The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) provides universal symbols to represent the sounds of all spoken languages. Logic of English focuses on teaching English reading and spelling by teaching the relationships between the sounds of spoken English and the way these sounds are represented in written English. The markings we use focus on the standard spelling of written English, while IPA is used to represent how words are pronounced by individual speakers.
Why Use Spelling Markings Rather Than IPA?
Logic of English instruction aims to help both native speakers and English language learners understand the relationship between spoken and written English. One component of this instruction involves adding markings to the phonograms in words.
These markings have a different purpose from IPA. They are:
- Designed to help students learn the relationship between spoken English words and how they are spelled.
- Added to words in order to analyze their spelling and highlight variations in pronunciation.
- Added to words to develop reading and spelling skills.
- Do not replace the letters in words.
- Designed to aid in understanding the spelling of words that can already be pronounced.
- Developed to be used without the need for formal language or linguistics training.
The Logic of English spelling markings translate across all dialects of English because they represent the relationship between spelling and sound.
For example, the word paper will be marked with a macron over the a and a line under the er:
Even though the exact pronunciation of the long A varies between different English-speaking areas, and the pronunciation of /er/ varies widely between accents, this marking is accurate everywhere. The markings represent the long A sound and ER sound and give students an auditory picture of the word as it sounds in their speech.
English spelling is designed as a written representation of our spoken words, not an absolute guide to pronunciation like IPA.
Logic of English Phonogram Chart
We use sample words instead of IPA in the online, interactive Phonogram Chart because
- English sounds are pronounced differently in different regions of the United States and around the world.
- Students need to learn to connect a phonogram with the sound it represents in their own speech.
- IPA is not familiar to most native English speakers.
- Reading and spelling instruction was developed for those who have spoken English skills.