Phoneme Confusion Essay

An apprehension of why pupils frequently confuse the phonemes /b/ and /d/ begins with understanding the cardinal difference between a phoneme and a character. The term “phoneme” refers to a basic sound found within a linguistic communication. such as the sounds that are represented by the letters /b/ and /d/ . The character represents the existent symbol used to denote those sounds ( Reutzel & A ; Cooter. 2004 ) . In most Indo-germanic linguistic communications. the initial sounds of the words “ball” and “dog” are represented by these same symbols /b/ and /d/ .

The job that kids normally have with these sounds lies non in their confusion of the existent sounds or phonemes. but in the similarities between the two characters used to stand for them ( Goldstein. 2007 ) . The job that kids normally have is in calculating out which sound goes with which letter—not really in distinguishing the sounds themselves ( Macauslan & A ; Quinn. 1976 ) . This can be ascertained because it is frequently the instance that kids who make the error of blending up the two sounds by reading normally manage to talk without replacing either phoneme with the other ( Goldstein. 2007 ) .

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It is normally the instance. therefore. that the job lies with the ocular facet of the character itself. The letters /b/ and /d/ are both really likewise constructed: each is made up of a circle with a stick attached. When seeking to distinguish between /b/ and /d/ . kids forget which side the stick should be on. Even in the phonologically cognizant kid. each symbol sometimes succeeds in naming to mind both the sounds associated with the two letters ( Goldstein. 2007 ) . However. the kid has a job delegating the right sound to the proper missive non because of an built-in “reading” job. but because of an inability to decently point the signifier of the missive in order to do the determination ( Macauslan & A ; Quinn. 1976 ) .

There as several formal and informal methods of covering with this signifier of confusion. One method is merely to learn the letters individually. By learning the phoneme-grapheme /b/ ab initio. the pupil is allowed to go exhaustively familiar with the missive and its formation. This acquaintance will besides widen itself to the sound or phoneme that is to be associated with it. Once the pupil can separate that this ( B ) is the missive “b” ( “bee” ) . so that kid will be less likely to confound it with the other. Then. one it is established that the kid knows /b/ and can separate it from all other letters and signifiers. the phoneme/grapheme /d/ can be introduced.

Other methods of covering with this issue exist to cover with a confusion that has already surfaced. Some instructors use mnemotechnic devices such as the formation of the missive with the manus. By keeping the in-between finger and the pollex together while leting the index to stand straight up. one can come close the formation of /b/ on the left manus and /d/ on the right. By delegating a name to each formation such as “bull” to the left and “dog” to the right. the kid might be prompted to retrieve which missive goes with each sound by listening to the oncoming of each word.

It may besides be helpful to indicate out the similarity between the lower and upper-case B’s. By reminding the pupil that the lower-case /b/ is simply a “B” with the upper hemicycle losing. it might function to remind him/her which missive corresponds with what sound. However. this may non turn out by and large helpful at the early ages. at which phase kids are frequently likely to change by reversal all letters ( including capital B ) without readily detecting the difference.

The kid who is phonologically cognizant may still show confusion of the phonemes represented by the symbols /b/ and /d/ because of the similarity in the visual aspect of the two. These kids may be otherwise rather able to execute the psychological and physical actions necessary to go good readers. However. such otherwise good readers may prevail in confounding the two for rather a few old ages. The job is non normally a great one and may be overcome utilizing several mnemotechnic devices that serve to reenforce the differentiation in the visual aspect of the two characters.


Goldstein. E. B. ( 2007 ) .Cognitive psychological science: connecting head. research and mundane experience.Belmont. Calcium: Wadsworth Publishing.

Macauslan. A. & A ; V. Quinn. ( 1976 ) . “The rotary motion of mistakable letters in the authorship of down kids. ”Child: Care. Health and Development.2 ( 6 ) : 379-386.

Reutzel. D. R. & A ; R. B. Cooter. ( 2004 ) .The necessities of learning kids to read: what every instructor needs to cognize.Upper Saddle River: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.



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