How to teach your child to read using phonics and the 26 consonant sounds

Hi everyone. It’s Liz Dunoon.

Today I’m going to be showing you how to teach your child to read using phonics and the 26 consonant sounds and how you can use this information to teach your child to read from home.

My three children all experienced learning difficulties when they were younger and I helped them to catch up at school and have great success. As a qualified teacher who specialises in literacy and learning difficulties, I have since helped 100’s of children to learn to read and spell from home.

Watch the video here

What are the 26 consonant sounds? Well… consonant are all those letters in the English language that are not vowels.

Here they are;


There are 21 consonants in the English language and 26 consonant sounds.

Linguists put these sounds into groups based on the way that we pronounce them

Plosives – Are like a little stop or explosion “puh”, “buh”, “tuh”, “duh”,
cuh” & “guh”.

Nasals – Are made through the nose “nnn”, “mmm”, “ng’. You can’t say nasals if your nose is blocked. This makes talking difficult when you have a head cold.

Affricates – are a stop with a vibration – “ch”, “juh”.

Lateral – Air flows past the tongue – “lll”.

Glides – Go smoothly from one sound to another – “rrr” “wuh” “yuh”& “huh

And consonant combinations are just that… a combination
of sounds – “ks” “gz”.

Fricatives are vibrations – “thhh” “th” “sss” “zzz” “shh” “zh” “fff” “vvv”.

Now let me give you a word for each to explain them further.

Plosive sounds first.
Puh” for pen
Buh” for bat
Tuh” for tap
Duh” for dog
Cuh” for cat
Guh” for gate

Now nasal sounds.
Nnn” for net
Mmm” for man
Ng” for the ng in swing

Next is affricates with a stop and vibration.
Ch” for chain
Juh” for jump

The lateral sound is
Lll” for lemon

Glides are the consonant sounds that move slowly from one sound to another.
Rrr” for rabbit
Wuh” for web
Yuh” for yo-yo
Huh” for hat

Consonant sound combinations are…
Ks” for six
Gz” for exam

And last, but not least, are fricative consonant sounds
Thhh” for thongs
Th” for third
Sss” for sun
Zzz’” for zip
Shh” for ship
Zh” for the ‘su‘ in measure
Fff” for fox
Vvv” for skivvy

That is the 26 consonant sounds of the English language. It is important to start by teaching your child the 26 letters of the English alphabet but then get straight into teaching the sounds that they can make in words.

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If you want more information on how to teach your child to read and spell and find out how to access posters that show all this information along with many more educational resources to help your child catch up at school fast…

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Now it’s your turn. Can you tell me which sound for ‘th’ is used in these words the ‘soft’ sound or the ‘hard’ sound? Say them out loud to help you – thistle, this, there, & thermometer.

In the next blog post and video – Video 5 – I’ll be covering…

How to teach your child to read using phonics
and the 20 vowel sounds.
See you then.

Liz Dunoon

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  1. Pingback: How to teach your child to read using phonics and the 20 vowel sounds - Dyslexia Daily Blog

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