Reg and Lellow

Subtitle

                         About Criggle and Curl

 

                

Overview

Criggle and Curl is an experimental series for teachers who are already comfortable with the phonemic alphabet themselves and who, like myself, think it might be of value familiarising learners with it from an early age so that they can use the IPA (International Phonemic Alphabet - or at least those characters that correspond to English) as a language learning tool as they progress from Primary to Secondary. 

           
Tha Rationale

We tend to leave things like phrasal verbs, conditional structures and phonemic symbols until later on, with the result that they can often then come as a bit of a shock for learners. I'm not suggesting that young children should be able to master these things, only that we tend to be most comfortable with things we are familiar with. So let's make phonemic symbols familiar!

                                     Format

In much of the course material I've seen, phonemic transcriptions tend to appear alonside regular text so there's not really any need for students to look at them. The Criggle and Curl stories have only phonemic script accompanying the illustrations. Students can look at the pictures. They can also listen to the teacher reading the commentary, but if they want to read anything themselves then it is onto the symbols that their eyes will fall.
Difficulty and Classroom Applications
I'm sure that some teachers will look at the phonemic script accompanying the stories and think to themselves: "That's too difficult. My students will never get that." My point though, is that they don't have to. My idea is not for teachers to bring up a new slide and ask the class: "What does that say?" We're not trying to present some tricky code that learners have to crack all by themselves. Rather, my idea is that the teacher brings up each slide and reads the script out for the class. Of course, if the class are enjoying the story, they might want to try to read out/remember what the script says once they are familiar with the narrative and have seen it a number of times - now that does start to sound like a game that could be fun.
Details on the script
No two people will ever say a word exactly the same and there have been some points where I have needed to make a choice when scripting the narrative. In general, I've gone for the way that I pronounce things myself, which is in a fairly neutral British accent. One reason for this is that if I produce an audio in the future then the sound and script will match up. I have however made sure that every scripted word in Criggle and Curl is provided as one of the accepted alternatives in one or more dictionaries.  
Making changes to the script

Needless to say, you might encounter words that you would pronounce slightly differently. If you come across any where you think the scripting is just plain wrong though, please do let me know and I'll change it. Similarly, if you want to modify the script on your own saved copies of the stories, you can. The exisiting script appears as jpeg images (I did it this way to stop the symbols 'moving around') but you can delete any of these if you wish, open up a text box on the slide and insert your own script. I have used Lucida Sans Unicode size 40 and a good site to get the symbols from is: http://weston.ruter.net/projects/ipa-chart/view/.  

Knowing the script yourself
If you're not as familiar with the phonemic script as you would like to be, or you think you've gone a bit 'rusty' becaue you learned it once but haven't used it in years, then you could also use the stories for your own teacher development or as a refresher. For additional support you'll find a word document next to the PowerPoint links on the Series 1 page (meant for you rather than your students) if you feel you want to double check that you have everything right before using the material in class. If you are confident and comfortable with the script appearing on the screen, then it won't be long before your students are too. Enjoy!