Blending is the skill of being able to combine sounds together to make words. This means that students are able to identify the different sounds in words and correctly pronounce new words by recognising letter and sound patterns.
By using the I Can Read coding method we teach the students to learn and access individual sounds so they will be able to confidently say words smoothly without pausing between sounds. They can break down the individual sounds and blend these together to create a word. When teaching our students, we not only use real words but also made up or ‘nonsense’ words to help them to focus on the whole word sound, and not just remember vocabulary.
This will help them with future reading of new vocabulary as they can remember the patterns in the pronunciation of sounds in words.
This enables students to speak fluently using the English language and become competent readers. Through following the I Can Read system the students will learn codes relating to the sounds in words, which are practiced in story books in class. These stories show the coding above words and then once these have been learnt the coding in our reading books is slowly removed until the students are able to read proficiently and independently without it.
It is important to teach students these skills when reading because some students will struggle with being able to blend sounds together. By practicing the I Can Read method when reading, we are helping students to read words without making them sound “choppy” or pausing at the wrong times when they are speaking. Students who don’t learn the blending method may find it easy to correctly pronounce short words which they have learnt how to pronounce, but when it comes to reading longer words when they are expanding their vocabulary they may have difficulty being able to say and read the words correctly. These students will then likely make many more errors when reading and spelling new words.
To avoid problems with pronunciation it is important for students to learn how to blend words from when they start reading and writing in English. This allows them to learn and develop the skills they need and will avoid them from learning bad habits such as remembering words using incorrect pronunciation.