What is articulation?
Articulation is the correct production of the 44 distinct sounds in spoken English language. Articulation of phonemes requires no print to be visible.
What tasks should students be able to demonstrate to indicate mastery of this skill?
correctly articulate the 19 vowel phonemes
correctly articulate the 25 consonant phonemes
Why is articulation important to reading?
Proper articulation of phonemes is essential for students to successfully decode, read, and spell words. If students articulate incorrectly when they sound out words in spelling, they will struggle to apply the appropriate grapheme to each sound.
Structured Literacy Tools
Sequential and Cumulative
Systematic and Explicit
Introducing new phonemes should follow a scope and sequence, beginning with phonemes that are high utility and can be used to make simple words for reading. Also, sounds that are made by similar mouth formation should not be taught back to back to avoid confusion. When introducing new phoneme sounds, continue to review previously learned sounds.
Modeling correct articulation of phonemes is critical when teaching the 44 phonemes. Provide a guide word and a picture for each phoneme to solidify the understanding. Motions are also helpful in learning sounds, especially vowel sounds. Be careful not to "vowelize" consonants that are "stops" by adding "uh" to the end of the sounds, as this will confuse students when they learn to blend words to read. Use physical characteristics of articulation to teach students how to articulate the sounds correctly, such as "lips are together and only blow air; voice box is turned off" when making the sound /p/.
Students demonstrate mastery of articulation of phonemes when they can correctly produce the 44 phoneme sounds, including the 19 vowel phonemes and the 25 consonant phonemes. Students can be be assessed by showing them picture cards and having students correctly articulate the beginning phoneme.