The Alphabet

The Alphabetic Principle

The English language is based on the alphabetic principle. This video explains what the alphabetic principle is and that it refers to how the letters of our language map on to sounds and combine in a particular sequence.

Letter Formation

Letter formation in cursive and print is demonstrated, paying attention to the beginning point and the direction of the strokes composing the letter. Several activities are suggested to promote visual discrimination and fine motor control.

Vowels & Consonants

What is the difference between vowels and consonants? View this video to discover why our alphabet is divided into these two groups.

Noisy and Quiet Letters

Some letters are pronounced using vibrations of the vocal cords and others are not. Vibration of the vocal cords produces noisy letters and without the vibration the letters are quiet.

Noisy and Quiet “S”

Learn when “s” is quiet and when “s” is noisy.

Consonants Saying
One Sound

This video introduces the consonants that are only associated with one sound or phoneme, such as, l is only pronounced /l/.

The Letter X

Special consideration should be given to the letter “x” as it is pronounced with two phonemes /k/ and /s/. This video shows a teacher and student learning about “x”.

Y: A Special Letter

Another special letter is “y” as it can be pronounced in four different ways depending on whether it occurs in initial, medial or final position. The position also determines its performance as a vowel or consonant. The video explains how to use “y”.


This cluster needs to be taught separately and whether to consider “u” a vowel or consonant. The video will answer that question.

Modilfying Letters
“L” & “W”

View this video to learn how these letters modify the vowels that precede it.
The L Effect and W Effect are explained with examples.

Hard & Soft “C” & “G”

The letters “c” and “g” have alternative pronunciations when followed by e, I and y. View this video to find out how to introduce these patterns to students.

Short Vowels

Short vowels occur in Closed Syllables and this video shows which vowels are considered “short”.

Consonant Digraphs

Two adjacent letters that make one sound are called digraphs. The video teaches the common and rare digraphs consisting of two consonants.


Some vowel sounds are made by sliding or gliding from one vowel sound to another. These graphemes are grouped according to the means of production and pronunciation. The video explains which vowel combinations are diphthongs.


When three letters make one sound, the combination is called a trigraph. The video explains which letter combinations are trigraphs and where they occur.

R-Controlled Vowels

When “r” follows a vowel, vowel team or occurs in a VCe syllable, this letter can modify the vowel sound. This video will teach you to recognize the three types of R-controlled syllable.

The Schwa

The most common vowel sound is the schwa, which occurs in unstressed syllables. Any vowel or vowel combination can be pronounced with the schwa. Learn that there is some predictability when spelling syllables with a schwa.


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