Many of the most common words in our language are not phonetic. The more a word is used in our language, the more its sounds become clipped and changed so that it is suitable for speech, while its print representation remains fairly constant. This creates words that are spelt differently to how they sound. They are ‘tricky’ or ‘common exception words’
Why teach the Common Exception Words?
The most top 300 high-frequency words make up 65% of all printed words. Almost half of these are not decodable using phonics. The result is that around a quarter of the words that children are asked to learn to read and spell cannot be done so phonetically. So, it is essential that your child can read and spell these words.
Although the common exception words do not follow phonetic rules, they can be easily taught using Monster Phonics. Colour-coding draws pupils’ attention to the grapheme-phoneme correspondence. This highlights the parts of the words that are phonetic and the sections that are tricky.
Here is a reminder of how Monster Phonics works. Ask your school about the Monster’s video, Monster posters and Monster’s World Cards.
Read our next blog on phonics games and flashcard activities.