Correct Pronunciation of Toe By Toe Nonsense Words
What may be confuse tutors using our manuals for the first-time is the use of Toe By Toe Nonsense Words.
These words are exactly as described – ‘Nonsense Words’. They are not real words. They are artificial words, deliberately created by Keda Cowling so students had to focus on the essential ‘decoding task’ Toe By Toe strives to achieve.
Struggling readers are smart. One of the reasons their reading difficulties are not identified earlier is that they adopt coping or avoiding strategies that disguise the fact they struggle to read fluently. Guessing a word is one of the first coping strategies that many struggling readers turn to.
Literacy tutors often find students can decode the first syllable of a word and then they guess the rest. Or alternatively, they work out the sound of the first letter and again, guess the rest of the word.
Stop Guessing! DECODE!
In Toe By Toe ‘guessing’ a word is exactly what we do NOT want! On the contrary, we want students knuckling down to the task of decoding. One of Keda’s major breakthroughs in the long process of development of Toe By Toe was the year when she tried ‘Nonsense Words’ with a‘test’ group. At the end of the year, she found her test group so far in advance of her control group that it was obvious the use of ‘Nonsense Words’ were a major element in the test group students’ success. Keda concluded the use of ‘Nonsense Words’ pre-empts a student’s tendency to guess the word.
Because the ‘Nonsense Words’ in Toe By Toe may appear strange to even a good reader, to assist tutors in the correct pronunciation of the ‘Nonsense Words’ we include here audio files with the correct pronunciation of all the ‘Nonsense Words’ found in Toe By Toe.
As you will hear, in order to make a clear distinction between the syllables used in the words, they are pronounced in a staccato fashion. If the tutor is unsure about the accuracy of the student’s response when reading the ‘Nonsense Words’, these audio files will clarify the correct pronunciation.
Each audio file below refers to the Toe By Toe page and exercises in which ‘Nonsense Words’ are used.