Building Words With Soun(d)s

A Peace Corps volunteer in South Africa shares her work with the Souns program funded by The Rotary Foundation. What an amazing collaboration between two globally sensitive, benevolent-minded organizations. Thank you Rotary Districts 6900 and 9400!
I had such a great day with the children today that I thought I should share.  I made some “picture cards” earlier this week to help teach new English vocabulary to the children through pictures. 
I showed them the pictures, gave them the meanings in Xitsonga and English, and we started to figure out how to build them.  At first the children had no clue what I wanted when I asked “What sound does ‘pot’ start with?”  But after getting a translation, a little boy  whispered “pih pih pih”.  We soon had pot built, and the children took turns saying “pih ah tih” several times.  A few even started saying “pot”.  It was amazing to see the kids take their first step in writing and reading.  I could see the educators who were watching finally get what I was trying to do with the programme, and they began to get excited and more involved with the groups.  They were seeing 3-4 year old children figure out how to write words and read.  
I look forward to teaching them a few new words and sounds each day.  

Second day: We work together to sound out the word, and the children are eager to grab the Souns and build the word.  Today we focused on “hat”, “mop” and “pot”.  Right now, the kids are still struggling to separate the individual sounds in the words, but little by little they are getting there.

Some of them are even starting to read the words we build.

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