Improving English literacy in primary schools.
With the English Literacy Foundation, we have developed five fully decodeable storybooks. These books are very useful tools for keen pre-school readers because every word used in them is simple to pronounce once you know the easiest 22 sounds (phonemes) in the English language.
The books do include a few long words but even these have been carefully selected so that the new reader can work out exactly how to pronounce them by themselves. When I was still at primary school I took great delight in learning the longest word in Welsh (Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch) and every class mate on seeing Mary Poppins had memorised:
I still don’t know what it means but such long words are irresistibly efficacious and can dumb fuddle the wisest of parents.
Author, Dr. J. Ford ( AKA ‘Bodkin’) found the five stories a challenge to write because words like “the” could not be used – although simple, it is hard to pronounce “the” when you are just starting on the road to mastering the English language.
“We want every young enthusiastic reader to be able to pick up any of our five books and read them from cover to cover without the help of an adult, and that’s the sure way to engage young minds and give them a sense of achievement. After reading one book, without assistance, the new avid reader will be hungry for more.”
As most of the best selling books for very early readers include some hard words, we went in the opposite direction and just used the easiest words to create a more relaxed and enjoyable reading experience.
Posted by Grant.
ELF books (22 phonemes) published by littlepeoplebooks.co.uk
- PROJECT UPDATE >
On Amazon the first title “On Robin Hill” (Paperback) sells at £7.99p+ £2.80 (UK delivery)
Amazon are listing an “Orange Second Series” title “Mister Porter’s Alarm Clock” (Paperback) £5.17p+ £2.80 (UK delivery) which was only ever printed in demo. form. Ten copies of this exist Worldwide which may explain why they are being offered by some collectors at a far higher price.
As some of the characters from the first five books make a come back appearance in a series of ten books written using all 44+ phonemes, all reprinted covers of the first five include the words “22 Phonemes” in bold.
- Early comments:
Julie Craddock “an avid reader” on 27 May 2009
“The kids loved it. THEY read to ME for a change. I liked the pictures but the story was way above my intellectual level! Now I am being nagged to get more books in the series. A boxed set would be nice then I wouldn’t have to check which they have got already. I think this is going to be a kind of 21st century Beatrix Potter collection.”
anotherreader on 16 January 2009
“At last a proper phonic reading scheme. Real stories with carefully chosen vocabulary. The pictures are fabulous. Highly recommended.”
V. Linnetton 29 May 2009
“I bought this book as I wanted to provide more fiction stories that my son can read himself. However, the words may be phonetic, but are not the sort used in everyday life. I think it is unreasonable to expect a child to read words that he has never heard of, just because they can be sounded out. I shall stick to Kipper, Floppy and the Oxford Reading Tree
Foreign Right buyers:
Primary and secondary worldwide rights, including movie rights, television rights, merchandising rights, foreign translation rights and new technologies rights available.