Letter Sounds™ 1 Pro is a fun, effective and scientifically based teaching tool which makes it easy to teach children the links between the letters of the alphabet and the speech sounds they typically represent in written English.
Letter Sounds™ 1 Pro was developed by Dr. Bartek Rajkowski, PhD, a speech-language pathologist specialising in reading development. Anybody with an interest in teaching children to read through can use Letter Sounds™ 1 Pro to help children learn common letter-sound relationships!
Letter Sounds™ 1 Pro is based on our flagship program, ReadingSounds® 1 Pro, which is used in over 1000 Australian schools and is being described by educators as a breakthrough in teaching children how to read.
– Requires iPad 2 or higher
– Includes US, UK and Australian accents! To switch accents, tap ‘settings’ from the Main Menu.
– Although children love using it, Letter Sounds™ 1 Pro is not just a game – it is a powerful and fully customisable teaching tool. Please take some time to experiment with it yourself before trying it with students!
Why is letter-sound knowledge so important?
The past several decades of research have provided conclusive evidence that children who are strong readers are skilled in using letter-sound knowledge to learn new words when reading. Skilled readers are good at understanding that words are made up of speech sounds (a skill called phonemic awareness) and they are also good at understanding how these speech sounds are represented by letters. This knowledge helps children to ‘decode’ written language and teach themselves new words. Difficulties with these skills are hallmarks of the struggling reader. Furthermore, teaching methods that begin by teaching students letter-sound relationships (called ‘synthetic phonics’ methods) have been shown through research to be more effective than other approaches in teaching reading, regardless of whether students do or do not have reading difficulties. The evidence is clear: letter-sound knowledge is crucial in learning to read and spell since it helps students to teach themselves new words.
How does Letter Sounds™ 1 Pro help?
Understanding that letters typically represent certain speech sounds poses a challenge to beginning readers since there is no meaningful relationship between the way that letters look and the speech sounds they typically represent. For example, there is no reason why the squiggle “s” represents the sound /s/ as in “sun”. Children must also learn to distinguish between similar letters and sounds (e.g. “b” vs “d”) when learning letter-sound patterns.
Children are taught meaningful associations between the way that letters look and the speech sounds they typically represent through a unique system of visual, auditory and articulatory (speech sound) memory aids, or mnemonics. The teaching system in the app automatically identifies what a child knows, what the child does not know, and which letter-sound patterns the child confuses. Letter Sounds™ 1 Pro teaches children to discriminate between confusing patterns, and strengthens weaknesses in letter-sound understanding.
Who should use Letter Sounds™ 1 Pro?
Letter Sounds™ 1 Pro is ideal for helping beginning readers, students with reading difficulties and students learning English as a second language. It is a perfect complement to any phonics program and is fully customisable, making it easy to set up custom activities to teach students specific letter-sound patterns. We are confident it will quickly become a favourite tool for teachers, parents, reading specialists and anybody else with an interest in the teaching of reading and spelling!