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.
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!
|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.|
|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.|
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/.