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.

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