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Why Sara and not Sandra?

 
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Dominique



Joined: 14 Mar 2004
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 10:08 pm    Post subject: Why Sara and not Sandra? Reply with quote

One of my young students, grade 5, when reading out loud, he misses consonants. Last day he said Sara for Sandra.
What happened? How can I explain this in phonological terms?
How can I help him?
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Duncan Powrie



Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 525

PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd always assumed that learners would have problems mainly with vowels, but your student is having a problem with consonants, huh?!

I'm new to this specific forum, so I don't know much about you. Where are you teaching?

Is the student's native language mainly C-V (Japanese would be a good example)? I guess he is not sure how to pronounce complex clusters of consonants, and therefore skips onto what he is more sure of, that is, proceeds from "easy" SA to "easy" RA.

You'll need to think about the phonemic value of consonants, and where to split words into sounds and syllables. In Japanese, they have "syllabic n", which has the same value as other "mora" (kind of equivalent to syllable in meaning), it might be useful to view the "n" here that way, seeing as it can't begin the sequence *ndra. Alternatively, it might be easier to just split the word into "san" (pronounced like Japanes for 3?!) and "dra", but I don't know if that would be a good idea...
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EH



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 174
Location: USA and/or Korea

PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2004 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like a reading error rather than a pronunciation error. A lot of (even native speaker) students learning to read in English take the shortcut of paying attention only to the first and/or last letters in words, and then guess the most common word with that beginning/ending. Sounds like that's what your student did, since Sandra is a lot less common than Sara, but both share the same beginning and ending.

To help your student:
1) Tell him it's okay to slow down. Kids who rush almost always end up forcing themselves to guess words rather than read words.
2) If he misses certain consonants or consonant combinations more than others, have him use a highlighter to highlight those letters in each text before reading it aloud.
3) If he really is avoiding certain letters just because he can't pronounce the letters' sounds well, then work on pronunciation of those sounds a bit until he's more confident.
4) If possible, try to talk to a reading specialist about this student; maybe he could use a little extra tutoring in reading.

Good luck!
-EH
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Dominique



Joined: 14 Mar 2004
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2004 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy Thank tou very much for your insights
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