Orton Gillingham for All

Say, “Wuh”? Pronouncing Sounds

on April 8, 2013

There are times when pronouncing a consonant letter, people will say it like this:

For “m” someone might say, “muh” or “d,” “duh.” Actually, m says, “mmmm” and d says “d” (clipped, no uh on it).

The sounds of letters are the smallest unit of sound in the English language. They are called phonemes (pronounced: phō-nēms).

This is a good place to start with a child in OG. In class we made a deck to use. I use the deck by showing each card with a different consonant on it. I usually have this conversation, “Tell me what the letter says.”

I hold up “m” and they say, “That is an m.”

I say, “That is an m, what does the m say?”

“Oh!” They say, “M says, muh.”

“Sort of, but when we say muh it can get confusing when you listen to someone talking and they say something like, milk. Since people don’t say muh-ilk.”

“Ok! M says, “mmmm.”

“Great! What does this letter say, (s)?”…

I always start by asking a student the letter sounds, no matter the age. It’s a good indicator of where to start. If they know the letter sounds, we can move on quickly from there. If they stumble, then more review can be done.

Many letters make more than one sound, like c says “k” and “s.” There is also more than one sound for many letters and letter combinations. For example, there are six ways to make the sound “k” – c (cat), k (kite), ck (sack), ch (Christmas), -que (Antique), and lk (walk).  A vowel team combination example is: ea. It says, ē, ĕ, ā – key words: eagle, bread, steak.

For review: Letters are said in a more clipped way. D is not pronounced “duh,” it is “d.”

If making a deck, the front of the card would have the letter in bold, the back would have the sound and the key word. When showing the deck, if a student says the correct sound, move on.

Sample card:

Cons sound card 2 Consonant sounds card

If they stumble, tell them the sound and the key word.

Have them trace the letter while saying the sound. They can trace on the table or in the air. It is important that they say the sound out loud as the tracing is being done. Pull that card aside and do it again within the drill until it is said correctly.

There is more than one way to say some of the letters. Below is a list of the letters and the sounds that they make along with a key word. These can be used to make a deck.

m         “m”      Milk

s          “s”        Sun    “z”        Rose

f           “f”        Fish

b          “b”       Bat

h          “h”       Hat

j           “j”         Jam

k          “k”        Kite

p          “p”       Pan

t           “t”         Top

c          “k”        Cat                  “s”        City                (Cat in the city)

r           “r”        Ring

l           “l”         Lamp

n          “n”       Nose               “ng”     Think

g          “g”       Gum               “j”         Germy            (Gum that’s germy)

w         “w”       Wagon

d          “d”       Dog

v          “v”        Valentine

y          “y”        Yarn

z          “z”        Zebra

x          “gz”     Exit                 “ks”      Box                 (Exit from a box)

qu       “kw”     Queen


One response to “Say, “Wuh”? Pronouncing Sounds

  1. […] so that each sound is heard. This is the purpose of starting in OG teaching and learning to pronounce each letter sound and make sure it is correctly pronounced. When blends are taught, the correct individual […]

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