Many children remember the upper-case alphabet along with the ABC song but have trouble remembering the lower-case letters.
However, when they start reading and writing in English, they will find out that we use more lower-case letters than upper-case letters.
When children start to dislike lower-case letters, it can cause problems when they learn to read and write.
To prevent this from happening, it is important that children are not pushed to learn their lower-case letters too fast.
In this article we will explain why lower-case letters feel more difficult and how to help children remember them more smoothly.
Lower-case letters are hard to recognize
Upper-case letters are symmetrical which makes them easier for young children to remember.
In comparison, lower-case letters are more complicated and often have to be dotted which makes them more difficult to remember.
The position on the paper differs depending on the lower-case letter
When practicing to write English letters on 4 lines, all the upper-case letters are all written on the same 3 lines.
However, when writing lower-case letters, the position on the paper differs depending on the letter being written.
Most lower-case letters are written between the 2nd and 3rd line but some start from the 1st line and others go below the 4th line. This makes writing these letters more difficult.
Don’t worry about following the order from a to z
If you start teaching them in order from [A] [a] to [B] [b], it may make it harder for them to pick it up.
It is better to start with letters that look the same as an upper-case and lower-case. These letters are “copsvwxz”.
These 8 letters are easy to remember because they look the same except for their size.
Teach them the upper-case letter and lower-case letter as a pair
After teaching them the upper-case letters and lower-case letters that look alike, choose the letters that have some similarities and point out the differences. Explain that the upper-case letter is the grown-up and the lower-case letter is the child and have them find the differences between the grown-up and the child. Make comments like, “this child is trying to be like their grown-up but haven’t grown enough yet”. The following letters fit the above description “bfhijklmntuy”.
Explaining the differences as you write them on the 4 lined paper will make it easier for them to remember the letters. After learning the above letters, they will have learned 20 letters and will only have the following 6 letters “adegqr” left to remember. The following letters “b and d” and “p and q” are easy to mix up so make sure to cover them carefully.
Writing them over and over again will help them remember these letters.
By starting with the easier letters and moving on to the more difficult ones, your child will not feel as overwhelmed and will be more likely to enjoy English.
Lower-case letters will take time to remember so don’t rush it and follow your child’s pace.
If you want your child to enjoy learning English, it is recommended to send them to an English language school or classes in an all-English environment from a young age. English classes for young children incorporate games and physical exercise which makes learning the language fun and exciting. Young children are better able to differentiate between sounds and recognize letters. To help your child gain an interest in English, please consider signing him/her up for English classes from a young age.