Units of Sound
Units of Sound is a realistic solution to teaching reading and spelling for hard–to–reach students.
Units of Sound is a structured, cumulative and multisensory programme to teach reading and spelling that involves a high level of independent work by the student. Each ‘unit of sound’ (or phonic code) is introduced separately, then used in word blocks, then sentences.
Visual and auditory patterns in words are demonstrated to students at the beginning of the process. For example, in the ‘unit of sound’ -ry in the block of words carry, marry, berry, sorry, worry, hurry, the auditory pattern is a short vowel sound followed by r and the long e sound at the end of each word.
The visual pattern is ‘vowel followed by double r then y’. The sound for the unit -ry is given to the students at the beginning of the session. Students then have to read the words, having had both visual and auditory patterns pointed out. The teacher check-reads in the following lesson, to establish whether the student has covered the unit of sound successfully.
The programme starts with ‘consonant–vowel–consonant’ words and works through to adult-level reading. The student is placed separately for reading and spelling and does not have to start from the beginning. Because the programme is computer–based and supports independent learning the students can practise as much as they feel they need without being dependent on a teacher.
Because we believe in telling you exactly how Units of Sound works we have put links to sections of the tutorial files down the right hand side of this page. These are quite big files which you can download to your computer if you do not have a fast enough connection to watch online.
Please note that these tutorials relate to Units of Sound version 4 and do not reflect the improvements made to Units of Sound in version 5 or 6.