10 sounds of 'ea'

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Bob Boden
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10 sounds of 'ea'

Post by Bob Boden » Tue Apr 22, 2008 6:37 pm

While giving some thought to all the possible pronunciations of 'ea' I suddenly realized that I had missed one: the 'ea' in meander, react, reactivate, and reality.

So my 'ea' list goes to a count of 10:

heal deaf ear, heart break ocean search, reality creates idea

Is my list now complete?

Bob Boden

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maizie
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Post by maizie » Tue Apr 22, 2008 6:44 pm

Unless you pronounce them differently in the US I would say that all those words are pronounced the same way and that the 'e' and the 'a' are said as two separate vowel sounds.

Also, 'ear' is three 'sound's, either /eer/ , /er/ or /ar/. But that's probably an accent difference.

Your 'marking' system wouldn't work here, Bob. It's too closely aligned to a US accent.

elsy
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Post by elsy » Tue Apr 22, 2008 6:45 pm

I'm not sure about others but these, to me (UK), are the same as 'reality'.

Bob Boden
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ea's have same pronunciation

Post by Bob Boden » Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:12 pm

Hi Maizie,

It is hard for me to believe that the ea's in words like:

"heal deaf ear, heart break ocean search, reality creates idea"

all have the same pronunciation.

Am I missing something?

Bob Boden

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maizie
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Post by maizie » Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:41 pm

Am I missing something?
Well, yes, Bob. I was initially talking about the words in your first 'list, meander, real, etc, when I said they all sounded the same!

chew8
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Post by chew8 » Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:11 pm

In 'meander', 'react' etc., 'ea' is surely not a single grapheme but two separate graphemes - compare 'oasis'. In 'react', one is helped by the fact that 're' is a common prefix.

Jenny C.

mtyler
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Post by mtyler » Tue Apr 22, 2008 11:01 pm

I take Bob's point, though I don't agree with the characterizations. A person does have to differentiate the letters 'e' and 'a' and decide if they go together and if other letters go with them.


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Judy
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Post by Judy » Tue Apr 22, 2008 11:18 pm

In 'meander', 'react' etc., 'ea' is surely not a single grapheme but two separate graphemes - compare 'oasis'. In 'react', one is helped by the fact that 're' is a common prefix.
No such help in 'poem', 'fuel', 'duet', 'quiet', 'chaos' however! :sad:

chew8
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Post by chew8 » Wed Apr 23, 2008 8:45 am

As Judy's examples show, there are a number of words where something looks like a digraph but isn't one. Knowing this requires word-specific knowledge, however.

It's one thing to analyse grapheme-phoneme correspondences when you know both the pronunciation and the spelling of a word. In any real act of reading, though, you don't know both: you have to work out the pronunciation from the spelling in front of you. It's impossible to formulate rules/guidelines which cover every possibility - some word-specific knowledge will always be necessary, though it also helps if the reader is willing to 'tweak' an initial attempt at pronunciation which is guideline-based but doesn't sound quite right.

In any real act of spelling, you know the pronunciation and have to work out what letters to write down. Here, even more word-specific knowledge is needed, because (a) the number of possible alternatives is far greater than it is in reading and (b) 'tweaking' doesn't really work.

Jenny C.

A Haimes
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Post by A Haimes » Wed Apr 23, 2008 1:00 pm

I find that teaching my students that vowels can say their name at the end of a syllable, is useful, for many of the words already discussed.

For example: re-act, o-a-sis, me-ander, fu-el, po-em, qui-et

chew8
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Post by chew8 » Wed Apr 23, 2008 3:43 pm

Hi Alison -

The sort of thing you mention is fine if one knows both the spelling and the pronunciation of these words, but how does one work out, just by looking at the letters, that the 'e' in 'react' and 'meander', the 'o' in 'oasis' etc. come at the end of a syllable? How does one know that these words are different in this respect from 'read', 'reach', 'ready'/'mean', 'meant'/'oath', 'roast', 'coach'?

Jenny C.

Bob Boden
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vowels

Post by Bob Boden » Wed Apr 23, 2008 7:51 pm

There are systems which can indicate the correct pronunciation of all the words in the vowel list below without changing the basic spelling. Leigh's Pronouncing Orthography and McGuffey's Reader could do the job. Present-day Distar could do it also. Modern word processing technology makes easy what in the past was a real chore. Don't have to cast special type slugs anymore.

I could note, by the way, that all marking systems which I know of have some way of showing letters that should be ignored in reading marked text. (italic, small letters, faint letters, crossed out letters, etc.) These systems also are similar in that they specify that a child learning to write would use normal text, but the words he copies would have pronunciation indicated.

Bob Boden

Vowel list showing different ways of indicating the same sound:

pat bag bat cab
pet bear bed beg bell, air care said says pair
pit bid big bit did, fear near hear rear steer, myth sylph bicycle sylvan lymph
pot top box cob cod, are balm bar calm car
pup bud bun bus cub, come done dove from love

bail bait bake bale bane, reign veil vein eight sleigh
bead react Pete area meander, pique police valise caprice pristine, sunny
bide bike pint bite aisle, hype type eye by rye
boat bold bolt bone both
dude suit lute dune ruse, food mood move lose boot, flew
huge mute fuse mule fume

law paw fall call walk, toss boss moth loss sought

per fir wolf cur pure myrtle

bough couch count doubt house, cow sow how now town

oil coil coin foil join, ahoy boy toy royal employ

chew8
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Post by chew8 » Wed Apr 23, 2008 8:46 pm

Bob -

Reading is about working out pronuciation from the letters on the page. I realise that your marking system would eliminate ambiguities from this process, but most of us are not considering using marked text. Rather, we are thinking about unmarked text, where readers may have to be willing to try out different pronunciations until one matches a word in their oral vocabulary and sounds right in the context.

Jenny C.

Bob Boden
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choice of teaching-to-read programs

Post by Bob Boden » Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:23 pm

Hi Jenny,

I know how you feel regarding the marking of letters, but I still think that it would be more economical in the long run to make use of modern computer programs (which cost nothing) to simplify the teaching-to-read process. The people who used ITA's always insisted that the kids could learn to read in about three months -- in kindergarten. If this kind of schedule could be attained in England it would save a great deal of money.

And I always think mournfully of all those little children who don't happen to have really good teachers, who may even be being taught by the stupid whole word method -- and are condemned to a lifetime of minimum wage.

How many people out there would disagree with the statement that it would be easier and faster to teach English children to read if all letters and digraphs each had but one sound? ESL kids should be especially helped because of less ability on the part of their parents to help them at home.

There is another element which I think would be of value. I cannot see any kind of agreement regarding the exact way to teach SP. Everyone has his own opinion. This makes the present situation look kind of chaotic.
There is agreement on SP (and that goes for me too) but that appears to be just about the only thing the members of the group agree on. If the government is going to take some part in the promotion of better ways to teach reading it would be nice if they had a little better direction -- if they had more than just the reputation of the many people offering their own recommendations.

Lets see what some of the others think. The subject is not trivial nor is it going to go away.

Bob Boden

chew8
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Post by chew8 » Wed Apr 23, 2008 10:25 pm

Hi Bob -

I'll just comment briefly at this stage:

1. I have been told that when ita was used in England, a lot of teachers used it in a whole-word way, thus cancelling out a lot of its effect.

2. The only teacher I know personally who used ita in a phonics way thought very highly of it but felt that the results were just as good when she switched to teaching phonics in traditional orthography.

Jenny C.

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