|« Cooking With Toddlers||Crazy Names! »|
Learning language is a complex process, not least because the English language seems to be full of exceptions - but understanding the difference between language and writing helps to explain some of those problems. Our alphabet only provides an approximation to language, and sounds and letters do not always match.
Take the specific example of 'a' and 'an'. Early on we are taught that 'a' is used before a word beginning with a consonant, and 'an' is used before words starting with a vowel. Just as we've learned this rule, we suddenly find that there are exceptions!
In actual fact, there is a rule with no exceptions, but it is distilled to sounds and not letters - language and not written interpretation. The rule is:-
'a' is used before vowel SOUNDS, 'an' is used before consonant SOUNDS
When we pronounce 'honourble', we drop the 'h' and use an 'o' sound at the start of the word. When we say 'MMR' we start with the vowel sound 'em' which DOES begin with a vowel. With this understanding, there are no exceptions to the rule of when to use 'a' or 'an'.
The written English language uses 26 letters, but there are 44 sounds. You've probably seen funny symbols, some of which are regular letters, used to display the pronunciation of words in a dictionary, for example:-
These are phonemes, of which there are 20 vowel sounds and 24 consonant sounds in the English language (with additional marks to signify stress). For a full chart of phonemic sounds, click here. The more you look at language, the more clear it becomes that the written language and spoken language are two pretty different things, but for all its simplification, we're glad to have just 26 letters in our language rather than the estimated 47,000 characters of traditional Chinese!
|<< <||> >>|
Hi! I'm Tikal the Toucan, the mascot for ToucanLearn. Follow my blog to find out interesting things relating to babies, toddlers and preschool children!
Sign up FREE to ToucanLearn to follow our activity based learning programme for babies, toddlers and children. We offer hundreds of fun learning craft, games and activities - every activity is aimed at the capabilities of your specific children. Download custom activity sheets, and log their progress in each child's unique Daily Diary!
You'll also find sticker and reward charts, certificates, number and letter practice. Every activity links into the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) areas of learning and development.
Fill in our Daily Diary to log progress against the EYFS and add photo entries instantly simply by sending them straight from your phone. You can share diaries back with parents or childminders so that everyone can enjoy watching your children develop.
activities animals art babies baby behaviour books «child development» childcare childminder children christmas colours communication computers confidence cooking counting craft «daily diary» development doctor drawing drinking eating eyfs family «fine motor skills» food fruit fun games garden happy health healthy «healthy eating» hygiene ideas language «language development» learning letters «make believe» music nature numbers nursery ofsted outdoors parenting park pictures play pregnancy reading relax research routine safety school shapes sleep speech sun television toddler toddlers toucanlearn «toucanlearn blog» toys vegetables water words writing
©2019 by ToucanLearn Ltd.Credits: RWD CMS