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Frequently asked questions

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Reading improves when learners can use memorised ‘written sounds’ to work out words they have not seen before. Sounds English Phonics finds the written sounds learners do not know and teaches them only. It repeats these unknown written sounds with the learner until they know them. Sounds English Phonics contains 92 key written sounds and uses both audio and video to teach correct pronunciation . Once correct pronunciation is learnt, the learner is then presented with a number of practice words, which contain the written sound they have just learnt. This process of reading the written sound they have just learnt in a new word helps them learn to read new words.

Reading English is difficult. Sounds English Phonics is a learn to read app which helps early stage readers become confident independent readers using a synthetic phonics based approach to teach written sounds.

Sounds English Phonics is suitable for early stage readers, or English language learners wishing to improve their reading. We have devised a diagnostic check-up to determine if Sounds English is suitable for any learner. Please see “Diagnostic check-up” below. What does an early stage reader mean?

An early stage reader is typically between 6 and 8 years old. An early stage reader is on the journey from first books, having about 5 words per page to becoming an independent reader.

Independent readers can read chapter books, with about 120 words per page.

A written sound is made of one letter or a blend of several letters. For example, the word ‘spot’, has three ‘written sounds’: ‘sp’-‘o’-‘t’. Learning written sounds helps readers read new words. For example if they know the written sounds ‘sp’-‘o’-‘t’, they will more easily be able to read ‘spit’, ‘hot’ and ‘speck’.

A synthetic phonics approach is when key written sounds are learned and then ‘glued together’ to make words. A synthetic phonics approach is widely considered to enable more rapid advancement in reading, writing and spelling than an analytic phonics approach which starts from words and breaks down the sounds in them.

After opening Sounds English Phonics and learning about the world of Lumos, each learner will be asked to set up an account and login. At this stage they can select whether they would like to use an American accent or a British accent. They will then be guided through a brief tutorial which explains how to use Sounds English. The tutorial explains the objective of the app, how to work through each written sound and highlights how to work through each lesson using the videos. A written sound is taught and then the learner is presented with practice words. They are asked whether they can read each word. At the end of each section, the learner is able to listen to the practice words again, by tapping on each word.

Ah! This is the clever part. Sounds English Phonics uses something called formative assessment which cleverly determines what each learner should learn next based on any errors they have made.

Formative assessment determines what each learner should learn next based on any errors they have made.

  • Your child or student should start to be able to tackle more interesting reading texts.
  • If you or your child’s teacher uses a standardised reading test to assess reading ability, you should notice improvement on the scale used, specifically in word recognition. You may want to use a standardised reading test prior to starting Sounds English Phonics and then at the end. Please contact us with any questions about this and we will be happy to advise you on how you may assess your child’s reading age.
  • You may look at the calendar (tap the calendar button on the learning screen) at any time to see the number of written sounds learnt and how long it will take each learner to finish Sounds English Phonics. Individual written sounds learnt are shown on the Learning Tree.

Completing three written sound a day will accelerate your child or student’s reading and help them read more interesting texts quicker. This would mean finishing Sounds English Phonics in around 31 days. If you feel your child or student is able to learn more than three sounds a day, please do encourage them to do so! However we recognise that all learners learn at different paces and some learners may wish to learn less than three sounds a day and some may wish to learn more. Generally we would not recommend encouraging a learner to learn more than three sounds a day but rest assured even learning one sound a day will set your child or student on the path to be a confident independent reader! Zaprendo’s goal is to help your child or student learn at their own pace and ultimately develop a love of reading! We know that each learner is unique! Sounds English Phonics adapts to the pace of each individual.

Sounds English Phonics is available on the Apple Store. Please click here to download. Android users, we are coming soon on Google Play!

No, we do not and will never include any advertisements in any of our products.

Yes - Sounds English Phonics is also available in Android.

Diagnostic check-up

We have created a test to help you find out whether you or your child need Sounds English Phonics. As a rule of thumb, if your child or student is reading early reading books with less than 120 words per page s/he will benefit from Sounds English.

Generally, a simple way to tell if a text (like a storybook) is at the right level for a learner is to listen to them read a few lines. If they struggle with about one word per line the text is right for them. If they struggle with more than this the text is likely to be too hard. You can download the test here.

It’s all explained here. If you have any questions, please write to us anytime at [email protected].

We would suggest that you take the test right before you start using Sounds English Phonics. You can also use it at after Sounds English Phonics has been completed or at any stage to monitor progress.

No, this is a test developed by Zaprendo, to help you understand whether Sounds English Phonics is suitable for the learner.

Explanation of features

    After downloading the app and watching the intro video:
  1. Click on the “+” button in the “Select or Create an Account” screen.
  2. Choose a Lumin for an Avatar.
  3. Enter your name and tap on the forward button.
  4. Choose an accent. You can choose an American or British accent. Tap on the forward button.
  5. Your account is created! You are on your way to becoming a better reader!

Yes, after the first viewing, you can tap on the screen and the skip button will appear.

Yes, but you will lose all your data. Here’s how:

  1. Tap on the cross button above the account that you want to delete.
  2. Click on the Yes button (the tick) when “Are you sure?” pops up.
  3. Your account will be deleted.

Have you created more than one account? Tap on the “>” sign on the right of the accounts in the “Select or Create an account” screen. Now, swipe sideways to find your account. If you have deleted your account, sorry but you will not be able to retrieve it.

If your account has been already been created, you won’t be able to change your Lumin/Avatar.

If your account has been already been created, you won’t be able to change your name.

The video button flashes at the beginning of every lesson to remind you to tap it to learn correct pronunciation of each written sound. Front view and side view angle are available.

Yes, you can change the accent of the video anytime. Just follow the below steps please:

  1. Tap on the Counter button on the top left corner of the screen.
  2. Tap on the Settings button.
  3. Choose an accent (American/British) in the “Change accent” section.
  4. Close the Settings pop up.
  5. The accent will be changed!

Yes, if you have logged in through a different account, you can change the account by following the below steps:

  1. Tap on the Counter button on the top left corner of the screen.
  2. Tap on the Settings button.
  3. Tap on the forward arrow in the “Change user” section.
  4. You will be taken to the “Select or create a new account” screen.
  5. If required, swipe to locate your account and tap on the account/user. Or you can create a new account/user to begin a new lesson. Please do not worry. The progress made in the current account will be saved.

At any point of time, the counter shows the progress you have made. Every written sound learnt increases the counter by one. It will help remind the learner to learn at least 3 sounds a day!

The ‘tally-style’ counter is in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. This helps you know the number of practice words in the section you are working on and your progress through that section.

Yes, you can track your progress anytime and we would encourage you to do so! Just follow the below steps:

  1. Tap on the Counter button on the top left corner of the screen.
  2. Tap on the Calendar button.
  3. You can check the number of sounds learnt on each day. We hope it helps you remain motivated to learn at least 3 sounds a day!

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