Phonology studies the range of speech sounds a native speaker uses while speaking how they are produced and how an individual produces them.

The functions of sounds are, however, examined by another linguistic discipline, namely phonology.


Vowels are produced by allowing the vocal folds to vibrate as the air-flow moves through the moth which is held in an open and fixed position.

Example: /a / /i/ /u/ /e/ /o/


Consonants are produced by narrowing open or more parts of the mouth to complete or near closure thus causing disturbance to the flow of air or redirection of air-flow.

Example: /k/ /g/ /p/ /b/ etc.

The basic difference between production of vowels and consonants is the obstruction of air stream. During vowel production the outgoing air stream is relatively unobstructed, whereas, consonants are the result of obstruction to the outgoing air stream during breathing.


Diphthongs consist of two vowels blended together to make one phonetic unit.

Example: to produce the diphthongs in the word /eye/, the tongue has to move quickly and smoothly from approximately the /ah/ to the /ee/ position.


Combinations of two consonants are known as clusters.

Example: /tr/ /cl/ /sh/. It is also known as digraphs.


Any sound produced by push of the breath is called syllable. Combination of consonants and vowels forms syllable.

Example: /ka/ /pa/.

Syllabication refers to using the sound of words to divide them into pronunciation units. A syllable is a unit of pronunciation and it may include one or more sound. Three common rule for syllabication are:


      When two consonants (C) comes between two vowels (V), as in supper; divide the word between the two consonants: sup- per (VC- CV pattern)

      When a single consonant comes between the two vowels, divide the word after the first vowel, as in ba-con (V-CV pattern)


      When a word ends in a consonant followed by le, as in cable, the final syllable is made up of consonant and the le (Cle pattern).


We do not speak individual sounds. Speech is a combination or a chain of individual sound or words. Formation of such chains of sounds and words are governed by rules of that particular language.

Here are the most commonly used phonics rules:

1. Every syllable in every word must contain a vowel. The vowels are: a, e, i, o, u, and y (although y is a consonant when at the beginning of a word).

2. When "c" is followed by "e, i, or y," it usually has the soft sound of "s." Example: city.

3. When "g" is followed by "e, i, or y," it usually has the soft sound of "j." Example: gem.

4. A consonant digraph is two or more consonants that are grouped together and represent a single sound. Here are consonant digraphs you should know: wh (what), sh (shout), wr (write), kn (know), th (that), ch (watch), ph (laugh), tch (watch), gh (laugh), ng (ring).

5. When a syllable ends in a consonant and has only one vowel, that vowel is short. Examples: tap, bed, wish, lock, bug.

6. When a syllable ends in a silent "e," the vowel that comes before the silent "e" is long. Examples: take, gene, bite, hope, fuse.

7. When a syllable has two vowels together, the first vowel is usually long and the second vowel is silent. Example: stain.

8. When a syllable ends in a vowel and is the only vowel, that vowel is usually long. Examples: ba/ker, be/come, bi/sect, go/ing, fu/ture, my/self.

9. When a vowel is followed by "r" in the same syllable, the vowel is neither long nor short. Examples: charm, term, shirt, corn, surf.


Some TLMs that can be used for phonics training:

1.     Teaching initial sounds, blends CVC words etc

phonemic awareness blending activity. (With images) | Teaching ...


2.     Teaching word family

Word family flip books | Teaching, Word families, Phonics activities

3.     Alphabet puzzle for teaching beginning sounds

Pencil Alphabet Puzzles for Back to School (With images ...


4.     Guess the secret word game:

Secret Code Seasonal Words | Alphabet activities, Literacy centers ...