Understanding Alphabetic Principle


The concept that our written language is a code for sounds; that letters and letter combinations represent sounds that make up words

Common Indicators

How do I know if it's the child's most pressing need?

  • Child relies more on the text's picture, on visual memory, or on parroting patterns than on the print on the page
  • As soon as an unknown word is encountered, the child looks up or makes a guess that is not connected to the sounds in the words
  • Child may have limited knowledge of letter-sounds and/or undeveloped phonemic awareness

Relevant Strategies

Which TRI strategy most efficiently targets a student's need to grasp the alphabetic principle?

Case Studies

  • Watch how the Segmenting Words strategy directly addresses Rachel's need to understand the alphabetic principle.
  • Watch how Thomas' reading error gives the teacher an opportunity to reinforce the alphabetic principle in the context of real reading.