I’ve been doing the Souns programme for a few weeks now, and my 3-4 year old class is doing really great. They’ve mastered some of the sounds, and we are adding a few more each day I work with them. Now I’m working on developing word “attack” skills-meaning that they are now learning a few new English words and practicing spelling them out phonetically. They are working on sounding them out in order to spell them, which will give them the skills they need to attack unknown words once they start reading.
I made some picture cards to help me out. I decided to teach in English, as from Grade 1 they will start learning English. In grade 4, they will take their exams in English and have all their classes taught in English. I want to give them a heads up in a language they don’t often encounter. Of course, this adds a new dimension to the Souns programme. I have to teach new vocabulary as well as letter sounds.
So I found some pictures of basic, phonetic, three-letter words that they kids can practice sounding out, spelling, and reading on. This week is the first time we have done it, and I’m so proud of my class. They are brilliant! Of course, they struggle to figure out how the sounds I have taught them related to the picture, but one by one they are figuring out that the sounds actually make up the word. They are starting to understand that “pot” is made up of three sounds, sounds they already know: “pih” “ah” and “tih”.
I’ll be continuing to focus on sounding out the new English words I teach them in the coming weeks, and then we’ll focus on having them write the words they hear. It might be an interesting experience teaching kids how to hold a pencil! From there we’ll start to focus on reading, which is the last part of the programme.
However, they are starting to decode and read the words I’ve given them. I’m not sure if they are aware that they are reading, but bit by bit they are.
The kids seem to love it when I come. They start yelling out to me when they see me with the Souns bag. On Wednesday, one of the kid was hanging out in the entrance hall at the end of the day. I called him over, and wrote down a few letters for him to sound out. He was all smiles as he sounded them out!