Importance of Phonetics (Phoneme) in English reading and writing

India is a country where Hindi is the Official Language. Though Hindi is an official language, each state/region of India has its own diversified languages in use. English is the global language, in the backdrop of globalisation, it is proved to be a language which has to be learnt by one and all. As this fact was identified by Indians long ago, they have now started adopting this language, becoming an undeniable growth engine of Global innovation, trade and development. But still, a major chunk of the students are struggling to read /write the language properly. The reason behind this is, they are being taught English conventionally, by-hearting spellings of the words. Unfortunately, this is humanly not possible to memorize all the spellings in the words of the dictionary. As always there is a chance of errors while reproducing these spellings, Phonetic approach is a dependable method where each sound of pronunciation is represented by a letter or set of letters. In the English language, there are 44 sounds (Phonemes) which are represented by 26 letters of alphabet individually and in combination. A phoneme is a speech sound. It’s the smallest unit of sound that distinguishes one word from another. The 44 English sounds can be divided into two major categories – consonant sounds and vowel sounds. A consonant sound is one in which the airflow is cut off, either partially or completely, when the sound is produced. In contrast, a vowel sound is one in which the airflow is unobstructed when the sound is made. The vowel sounds are the music or movement of the English language. Most of the Vowels carry 2 different sounds, a long sound and a short sound whereas most of the consonants carry a single sound. Letters like C, G, K, Q, X, Y are exceptions having more than 2 sounds. Students having strong phonological awareness acquire reading with greater ease and success. So, it is a necessity to adapt the phonetic method in child education to develop confidence and make them more vocal in their future life.


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