Should Letter Names Be Taught: Everything You Need to Know
According to experts, teaching letter names will cause more confusion than clarity. Many people believe that focusing on sounds rather than letter names is preferable.
For a long time, letter name lessons have been incorporated into beginner reading instructions. For example, the earliest schoolbooks sent to America from Britain began with the alphabet.
Several conversations have occurred over time, but there has been little evidence to proceed.
- So Far, So Good
There have been various debates on whether or not letter names should be taught. Because the first known research focused on the repercussions of teaching fictional alphabets, the conclusion reached was that children could read words made using fictitious letters even if they did not know the letter names.
Since then, other researchers have attempted to replicate the results using genuine letters. In this aspect, the findings have been varied. Marilyn Adams concluded in 1990 that teaching the alphabet provided no benefit.
- Informing About Research Findings
A recent study has attempted to grasp the true utility of the alphabet in the context of phonemic sensitivity training rather than on its own.
In this aspect, the conclusion is that instruction in the alphabet and PA has a greater impact on later reading success than only teaching PA. Suffice it to say that adding letters to a PA curriculum has a multiplier impact on the end outcome.
Jean Moulin provided one of the most comprehensive considerations on this subject (2005). In his research, he looked at studies that looked at the alphabets’ facilitative effects on learning to read. This was done to see if such directions were reasonable and why letter names would be useful.
- The Next Steps
Jean Moulin stated that additional study is needed since it is unknown why knowing the alphabet has such a favorable effect.
He also stated that beginning reading training should include a concentrated attempt to teach letter recognition, letter names, and the sounds associated with the letters.
It should be noted that concepts are abstract by definition and giving them names appears to help children visualize them as actual beings.
Finally, consider the following:
The debate over whether letter names should be taught is nuanced. Developing letter ideas entails teaching children how to organize groupings of auditory and visual elements into sets.
Such exercises have been shown to help children link words with letters, so enhancing memory.