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Differences in alphabetic code notation for FP and PI

 
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debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2444
Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2015 9:43 am    Post subject: Differences in alphabetic code notation for FP and PI Reply with quote

This is an important question below, especially for schools where the Oxford Reading Tree Floppy's Phonics Sounds and Letters programme is used in Reception and Year One (and sometimes Year Two) followed by using the Phonics International programme throughout primary (for any intervention purposes and for spelling and vocabulary for all pupils).


Quote:
Dear Debbie,

How are you? I have one question about the alphabetic code chart.

Do these graphemes make the same sound: umbrella, builder, onion, flavour, touch, thorough, centre?

In the English Alphabetic Code of Phonices International, they make the different sounds: /u/ and schwa /er/. But In Floppy's Phonics Alphabetic Tabletop Chart, these graphemes are made into one group. Would you please tell me the reasons.

Thank you very much.


And here is my explanation which is worth adding to the message forum as others may wonder about the differences in the different Alphabetic Code Charts:

Quote:
That is a very good question – and it is dependent on people’s accent.

The ‘schwa’ refers to an unstressed syllable in the English language and can appear in any position in a word such as:

about

builder

caravan

For many people, this will sound very close to an /u/ sound.

So - /ubout/, /bildu/ and /caruvan/.

In some accents, however, word endings which I would pronounce close to /u/ such as ‘builder’ /bildu/, other people would pronounce with more emphasis including the /r/ sound at the end (these are can be referred to as ‘r-controlled vowels’).

So, if I was Scottish or North American, ‘builder’ would be pronounced closer to /bilder/ (/er/ as in ‘mermaid’).

In Phonics International, I decided to have a flexible, or variable, form of noting when this happens in word endings which I refer to as ‘schwa /er/‘ meaning that those word endings may well be like a ‘schwa’ - that is, an unstressed syllable that sounds close to /u/ or, dependent on accent, it might be pronounced /er/ as in ‘mermaid’.

Now, Oxford University Press wanted to subsume the words with word endings which are commonly pronounced as /u/ such as ‘builder’, ‘thorough’ and so on, into the /u/ row on their Floppy's Phonics Sounds and Letters Alphabetic Code Chart.

That’s fine, although it does not allow for the flexibility of accent in quite the same way as the Phonics International alphabetic code notation does.

Also, Oxford University Press for Floppy’s Phonics Sounds and Letters decided on the notation of /ur/, not /er/, for the sound in words like ‘mermaid’ - because it was building on ‘Letters and Sounds’ (DfES, 2007) which used the notation of /ur/.

I like the notation of /ur/ instead of /er/, but when I wrote Phonics International, I was building on the work of Jolly Phonics which used /er/ and not /ur/.

However, Jolly Phonics did not acknowledge accent variations and the commonality of people pronouncing their chosen word example – mixer – with a schwa ending /miksu/ rather than /mikser/.

That is why, in addition to /er/, I decided to introduce ‘schwa /er/‘ as well.

These are simply different decisions made by different authors/publishers.

Please bear in mind that Oxford Reading Tree Floppy’s Phonics Sounds and Letters is a different programme from Phonics International – but I was able to use my core resources and ideas for Floppy’s Phonics because I told Oxford University Press that they were highly successful and needed to be in Floppy’s Phonics (designs such as the Alphabetic Code Chart, multi-skills Activity Sheets, Cumulative Texts).

I hope this helps.

_________________
Debbie Hepplewhite


Last edited by debbie on Tue May 19, 2015 9:46 am; edited 1 time in total
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debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2444
Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2015 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Then I continued:

Quote:
You asked:

Do these graphemes make the same sound: umbrella, builder, onion, flavour, touch, thorough, centre?

So, with my accent, all the graphemes you have listed are code for the same sound – more or less /u/.

But in some accents, in builder, flavour and centre, the end sound might be pronounced with more emphasis, or stress, so that the sound is closer to /er/ (r-controlled vowels).

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Debbie Hepplewhite
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