Speech productions will be as variable as each individual speaker, yet evolving brains imprint basic “native tongue” patterns to imitate. 

Toddlers will realize that waves of phrases actually contain individual words.  Preschoolers will learn that every word can be parsed into individual sound-units which – when heard and said – become reliable underpinnings for both spelling and reading.  Adults, by our example, will teach our children that vocabulary acquisition is indeed a life-long venture.

Standardization of conventional wisdom regarding language-learning must come from crowdsourcing.  Although educational experts may continue to disagree on quantity/quality of sound-units, all instruction will be strengthened whenever we create a durable SOUND foundation for the learner.



Melodies may vary, yet the process of chanting letter names in alphabetical order remains a predictable landmark for preschoolers.

Letter units have other names besides ayeee, beee, sea, etc.

Have you tried reading Braille symbols for the blind?

Do you recognize the flags used to signal ships at sea?

Morse Code uses “dah-di-dah” lines and dashes.

In 1957, NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) introduced its now-popular Phonetic Alphabet.  Soldiers and pilots know these by heart:

V01/Aa/ Alpha

C17/Bb/ Bravo

C20/CHch/ Charlie

C19/Dd/ Delta

V05/Ee/ Echo

C24/Ff/ Foxtrot

C23/Gg/ Golf

C32/Hh/ Hotel

V02/Ii/ India

C21/Jj/ Juliett

C22/Kk/ Kilo

C37/Ll/ Lima

C33/Mm/ Mike

C34/Nn/ November

V03/Oo/ Oscar

C16/Pp/ Papa

C22/Qq/ Quebec

C38/Rr/ Romeo

C28/Ss/ Sierra

C18/Tt/ Tango

C39+V09/Uu/ Uniform

C25/Vv/ Victor

C32/Ww/ Whiskey

V05/Xx/ X-ray

C39/Yy/ Yankee

C29/Zz/ Zulu

Does NATO know how many speech sounds are ignored?  Try these:

V04/Uu/ Umbrella

V06/AIai/ Aircraft

V07/Ii/ Icicle

V08/OAoa/ Oatmeal

V09/OOoo/ Ooops!

V10/EAea/ Eagle

V11/AUau/ Author

V12/Uu/ Bush-whacked

V13/OUou/ Ouch

V14/OYoy/ Oyster

V15/EARear/ Earth

C26/THth/ Thumbnail

C27/THth/ Therefore

C30/SHsh/ Shadow

C31/Ss/ Vision

C35/NGng/ Bling

For the traditional ABC chant, WordsAhead also created a smarter version by reorganizing lyrics to portray the actual role letters play in representing consonant sounds and vowel sounds.

Certain /letters/ represent both consonant sounds and vowel sounds:


/Ff/, /Jj/, /Mm/, /Vv/…

/Zz/, /Qq/… /Kk/ & /Bb/…

/Dd/… /Nn/… /Xx/ & /Pp/…

/Cc/, /Ll/…  /Ss/ & /Tt/…

/Ww/, /Rr/, /Yy/  /Ii/ & /Gg/

/Aa/, /Oo/, /Uu/  /Hh/ & /Ee/

Our alphabet goes from /Aa/ to /Zz/,

but can you sing from /Ff/ to /Ee/?



Spoken language becomes tangible with letters.

Learners must recognize many variations of ABC-shapes, both upper-case and lower-case.  These include block print, cursive, and digital fonts.

Students will craft their own letters with pencil-paper activities, and also use “keyboarding” to type-out ABCs.


NO COMMINGLING.  No more “Long-A”, “B-Sound”, “Hard-C”, etc.  Letters do not make sounds.  Letters are not sounds.  Correlation is not causality.

V01-V15 are *new* codes for Vowel Sounds, with many possible spellings.  C16-C39 are *new* codes for Consonant Sounds, with relatively few spelling options.

Sound units are pragmatically organized in WordsAhead’s SOUND MAP.

“Must a name mean something?” Alice asked doubtfully.

“Of course it must,” Humpty Dumpty said with a short laugh:

“My name means the shape I am – and a good handsome shape it is, too.  With a name like yours, you might be any shape, almost.” 

— Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass