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j / g - new to this

Posted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 5:10 pm
by homewith2kids
Hi, I have been pointed to this forum by an online friend who is passionate about phonics. I have recently qualified (as a mature student) as a primary teacher and am about to do some coaching work with an upper KS2 child who has 'poor spelling' - which I have translated as 'clear gaps in his phonic knowledge' having seen his written work. His spelling is generally phonically reasonable, but he frequently chooses the 'wrong' alternative spelling (I soar / the lion rawed / the class [white]bord etc) and I am looking for ways to help him with this.

One of his consistent spelling errors is to encode the 'j' sound at the beginning of words as 'g' - so gust for just etc.

Obviously, 'j' *is* sometimes encoded as 'g' in this position e.g. general, gymnasium, but also often not e.g. jelly, jiggle, just, jam, jog.

Are there any patterns in the choice of 'g' or 'j' in this position in words that I can use to help him?

Re: j / g - new to this

Posted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:25 pm
by maizie
The first thing that is consistent is that 'g' is only /j/ if it has 'e', 'i', or 'y' immediately after it. Any other vowel immediately following the /j/ sound will have the /j/ spelled with 'j'.

Then, as your list demonstrates, some words where the /j/ sound is followed by an 'i' or an 'e' do have the /j/ spelled with 'j'.

So he has to learn that the usual pattern is 'g' followed by 'i', 'e' or 'y' but there are some word specific spellings to remember such as 'jitter', 'jest', jelly, jiggle....in

I would suggest that you do some word sorting exercises to see if he can work out the pattern for himself.

Re: j / g - new to this

Posted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:36 pm
by homewith2kids
I suppose my question is:

Is the usual pattern j before e or i, with gi and ge being the word-specific pattern to remember OR

Is the usual pattern g before e or i, with ji and je being the word-specific pattern to learn?

(I can't think of any jy words so at least y is clear-cut)

I have lots of word-sorting planned :grin:

Re: j / g - new to this

Posted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:03 pm
by maizie
homewith2kids wrote:I suppose my question is:

Is the usual pattern g before e or i, with ji and je being the word-specific pattern to learn?
That's the one! But remember, it's high probability, not an unfailing rule!

The next question is, what happens if you want an 'i', 'e' or 'y' after the 'hard' 'g'?

Answer; we very often stick a 'barrier' in between - usually 'u'; guest, guess, guide, guy. Isn't it fun? ;-)

Re: j / g - new to this

Posted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:08 pm
by cartwheel
I have seen the j/g confusion with several students. I am beginning to wonder if it isn't so much that the student is thinking that the less common sound for "g" (/j/) is the more common one (/g/), but rather that it stems from confusing letter-sounds with letter-names. After all, the letter "g" is pronounced /j/ /ee/.

Jennie