Friday, June 29, 2012

ESL Teaching Tip: Soft Sounds of C and G

My ESL teaching tips have proven to be popular posts, so I thought I would provide some additional teaching tips to add to those that have already been published. I am currently working on revising a manual lesson for other sounds for c and g. (I blogged about an experience I had teaching this skill at a community college in Southern California here.) A synopsis of this skill is as follows:

• When c is followed by the vowels e (ce) or i (ci), the sound of c changes from /k/ to /s/ (e.g., cent; cite). C will have the /s/ sound nearly 100 percent of the time in this construction. (Exception: soccer)

• When g is followed by the vowels e (ge) or i (gi), the sound of g changes from /g/ to /j/ (e.g., gem; gin). This new sound occurs about 85 percent of the time in this construction. (Exceptions: girl, get, gift, etc.)

• When a consonant plus c or g comes between the first vowel and the silent e, the two consonants will cause the first vowel to be short (e.g., dance, prince, plunge).

• English words never end in the letter j. When the sound /j/ is heard at the end of a word, it will always be spelled ge. Words with a long vowel sound will end with just the ge spelling (e.g., cage). Words with a short vowel sound will end with a dge spelling (e.g., judge; bridge).

Teaching tip adapted from the Reading Horizons method found in the Decoding Strategies for Literacy Development manual published by Reading Horizons. Used with permission.

For other ESL Teaching Tips, visit the following blog posts:

Click here to read about the pronunciation of -ed.
Click here to read about pronouncing plurals.
Click here to read about voiced and voiceless sounds.
Click here to read about rising and falling intonation in questions.
Click here to read about syllable stress and the schwa.
Click here to read about adding the suffixes -ing, -ed, -er, and -est.
Click here to read about teaching common suffixes. 
Click here to read about teaching common prefixes. 
Click here to read about spelling words that end in S, F, and Z.
Click here to read about syllable division in multi-syllabic words.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Success Stories in Adult Literacy

I have blogged before about my experience tutoring a gentleman in his 60's who is learning to read for the first time. (See my blog posts here, here, and here.) As many of my colleagues and associates are aware, I have developed a passion for literacy--especially adult literacy. I love hearing success stories of individuals who have overcome the monumental obstacles of illiteracy and who are now confident and productive members of society. I recently heard a Canadian radio interview with such an individual who is a recipient of a literacy award. He is a father and a cancer survivor. He mentioned using the Reading Horizons program to help him learn how to read, which is the software program I helped to author. It is stories like these that remind me of why I do what I do

Listen to the interview here

See videos of other inspiring success stories here.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Motivating Readers: Introducing Evertaster, a Novel by Adam Glendon Sidwell -- Part 2

My last blog post discussed motivating readers through engaging text, and I introduced a new novel called Evertaster written by my friend Adam Glendon Sidwell. (A colleague of mine also blogged about the book here.) I wanted to announce that today, June 14th, is the book's official release date! You can buy the book online on Amazon here for a discounted price today only. I plan to visit Amazon today between 12:00 and 2:00 PST for Amazon's four-for-three promotion (buy four for the price of three). Happy reading!