We use a number of terms throughout the Citizen Literacy Programme that you may need some clarification on before teaching them. We hope that the list below supports you as you teach the face- to- face Citizen Literacy programme.
Adjectives is the term for the group of words in English that describe nouns, proper nouns and pronouns.
e.g. She has a black bag. Ann is old. She is Scottish.
The English alphabet consists of 26 letters – see Resource [2-3-1]. These 26 letters are broken into 5 vowels: ‘a e i o u’ and 21 consonants ‘b c d f g h j k l m n p q r s t v w x y z’.
Letters in the English alphabet can be written in two ways: lower case – a b c d e f g …. and upper case/ capital letters – A B C D E F G ……
There are spelling and punctuation rules that govern the use of capital letters: Resource [2-4-1]
Alphabetical order is determined by working through the alphabet from a- z, left to right.
e.g. List of words: pen, sock, book, watch
List of words in alphabetical order: book, pen, sock, watch
If there are two or more words that begin with the same letter, then alphabetical order is determined from the second, third letter of each word and so on…
e.g. book, bed.
Blending is when the sounds of a language are merged together to create a word.
There are forty-four sounds in English. Learners are encouraged to blend the sounds into each other: mmmmmmmmm aaaaaaaa tttttttt= mat
This skill takes practice, so please utilise the resources, especially in Lessons 1, 6 and 7 to build your students’ blending skills.
This can also be called decoding – when words are broken down into their sounds. Once learners are aware of the different sounds and different spellings, they can decode any word as every word in English can be broken down into its sounds.
e.g. chin = /ch/ /i/ /n/
app = /a/ /p/
There are 21 consonants in English as noted above. They can be described as non-vowel sounds and they can appear as single (grapheme) or double letters (digraph) in words:
e.g. ‘box, cat, apple, bottle’.
The definite article ‘the’ is used before a noun to let the reader know that the writer is writing about a specific thing or person.
e.g. The girl is in the shop.
A digraph is the written representation of a sound which consists of two letters.
e.g. /ch/ = ch /sh/ = sh /ai/ = ‘ay’, or ‘ai’, or ‘ea’ (one sound, many spellings)
NB – two letters but only ONE sound.
Grammar is the way that words are ordered and structured in sentences. There are a number of grammar points taught in Lessons 1- 10
e.g. He has a small, black, Spanish dog.
The sentence above includes punctuation, a pronoun, a verb and adjectives.
A grapheme is the written representation of a sound which consists of one letter.
e.g. /s/ = s /a/ = a /k/ = c (one sound, many spellings)
NB – one letter = one sound
The indefinite articles ‘a’ or ‘an’ are used before a noun to let the reader know that the writer is writing about a non – specific thing or person.
e.g. A girl is in the shop.
A noun is a person, place, thing or a feeling/emotion.
e.g. girl, kitchen, phone, love.
A phoneme is a unit of sound in a word. There are approximately 44 sounds in English.
In Citizen Literacy, we break these sounds into 5 different groups with each group building on the previous one.
A pronoun is a word that can stand in for a noun in a sentence or a question sentence.
e.g. she, he, it, they,
Proper nouns usually always begin with a capital letter and are the names of specific people, places, organisations or things.
e.g. Citizen Literacy, Scotland, The Orient Express.
Punctuation uses symbols to help readers to read and understand what has been written. Symbols such as full stops, commas and question marks help to organise what has been written into sentences or question sentences.
A question sentence is a type of sentence that is asked to find out more information. A question sentence always begins with a capital letter and always ends with a question mark
In Citizen Literacy, we emphasize that a question sentence has to make sense. Encourage learners to read their question sentences out oud to themselves or to you for them to establish if they make sense.
Realia is the term for everyday objects that Tutors use to augment their teaching resources.
e.g. a mobile phone, a bag, a bottle, a pen.
A sentence is a set of words when put together in the correct order expresses a complete thought and makes sense. A sentence always begins with a capital letter and always ends with a full stop.
In Citizen Literacy, we emphasize that a sentence has to make sense. Encourage learners to read their sentences out oud to themselves or to you for them to establish if they make sense.
Split digraphs are five digraphs that consist of each vowel followed by an ‘e’ but the vowel and the ‘e; are split by a consonant
These are the five split digraphs: /a-e/, /e-e/, /i-e/, /o-e/, /u-e/
They appear in words such as tame, compete, line, cone, and dispute.
Split digraphs are long vowel sounds.
A verb is a word which is used with a pronoun or proper noun to describe a situation or what someone is doing.
e.g. I do not eat meat. Pam and Pat are in the pub.