sleigh
_________________________________________________

There are 1320 one syllable words that contain the short vowel sounds. i.e. hat bed lid hot nut etc. Only 88 of these are not purely phonetic and must be memorized as sight words. The others are easily sounded out.


Arizona Reading Specialist, Betty Tillapaugh claims that a person who has a thorough knowledge of phonics will be able to attack independently 94 percent of our English words that contain just the short sounds of vowels.


JUST THINK, WHEN YOU CAN SING THIS SONG PERFECTLY, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO EASILY PRONOUNCE AT LEAST 1232 ONE SYLLABLE WORDS THAT CONTAIN THE SHORT VOWEL SOUNDS IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. SO IF YOU REALLY WANT TO GET A HEAD START ON LEARNING TO READ WITH EASE, MAKE EVERYDAY CHRISTMAS BY PRACTICING YOUR LONG AND SHORT VOWEL SOUNDS TO THE TUNE OF "JINGLE BELLS"!!!

All of the material on this page is not to be reproduced in any way without the written permission of the authors.
This original material is copyright 1997 by Bill and Janae Cooksey