Making puzzles is a “key skill” in ThatReadingThing. It helps you, the tutor, think about English the same way that you want your learner to.
If you struggle to segment sounds in words, email me with your list of words for a lesson and I’ll help you out.
If you just can’t hear sounds at all, you need to work through a few levels of TRT with a trained tutor before you start working with a struggling reader.
Here’s a brief guide to multi-syllable puzzles at the Foundation Levels (5-16). I’ve included only a couple of examples at each level. If sh is on one sound blank at Level 8, it continues to be so for the rest of TRT.
Remember: there is one sound per blank. The letters in bold type go on one square.
Levels 5, 6 & 7: One letter on each sound blank except the following:
Level 8: One letter on each sound blank except for sh, ch and th and the cc in accomplish
Level 9: n/a
Level 10: One letter on each sound blank except for all of the above plus ck and qu
Level 11: All of the above plus le. Remember all the double letters (tt, ff, dd, pp etc) go on one sound blank.
Level 12: All of the above.
Level 13: All of the above plus er.
Level 14: All of the above plus ing as an ending.
Level 15: All of the above plus tion as an ending.
Level 16: All of the above plus ed as an ending—no matter how you pronounce it.