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Letters and Sounds
introduce Letters as Sounds only











In everyday life, children view many pictures.  Instant, fluid reading success can be achieved by simply introducing letters as pictures of sounds. New readers must be taught that the letters stand for sounds 
AND NOTHING ELSE! Letters do not represent objects. 

  • Do not use pictures (flashcards with images) in conjunction with teaching the alphabet.


  • It is crucial that children understand that a letter is a symbol of sound and not anything else.

  • The letter is supposed to stimulate a child’s mouth, lips and tongue to shape them into a particular sound. 
  It is not supposed to make them think of an apple, bat or cat.  (see 'magic mirror')

  • Picture reading is a distraction and encourages brand new and struggling readers to seek meaning in pictures rather than decoding letter sounds.

  • Reading programs without pictures guarantees that the learners acquire the needed phonetic reflex to become successful, proficient, fluent readers.

  • Children make rapid and secure progress with beginning reading when all pictures and other  (non-sound out) distractions are totally eliminated.  (True Story #5 - Preschool Report Card)


  • Multitasking is an adult concept and should not be forced on young children that are learning to read. Making beginning readers continually shift mental gears (pictures, sight-words, word-shapes, guessing and phonics) creates anxiety, uncertainty, confusion and unnecessary demands in their decoding skill development often resulting in slow, choppy, error-prone reading that lacks fluency.

  • In teaching very young children to read, adults forget how literal they are.  Leave the multitasking to adults and teach children to master one concept at a time.

  • Most public schools methods insist that children be taught to read by multitasking, (often labeled a balanced reading program) employing several different methods simultaneously.  Historically, children taught to read this way read with hesitation and lack of fluency; the child’s mind is constantly shifting gears to trying to guess the right method or combination of methods to apply to the word he or she sees.

  • Watered down textbooks: textbooks are being written 2 years below grade level intended for. Instead of challenging students with rich material, new books use more pictures and fewer plus simpler words: EXAMPLES: ‘enormous’ for ‘big'… “See the ball… see the big ball… see the big red ball”  Is this reading? Or is this seeing a huge picture of a ball on a page and repeating the same bland sentences over and over?  Marva Collins, Educator




Letters and Sounds
Phonics Song
Wired for Sound