Great improvements have been made in the teaching of phonics, however some children – whilst they know their sounds STILL cannot blend. WHY?
These children may have a dyslexic-type profile, they may have some dyspraxia – they are likely to have low working memory.
What to do?
Ensure that their sounds are ‘pure’ ie without an additional vowel schwa sound added at the end, see here for a demonstration of pure sounds:
These children can say the sounds in CVC words but cannot blend them to make a word. Typically, the vowel sounds falls out of working memory. There is no proprioceptive feedback from a vowel sound as they come from an open mouth.
When teaching and modelling sounds encourage exaggerated enunciation and ask students to FEEL the sounds, in this way they do not have to rely on the phonological loop which may be weak.
See here for modelling blending, stretching the vowel sound: showing the sequencing and movement of the jaw:
In addition, continue to read, enjoy and practice short words in books. Sometimes the vowel sound is first eg ‘and’, practice words which are only two letters: if, at, up and add an initial sound eg at becomes ‘cat’, up/cup – do this using wooden or plastic letters.
I read an EP report recently which said the child would never learn to blend.
Blending improves with reading and instruction, as the brain slowly rewires.
Phonemic awareness and dexterity improves in a reciprocal relationship with reading.
Do not give up!!