Lesson 7 - Reading Techniques for Adult Basic Education (ABE) Learners Illinois State Library

Word Patterns, Phonics

Page 3 of 9

Word Patterns

Word patterns help learners to see the relationships between groups of letters and their sounds. Teaching word patterns can be a strategy that helps learners make the connection between groups of letters and the sounds associated with them.

If the learner knows rhyming, there is no need to teach word patterns. However, if rhyming is needed by the learner, use the following Guide for Teaching Word Patterns. Give learners several rhyming words, then a beginning sound to which the rhyming ending will be attached. Ask the learner to finish the word. Often this is a simple task, but for some learners, it is a challenge. For example:

Word Pattern 1: Word Pattern 2: Word Pattern 3:
colder bank ran
bolder crank man
holder drank can
f_____ th____ f_____

Guide for Teaching Word Patterns

  1. Tutor writes the first word in a pattern, saying the letters and the word.
  2. Tutor writes the second pattern word directly under the first, using a beginning sound the students know. Tutor asks the students to read the word.
  3. If the students respond correctly, the tutor adds more words in the pattern, asking the students to read the words.

    If the students give no response or a wrong response, the tutor reviews possible elements of difficulty:
    1. The students may not remember the beginning sound.
    2. The students may not remember the sound of the letter cluster.
  4. Tutor asks the students to read the list of patterned words.
  5. Tutor asks the students to identify the letters that are the same in all the words.
  6. Tutor accepts the sounds of the pattern or the names of the letters.
  7. Tutor and students make word cards for the words in each pattern.

Phonics

Phonics is a strategy that helps people make the connection between letters and sounds. The purpose of phonics instruction is to demonstrate to the learner the connection between each letter and the sounds associated with that letter. If the learner knows all the letter-sound connections, there is no need for phonics instruction. If phonics instruction is needed by the learner, use the following Guide to Teaching Phonics to lead your tutoring.

Guide for Teaching Phonics

  1. Start with consonants. Teach only four at one time. Vowel sounds are more complex and are taught only one sound at a time.
  2. Tutor names a consonant letter. Tutor writes it. Student repeats the letter name.
  3. Student listens for the sound of the consonant at the beginning of some words while the tutor says the words and then while the student says them.
  4. Student picks a key word. Tutor writes the word.
  5. Student produces the sound of the consonant by producing the beginning sound of the key word.
  6. Student listens and recognizes the sound in the beginning of other words.
  7. After the student has mastered several beginning consonant sounds, proceed with ending consonants.
  8. Student listens and recognizes the sound in the beginning of other words.
  9. Student produces the sound at the end of words.
  10. Student and tutor review the name, sound, and key word for the letter.
  11. Student writes the key word.
  12. Vowels are taught in the context of words. They are taught one sound at a time. When teaching long vowels, describe the vowel as saying its name. For instance, “What is the name of this letter?” ‘a’ and “What sounds does it make?” ‘ay’