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The letters of the alphabet are the building blocks of language. These are more than just a collection of characters and sounds. Combined together, letters can form all the words in the English language, building this way the basis for communication.
Words can be long, short, with one syllable, two or more. A word can have diverse uses and representations. But, one thing they have in common is that words are necessary to form the sentences that help us to express our thoughts and needs.
For children, learning to recognize the letters and their sounds is key to building a good foundation for their future language skills.
Understanding how to write the alphabet and how to pronounce the letters and their sounds will allow them to do better at school and to become better communicators overall. It will improve not only their academic life but also their relationships with their peers since they’ll be able to express their thoughts more clearly.
In the alphabet in English, just as in many other languages, each letter has at least one associated sound (sometimes a letter can have more than one sound). Depending on how these are made, the sounds of the letters in English can be divided into two main groups: consonants and vowels .
Both of these types of sounds work together to form syllables, the units of pronunciation in a word. Now, let’s take a look at these two main groups of letters:
/bi:/ B for boy
/si:/ C for cat
/di:/ D for duck
/ɛf/ F for fish
/dʒi:/ G for girl
/eɪtʃ/ H for hat
/dʒeɪ/ J for jelly
/keɪ/ K for kite
/ɛl/ L for lion
/ɛm/ M for moon
/ɛn/ N for net
/piː/ P for pizza
/kju:/ Q for queen
/ɑ:/ R for rabbit
/ɛs/ S for sun
/ti:/ T for table
/vi:/ V for van
/ˈdʌbəlˌju:/ W for window
/ɛks/ X as in box
/waɪ/ Y for yoghurt
/zi:/ Z for zebra
To put it simply, consonants are sounds made by blocking the airflow from the mouth while pronouncing them. This could be by closing the lips, or by using the teeth, tongue or palate.
For example, to pronounce the letter “b”, the lips must be closed for a moment to produce the corresponding sound.
Consonants can’t be sung, but can be emphasized when speaking, and are also useful to break the syllables apart.
/eɪ/ A for apple
/i:/ E for egg
/aɪ/ I for iguana
/əʊ/ O for octopus
/ju:/ U for umbrella
Vowels are sounds made by allowing the airflow out of the mouth, which means that the mouth remains open when pronouncing them. These type of letter sounds can be sung and can carry different tones as well.
Even those there are only five vowels in English, the letter “y” can also be considered a vowel. However, it’s often considered an exception since it can fall in either category.
Let's listen to each letter sound and start practicing it with your little ones!
The letters names are very important when learning how to speak English. However, the pronunciation of the letters names don’t always correspond to their sounds. That’s why learning phonics is so important!
Phonics help children to better understand how words sounds are constructed, which makes reading and talking easier, and also improves spelling.
Now, take a look at the sounds of each letter name:a - /eɪ/
Learning the letters is a huge step for children's development. And, what better way to learn such an important topic than through music? Music makes learning new content easier and more fun since it helps with memorization.
Children love music! So, through songs and harmonic sounds, learning the alphabet becomes a much more pleasant experience. Check out this awesome ABC song to help your little ones learn the alphabet in English.
Learning the letters and their sounds is one of children’s first goals and using worksheets to practice the alphabet makes everything easier!
This ABC Book is a great tool not only for older kids that are learning how to write, but also for the younger ones that are still learning their first words.
Babies and toddlers can benefit from alphabet books as well. They can start learning about word association and they can familiarize with how the letters look and sound.
These alphabet printable worksheets have all the letters in the English alphabet, each one with its own illustration, so the little ones can start pairing the words with the images. They also have both uppercase and lowercase letters, perfect for kids of all ages to practice writing!
Learn how to speak English with Lingokids app. English Learning Videos for Kids between 2-8 years old.
Discover a great selection of children's songs to learn English
Games for kids in English, help your little ones learn while they're having fun!
Here you'll find downloadable worksheets in English for printing, so your kids can keep learning through these exercises.
Find out all the fun stories here in English for kids.