The Sound Reading System is an approach to the teaching of reading and spelling based on the English spelling system.
The fact that there are 176 spellings for 44 sounds shows that the English spelling system is ‘opaque’ rather than ‘transparent’ – therefore difficult to get hold of for both teachers and learners.
The SRS programme teaches all the information necessary for a reader to learn how to decode. It is is a highly-structured systematic approach based on the following 4 underlying principles:
Sounds or phonemes are represented by single letters: c-a-t d-o-g s-w-i-m
A sound /phoneme can be represented by two or more letters: h-i-llsh-i-p th-ere
The same sound/phoneme can be represented/spelled in more than one way: e.g the sound /ee/ spellings m-e t-r-ee t-ea-m s-u-nn-y k-ey
The same spelling may represent more than one sound: t-ea-m h-ea-d g-r-ea-t
These ‘keys’ unlock the understanding of how the spelling system works, and form the underlying structure.
SRS acknowledges there is a code and shows the teacher and the learner exactly how to manage it. It never introduces a mixed approach to the teaching of reading.The representations for each sound are mastered through systematic, controlled exposure and varied repetition using worksheets, dictionary activities, reading of pre-selected text, copying, dictation and creative writing.
SRS is based on the work of Professor Diane McGuinness: Why Children Can’t Read, Penguin 1997, Growing a Reader from Birth, W.W. Norton, 2004, Early Reading Instruction, MIT Press, 2004 and Language Development and Learning to Read, MIT Press, 2005.