It is a set of hand cues for teaching the individual sounds in a word. The hand movements are logical – each hand movement represents one sound and the cue gives clues as to how and where the sound is produced.
It is not a sign language where the whole word is signed – but Cued Articulation can be used alongside sign language. Cued Articulation should not be confused with ‘Cued Speech’.
Colour Coding is also used for the written letters which represent these sounds.
Jane Passy devised the cues while working with a group of children with severe speech and language problems. These children had problems in auditory recall and needed a visual aid to learning. Teachers found that not only did using the cues help the children with difficulties, but it raised the sound awareness skills of everyone in the class. Jane developed the system to include 26 consonants and 23 vowel sounds.
Phonological Awareness is the ‘conscious awareness of the sound structure of spoken words, e.g.syllable beats, rhymes, onset-rimes, individual sounds, etc.’1 It includes Phonemic Awareness – the ‘conscious awareness that spoken words are made up of individual speech sounds… it represents the pinnacle of phonological awareness development…’1
We now know that a child’s level of skill in this area is a reliable predictor of reading success and that a training program to develop these skills can lead to an improvement in a child’s reading and spelling. Cued Articulation works as a positive, visual aid to Phonological Awareness programs.
Cued Articulation works well with many literacy schemes currently in use.
Little Learners Love Literacy – the phonemic basis of this scheme provides great opportunities to make those
sounds more explicit through the use of cues.
THRASS – where, because THRASS and Cued Articulation are based on the 44 sounds of English, there is a corresponding cue for each phoneme box. www.thrass.com.au
DIPL – early sound work is reinforced and heightened by use of cues. www.dipl.com.au
Spelfabet – a program to support children with their spelling difficulties which teaches them to ‘ hear’ the individual sounds in words and understand their main spelling patterns. Cued Articulation enables students to ‘see’ as well as ‘hear’ the sounds. http://www.spelfabet.com.au/
Jolly Phonics – providing students with a physical cue which relates to how the sounds are produced in the mouth.
Letterland – cues provide extra focus on the ‘sound’ aspect of letters, facilitating the sound-letter link.
Cued Articulation has been used with great success to support literacy teaching with average students. However, its benefit is particularly felt by professionals working with students with specific difficulties.
It is of particular benefit with:
- Specific speech and language difficulty
- Hearing impairment
- English as a second language (ESL) including indigenous students (for more information on using Cued Articulation with aboriginal students, click here)
Helen is currently undertaking a Master of Applied Science course at La Trobe University; she is researching the outcomes for teachers attending her Cued Articulation training with regard to their literacy teaching.
Many studies have shown that instruction in phonics, phonological awareness and phonemic awareness are essential parts of a classroom literacy program: The National Inquiry into the Teaching of Literacy, Australian Government Department of Education Science and Training, December 2005 states: ‘The evidence is clear, whether from research, good practice observed in schools, advice from submissions to the Inquiry, consultations, or from Committee members’ own individual experiences, that direct systematic instruction in phonics during the early years of schooling is an essential foundation for teaching children to read.’ (p.11) The Committee recommends that teachers provide systematic, direct and explicit phonics instruction so that children master the essential alphabetic code-breaking skills required for foundational reading proficiency. (p.12) ‘It was generally acknowledged that it is essential for student teachers to be able to undertake explicit teaching of phonological awareness and phonics.’( p.49)
Studies have found that teachers’ own understanding of the linguistic features of English may not be adequate to teach these skills.2 It has been found that students’ literacy outcomes can be improved if their teachers undergo training involving phonological and phonemic features of English.3
A Cued Articulation course can provide this training.
More information on research.
1 Walsh, R. (2009). Word games: the importance of defining phonemic awareness for professional discourse Australian Journal of Language and Literacy 32(3).
2 Fielding-Barnsley, R. (2010). Australian pre-service teachers' knowledge of phonemic awareness and phonics in the process of learning to read. Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties, 15(1), 99-110.
3 McCutchen, D., Abbott, R. D., Green, L. B., Beretvas, S. N., Cox, S., Potter, N. S., . . . Gray, A. L. (2002). Beginning Literacy Links Among Teacher Knowledge, Teacher Practice, and Student Learning. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 35(1), 69-86.