Teaching the teacher (parent or caregiver) about Souns initially takes about two hours. The Souns program – focusing only on letter-sound associations – is the most natural, developmentally appropriate route to reading for the young child. Teachers love this simple, logical, effective tool. After the introduction of the program, we observe the teacher teaching the children (below).
The result, often in three to four months of learning letter-sound associations, is the building of words (below). This “writing” by listening to sounds in words lasts for several weeks or a month. Taking the puzzle of a spoken word apart, building it with symbols is fun! This understanding of the structure of words leads to a seamless step into sounding out printed phonetic words.
Soon, the magic of decoding – sounding out words – appears spontaneously in the classroom….one little person at a time. The five-year-old in the image below is reading a sentence I wrote. She sought us out to share something she had read in the classroom. I wanted fresh material for her, so I created a short phonetic sentence, which she read with no hesitation.
Are we making a difference in South Africa? Absolutely! Rotarian volunteers teach the teachers in the implementation of a program that is provided by a Rotary Global Grant. In a country with 11 official languages, Souns focuses ONLY on letter-sounds, most of which are the same across all the languages. Letter-sound associations are the most direct link to writing and reading. These children will walk a better path toward success in school; they will read!
“Thank you!” to The Rotary Foundation for your support of this Global Grant 25244 literacy project initiated by the Rotary Club of Pretoria East in Rotary District 9400 and the Rotary Club of Peachtree City in Rotary District 6900.