As I’ve mentioned before, watching my son learn to read is an endlessly fascinating process.
I have absolutely no intention of getting into the merits or otherwise of phonics or any other system for teaching reading on here, but I was highly amused by the following exchange in the car between fils aîné and his little brother:
No, lane is actually spelled l-a-n-e ‘cos it’s a split digraph. A digraph is when you have two letters that make one sound and it’s a split one ‘cos there’s a “n” that comes in between them and splitting them up. So the “n” is like a knife that drops in and splits the “a” and the “e”.
Mon mari was unwise enough to mention that in his day, it had just been called a magic E and got a slightly wearied, “at home we call it a magic E, Daddy, but at school it’s a split digraph”.
I’ve no idea whether or not he’ll retain any of this linguistic terminology later in life, or whether all this detail is more useful than “magic E makes the letter say its name”, but it’s impressive in a slightly scary way.
V. impressive! So far (Y1) we only have ‘magic e’ at school.
This is Y1 too. Guess it depends on the school/teacher.
I love my son’s awareness of word structure (he’s also in Reception learning to read). ‘Digraphs’ was good enough, but when he started telling me about ‘trigraphs’ I had to bow down in awe! And they say standards are falling…