Thanks for your marvellous mail. The project is slowly developing
legs. Regards, Rotarian from Rotary Club Pretoria East
Hi [R and E],
I used SOUNS exclusively for a month in this remedial class of 10 students of 4th graders plus one 6th grader. Most of them have failed a couple of grades but I don’t know exactly what their ages are. They were suspected of being special ed students (I am a retired special ed teacher), but I think only one of them actually might have real processing difficulties. She still confuses the b, d, p, etc. and other sounds at times. Almost all of the students confused especially these three letter sounds at the beginning, with a mix of a few other letter sounds, but now do not confuse any of them. The word writing really took off when the diagraphs were introduced. If SOUNS was to be used for older, remedial students across Africa, my wish would be to have several sets of the letters available in a classroom, with a large table. That way they could write [words] and write to their heart’s content without waiting for someone else to finish using a letter. They could even write short sentences. I know several sets isn’t a practical possibility, but they love writing with those letters, and even watching other students write with them.
[Special Ed Teacher]
NOTE: What is described in this learning situation is exactly what our Interact Club does when working with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Georgia, USA: there is a large table around which the refugees sit and build words with the letters by listening to sounds in the names of things like fruit and vegetables, etc. Spelling is not the focus, letter-sound associations are key to early writing…whatever the age. They love helping one another build words, giggling at their successes. It is really beautiful to see.