Phase 1 is focused on developing speaking and listening skills, the emphasis being for learners to become attuned to the sounds around them. These skills also lay the foundation for segmenting and blending later in Phase 2. Phase 1 is divided into seven aspects, with the first six being nonconsequential. This allows practitioners to provide opportunities from any of the first six aspects in any order, at any time. It allows clear skills gaps to be filled with either individual or groups of learners. Aspect 7 usually comes later when learners have had opportunities to develop their skills.
Aspect 1 - General sound discrimination - environmental
Begin to raise awareness of the sounds around them and to develop their listening skills. Activities could include a listening walk, drumming items in various locations (inside and outside and making shakers.
Aspect 2 - General sound discrimination - instrumental sounds
Develops learners awareness of sounds made by instruments and noise makers. Activities include comparing and matching sounds, playing a variety of instruments - making quiet and loud sounds.
Aspect 3 - General sound discrimination - body percussion
Develops learners awareness of rhythm and sounds. Activities include singing, rhymes and listening to music.
Aspect 4- Rhythm and rhyme
Developing learners experiences of rhythm and rhyme in speech. Activities include rhyming stories and clapping out syllables in words.
Aspect 5 - Alliteration
Focus is on initial sounds of words with activities including I-spy.
Aspect 6 - Voice sounds
Learners begin to start to distinguish between different vocal sounds and begin oral blending and segmenting.
Aspect 7 - Oral blending and segmenting
The main aim is to develop oral blending and segmenting skills. Learners start to practice oral blending, using their listening skills to help them distinguish segmented letters into one blended sound.