Ask Reading Kingdom: Should You Teach Children the Names of Letters?

Learning the names of letters is one of the most common early reading activities taught by both parents and teachers. But the teaching is not necessary and it actually has some disadvantages.

For example, children often use the name of the letter in sounding out words—instead of the sound that the letter “makes.”  That’s fine with an occasional word like “OK” but it rarely works with most words and so it leads to lots of reading errors. In addition, some children have difficulties remembering names and learning letter names “uses up” some of their memory store when they should be using it for better purposes.

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