There are some important things to know about glued or welded sounds in order to teach them effectively.
First, some glued sounds only have two sounds while others have three. We wrote a previous post about how to teach the two-sound element. You might want to read “What Are Glued Sounds and Why Are They Important?” before reading about the three-sound element.
What are the three-sound glued or welded sounds?
These sound groupings end with either -ng or -nk and contain the vowels a, i, o, and u. Three-sound welded sounds do not include the vowel -e. There are eight three-sound glued sounds in all: ang, ing, ong, ung, ank, ink, onk, and unk.
What is the best way to teach glued or welded sounds?
We like to begin by showing the students the sound cards with a picture clue.
Depending upon the capabilities of your readers, you may want to introduce the -ng sound cards first. Once your students are familiar with the -ng sounds, then you can introduce the -nk sound cards.
We start with ‘my turn your turn‘. Show the card and say the letters, the picture, and the sound. For example, show the sound card for ‘ang’. Say, “a…n…g, fang, /ang/. Then the students repeat the phrase. Repeat this procedure with the rest of the cards. This quick activity is a perfect way to warm up their reading muscles.
How can I teach my student to decode words with glued or welded sounds?
Tapping is a strategy that will help students read words with glued sounds. Here is an example of how the procedure works. Write the word fang on a whiteboard. Demonstrate how to sound stretch this word in the following way: First, touch the pointer finger and thumb together and say /f/. Then, keep the middle, ring, and pinky finger ‘stuck’ together and tap them as one unit to the thumb and say /ang/ (three fingers – three sounds). Last, slide the thumb across the fingers and blend the whole word, fang. Students repeat the procedure. Practice this tapping procedure with several more sample words.
***Please Note: Some programs suggest tapping glued sounds as follows: /f/…/a/…./ng/. While phonetically acceptable, we find tapping the glued sounds as one element easier for the students to pronounce and understand.
How can I teach my students to read glued sounds in connected text?
Beyond learning a phonetic element in isolation, it is very important to provide decodable texts that focus on that particular feature. Decodable texts reinforce the understanding that words can be decoded, helps build neuronal pathways, and builds independence. You can read more about the Magic of Decodable Texts here or here.
What tips do you have for students who require more intensive practice with glued sounds?
A powerful tool is marking the text. Mark glued sounds by drawing a box around the letters. Use texts that students are able to write on. Prior to reading the text, tell students to go on a ‘glued sound hunt’. Students scan the text. Each time they find a glued sound students draw a box around the letters. This visual cue reminds students that the sounds are stuck together and should be tapped as a unit when decoding. After marking up the text, students reread the text, tapping as necessary.
How can I help my students learn to spell words with glued or welded sounds?
As we mentioned in our previous glued sound post, we have found sound to letter matching using a spelling grid to be the most effective way to reinforce accurate spelling. Sound to letter matching is also known as phoneme grapheme mapping. This technique helps students connect the sound to the correct letter or letters. Below is a sample of using the grid to spell words with three sound welded sounds.
Where can I find resources to teach the glued or welded sound?