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Test that gets to grips with the absolute essentials

As part of the drive to improve the quality of literacy teaching in our schools, both the Initial Training Curriculum for Primary English (Teacher Training Agency) and the National Literacy Project Framework for Teaching (National Literacy Project) state that teachers should inform children about phonemes and graphemes. To determine just how much your Office for Standards in Education inspector actually knows about phonemes and graphemes, read out the questions below, record the answers and then grade the total score from A to C.

1. What is a phoneme?

2. How many phonemes are there?

3. How many consonant phonemes are there?

4. Pronounce all the consonant phonemes.

5. How many vowel phonemes are there?

6. Pronounce all the vowel phonemes.

7. What is a grapheme?

8. What is a graph?

9. What is a digraph?

10. What is a trigraph?

Scoring: 1. A speech sound. 2. Forty-four. 3. Twenty-four. 4. One mark for each consonant phoneme that is correctly pronounced. 5. Twenty. 6. One mark for each vowel phoneme that is correctly pronounced. 7. A spelling choice. 8. One letter that represents one phoneme. 9. Two letters that represent one phoneme. 10. Three letters that represent one phoneme.

Grading: A. 52Satisfactory B. 51Poor C. 50 or lessVery Poor.

Inspectors graded as B or C should be referred to the chief inspector for schools for retraining or the sack.

ALAN DAVIES

11A Kilmoney Park, Chester

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