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Uh Phun Kwizz: Fon Nix Ken Bee Phun
A Fun Quiz: Phonics Can Be Fun

A humorous look at the English language which illustrates just one of the many reasons
dyslexics have difficulty learning to read in English

  1. How many different ways can you spell the sound "sh"
        (a) 1       (b) 2        (c) 3       (d) 4 or more  

    The answers are at the end of the "phun kwizz" (fun quiz). 
  1. You can pronounce the non-words (or word parts) glish, anch, and iddle as in Englishman, branches and fiddles. Now, how are these word parts pronounced:
...fici... a. fee see b. fie sigh c. fish d. ficky
...missi... a. me see b. my sigh c. mish d. my she
...titi... a. tee tee b. tie tie c. tish d. tie tea
  1. Some words can easily be pronounced by sounding the letters from left to right. Examples of some of these words are bag, tip, pop, dad, mud, and Ted. Starting with the letter a used as a word, how many sound changes can you make take place by adding just the letter m in front of a and as many other letters as you can after it?

            (a) two    (b) three    (c) four    (d) 5 or more


Answers:

1. d (ci as in special, si as in suspension, ch as in chef, ssi as in mission, ti as in initial, ss as in pressure).

2. c for all three. Fici is "fish" as in official; titi is "tish" as in petition; and missi is "mish" as in mission.

3. d (a, ma, mag, magi, magic, magician) 7 changes.  For counters, there are three changes that occur when magic becomes magician.  Note the consistency within changes:  

The word a is pronounced "uh" not "ay".

Change # 1.  If we add m in front of a we get ma which rhymes with fa, la, tra, da and pa.  All single syllable words ending in a rhyme with ma.   That is 100% phonic pattern consistency.

Change #2.  Add the letter g to ma and we get mag. Notice the g changes the sound of the vowel from "ah" to short a. Mag rhymes with bag, lag, flag, rag, brag, tag, stag, nag, snag, etc. All single syllable words ending in -ag rhyme.   That is 100% phonic pattern consistency.

Change #3.  Add the letter i to Mag and we get Magi (Madge eye). Notice the letter i changes the sound of the g to that of j.  In over 90% of letter combinations in which the letter g is followed by i or e, the sound of the letter g is /j/.  That is phonic pattern regularity.

Change #4.   Add the letter c and we get magic. Notice that the letter c changes the sound of the long i to a short i.   All words ending -ic are pronounced just as if they were spelled ick as in pick and nick.  That is 100% phonic pattern consistency.  But notice picnic follows the pattern of the "fancy" words.  The simple words end -ick.  But don't panic.  And don't pan Nick! 

Changes #5 & 6 & 7.  Add the letters ian and we get magician.  The ending first changes the sound of the second letter (a) back to "uh."  It now shifts the accent to the letters gici (JISH) and changes the sound of the letter c into the "sh" sound and makes it "muh JISH un."

This was just a dem, demo, demon, demons, demonstrate, demonstrative, demonstration on how endings affect the beginnings of words.  Our language may not have perfect letter by letter phonic correspondence, but the patterns are nearly 100% consistent.  We need to teach the phonic patterns of our language to most students.

These patterns can be found in The Patterns of English Spelling.
 

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