Letter Confusion

Letter confusion is a very common issue faced by beginning readers and writers. Especially letters that are mirror images of each other such as b and d, p and d, p and q and n and u, are very likely to be confused.

The best way to avoid that confusion is to teach b and d sounds in separate lessons. When your child begins to write, it is important to emphasize correct letter formation. For the letter b, start with the stick and then form the circle. When writing letter d start with the circle and then the stick.

However, if your child is already mixing up b and d when reading or writing there are other steps you can take to help!

  • 1 - Use Tactile Surfaces to Reteach Letter b and d
  • 2 - Try air writing to reinforce proper letter formation
  • 3 - Use analogies to teach letters b and d
  • 4 - Notice shape of mouth when saying letter sounds b and d

Check out these links for more details and how to help your child avoid letter confusion. /2013/03/12/help-students-correct-bd-letter-reversals easy-letter-reversal-solution.html common-phonics-problems-sorted

Develop letter sound correspondence

When your child shows interest in print start introducing him/her to the alphabet. Avoid telling your child name of the letters of the alphabet and focus only on the sounds. Introduce a few letter sounds at a time and do not introduce similar looking or sounding alphabets in the same lesson. For instance, do not introduce b and d or n and m in the same lesson.

Here are some tips to help reinforce letter sound correspondence:

  • 1- Use foam letters in the bathtub: Ask your child to ‘fish’ out letters by telling them the letters sounds.
  • 2- Play games: What does ‘Sunday’ start with? Can you find /s in a word? Etc
  • 3- Use every opportunity to reinforce letter sounds.
  • 4- Always refer to the letters by their sounds when first introducing them to letters/sounds. It avoids confusion.
  • 5- Trace in sand/shaving cream
  • 6- Use Playdoh to create letters and practice their sounds

For more tips on developing letter sound correspondence check out these links: articles/teaching-content/early-literacy-connecting- letters-and-sounds/ au_skills_lsc_videos.php

Develop Phonemic Awareness

When your child has mastered some consonant sounds and one or two vowel sounds (the short “a” and short “o” tend to be the easiest), you can play interactive games that will help your child understand that words are composed of multiple sounds. This in turn will help your child develop phonemic awareness.

The simplest way to help your child is by asking him/her to identify all different sounds he can hear or recognize in a word. For example, ask him what sounds do you hear in the word ‘cat’? Then ask him to identify the beginning sound and the ending sound. The middle sound is generally the hardest for them to distinguish. Once your child is able to identify beginning and ending sounds work on the middle sounds (vowel sounds).

For more ideas and tips check out these excellent resources: /phonemic-awareness-introduction