Q: How long will it take for my class to learn all the hand cues?
A: This depends on your class level and method of teaching. Some pre-k, kindergarten, and 1st grade teachers only introduce 2 or 3 hand cues a week. Teachers, 2nd grade and up, really must evaluate their class and follow their own assessment of what their class needs.
Q: When a student learns all the sounds, will they phase them out?
A: Yes, that is the goal. Generally, once a student has internalized the program, he will only need to use a few sounds for occasional help. After a year or two that student no longer has the need for the help and will phase out the program.
Q: Is See the Sound - Visual Phonics like Cued Speech?
A: No. Sometimes it is confused with Cued Speech but See the Sound - Visual Phonics and Cued Speech are different in both form and intent. Cued Speech was designed to be used as a mode of communication. It uses a combination of 8 different hand shapes to represent different consonants and 4 different hand positions to represent vowels. These arbitrary hand shapes and positions are used in combination with mouth movements to differentiate sounds. See the Sound - Visual Phonics, in contrast, was not meant to accompany fast paced spoken communication. It was designed as a tool to help with phoneme and word production and recognition for reading, spelling and speech. See the Sound - Visual Phonics has one hand cue and symbol for each sound. The hand cue mimics the manner of production of each sound. This one-to-one correspondence between hand cues and sounds, in addition to the visual, tactile, kinesthetic feedback, helps students relate mouth movements to different sounds and facilitates learning to recognize sound/symbol relationships for reading, spelling, speech reading and production of words. See the Sound - Visual Phonics has a written component, also. Each written symbol is a visual representation of the hand cue. The hand cues and written symbols under the written words help students make sense of the various ways to spell a sound in different context or words.
Testimonials of See the Sound - Visual Phonics
I grew up with Visual Phonics. When I went to kindergarten I was surprised to learn that there were other ways to learn to read. I felt sad for the kids who couldn't "see the sound." I'm seventeen years old now. I still use Visual Phonics symbols to help me learn new languages like Arabic, Hebrew, Russian, Phoenician and Japanese. Being able to "see the sound" in unfamiliar alphabets gives me the same confidence I had when I was first learning to read English. As soon as I finish all my High School subjects, I hope to have the time to become fluent in all these languages instead of just playing with them in my spare time.
My grandmother, Millie Snow, founded ICLI. It was her belief that all people have the right and responsibility to govern their own destinies, and that being able to read and communicate is essential to freedom. As members of ICLI it is our privilege and honor to carry out her dream, and I promise you we will succeed or die trying!
I would like to thank you for taking your precious time to read my comments, and I hope that they have helped you to see the usefulness of Visual Phonics. To quote our motto, may you always go "From darkness into light," in all you do. Nathaniel S. Snow (Nate)
Visual Phonics has given me a broader sense of literacy skill development. The hand shapes enhance students’ ability to “see” the sound as they are learning how sounds and words work. Visual Phonics has changed how I present letters and sounds to my students. Prior to Visual Phonics, I focused on letter names first and letter sounds second. Since incorporating Visual Phonics into my teaching, I understand the power of teaching letter sounds first and then attaching the letter name.” Kathy A., Reading Specialist
The results have far exceeded my expectations. The children learned their sounds so quickly! Students with less ability are mastering sound symbol correspondence at a much greater rate. What’s more, they are beginning to show the ability to take this strategy into their early reading and writing.
As children work independently at journal writing or centers, I often see the kids using the hand shapes as they work. I also see them using Visual Phonics as they listen to stories or look for books in the library. The carry-over I have seen in the children’s writing is tremendous. I see vowel sounds and letter combinations already in November. In the past, most children did not master medial sounds until much later. At the end of last year, more and more children were beginning to go from transitional level writing to conventional before first grade. This exceeds Kindergarten expectations. And while many higher level kids may not need VP for reading as much as lower-level kids, kids with higher reading ability use VP to become much more proficient writers.
It was very reaffirming for me to hear parent comments at conferences. Unanimously, parents are impressed and happy with the program and marvel at the growth they see in their child’s reading ability in such a short time. The children are enthused, they are succeeding at a much greater rate, and parents are very happy. But most of all, I see first hand the difference it has made for children that I believe may have struggled a great deal. It has opened the door for so many of my lower kids during this year and last. I am completely sold on Visual Phonics. Diane P., Kindergarten teacher
“I have never had a group of children learn the sounds so quickly . . .“
Karen K., Elementary American Schools Teacher in China
“Last year at the beginning of November, I still had 12/21 students who did not know all of their letters and 17/21 who did not know all of their sounds . . . they could rhyme somewhat and were beginning to get the idea of segmenting and blending (if I did much of the work for them). This year at the beginning of November (with students at the same level as last year) 20/21 students know all of their letters and all of their sounds . . . they are able to rhyme without fail, segment & blend , all using hand shapes and sounds . . . 16/21 students know anywhere from 20-25 sight words, can use them appropriately in their writing, and can locate them accurately in text.” Leigh S., Kindergarten teacher
“I love using Visual Phonics . . . it is one of the best “tools” that I give my students . . . it is amazing to see the students progress.” Carla P., Kindergarten teacher
“In my observation of students, I notice that Visual Phonics has enhanced most of my student’s strategies to blend, segment, locate chunks and write independently. It is a quick piece to use to encourage independent learning.” Laurie W., Title 1 Reading Teacher