Hearing and recording sounds in words

This section includes information on a range of core practices that can be used to teach writing.

The explicit teaching of phonological awareness and phonics supports knowledge and skill development for reading, as well as writing.

Activities that encourage letter-sound production may be more beneficial than those that only require letter-sound recognition (Ehri, 2022).

Writing down the words that a competent reader reads out loud, also known as dictation, provides an authentic way for students to practice and consolidate their learning of phoneme (sound) – grapheme (letter) correspondence. This can be differentiated for small groups and individual students as they practise their new knowledge in sentence form.

The following hearing and recording activity encourages students to match the phonemes (sounds) they can hear to the graphemes (letters and groups of letters) that represent those phonemes.

  • In a small group and after the systematic teaching of a particular grapheme-phoneme correspondence (for example ‘ch’ as in chat), a teacher slowly and repeatedly reads aloud a sentence containing words with ‘ch’ such as ‘A man chops up a chip and has a chat with a child’. The students write down the words in the sentence on a small whiteboard or on paper.
  • The teacher asks the group to show and read aloud their written sentences, highlighting each students’ use of the taught sound and corresponding letter or group of letters.
  • The completed sentences can be used by the teacher to confirm whether students are ready to be taught the next grapheme-phoneme correspondence in a given sequence.


  • Ehri, L. C. (2022). What teachers need to know and do to teach letter–sounds, phonemic awareness, word reading, and phonics. The Reading Teacher, 76(1), 53-61