Read Write Inc


English is a complex code!

  • All words are made up of sounds.
  • In English there are 44 sounds.

How will I know how to pronounce the phonic sounds?

  • You can practise saying the sounds by using the chart below

How will I know how to recognise the grapheme for each sound?

  • A grapheme is a sound written down i.e the letter symbol.
  • English has more than 150 graphemes.
  • This chart shows the most usual graphemes for the 44 sounds.

Set 1 Sounds are taught in the following order:

m a s d t, i n p g o, c k u b, f e l h sh, r j v y w, th z ch qu x ng nk

With Read, Write Inc we are using pure sounds, (‘m’ not’ muh’, ’s’ not ‘suh’, etc) so that your child will be able to blend the sounds into words more easily.

These first sounds should all be stretched slightly.Try to avoid saying uh after each one e.g. /mm/ not muh, /ss/ not suh, /ff/ not fuh. 
mmmmmmmountain (keep lips pressed together hard
ssssssnake (keep teeth together and hiss – unvoiced)
nnnnnnnet (keep tongue behind teeth)
fffffflower (keep teeth on bottom lip and force air out sharply – unvoiced)
lllllleg (keep pointed curled tongue behind teeth).
rrrrrrrobot (say rrr as if you are growling)
vvvvvvvulture (keep teeth on bottom lip and force air out gently)
zzzzzzzig zzzzzag (keep teeth together and make a buzzing sound)
ththhhhank you ( stick out tongue and breathe out sharply)
shshhhh (make a shhh noise as though you are telling somebody to be quiet!)
ngng – thinnnnngg on a strinnnngg (curl your tongue at the back of your throat)
nkI think I stink (make a piggy oink noise without the oi! nk nk nk)
These next sounds cannot be stretched.Make the sound as short as possible avoiding uh at the end of the sound: 
ttick tongue behind the teeth – unvoiced
pmake distinctive p with lips – unvoiced
kmake sharp click at back of throat
cas above
hsay h as you breathe sharply out – unvoiced)
chmake a short sneezing sound
xsay a sharp c and add s – unvoiced
You will find it harder to avoid saying uh at the end of these sounds.
dtap tongue behind the teeth
gmake soft sound in throat
bmake a short, strong b with lips
jpush lips forward
ykeep edges of tongue against teeth
wkeep lips tightly pursed
qukeep lips pursed as you say cw – unvoiced
The short vowels should be kept short and sharp:
aa-a-a (open mouth wide as if to take a bite of an apple
ee-e-e (release mouth slightly from a position).
ii-i-i (make a sharp sound at the back of the throat – smile).
oo–o-o (push out lips, make the mouth into o shape).
uu-u-u (make a sound in the throat).

Set 2 Sounds are taught in the following order:

ay, ee, igh, ow, oo, ar, or,, ou, oy, ire

When the children are very confident with all of Set 1 and Set 2 sounds then they are taught Set 3 Sounds.

The long vowel sounds are all stretchy sounds.

Long vowel soundSet 2 SoundsSet 3 Sounds
Ayay: may I playa-e: make a cakeai: snail in the rain
Eeee: what can you seeea: cup of teae: he me we she be
ighigh: fly highi-e: nice smile
Owow: blow the snowo-e: phone homeoa: goat in a boat
Oooo: poo at the zoou-e: huge bruteew: chew the stew
Oooo: look at a book 
Arar: start the car 
Oror: shut the dooraw: yawn at dawn
airair: that’s not fairare: share and care
Irir: whirl and twirlur: nurse for a purseer: a better
Ouou: shout it outow: brown cow
Oyoy: toy for a boyoi: spoil the boy
ire ire: fire fire!
ear ear: hear with your ear
ure ure: sure it’s pure?

So how can you help your child?

By knowing the 44 pure sounds.

By using the Speed Sound cards with your child.

By knowing how to blend using Fred Talk for reading.



By knowing how to do Fred Fingers for spelling.

By having fun with Fred Talk at home!

“What a tidy r-oo-m!”
“Where’s your c-oa-t?”
“Time for b-e-d!”

By reading to your child lots of lovely stories and asking lots of questions.

By taking time to talk!
By praising your child for using new words or interesting images.

By visiting the parent page for Read Write Inc on Oxford University Press’ website.