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What is Phonics

Wikipedia [1] introduces this topic very well, so there is no need to reiterate the information here.

Need for Phonics Activities on the OLPC

Phonics activities contribute to English-language literacy teaching and to the teaching of English as a second language.

Many of the targets areas for OLPC deployments are blighted by massive illiteracy. There simply are not enough literate people. Also in post / active conflict areas people might not wish to go to the places that most need help. Additionally some areas might not have official schools and might need home schools that could be helped by use of XO Laptops.

Phonics Activities in the OLPC


SynPhony An open-source phonics literacy program called SynPhony has been started to provide a database framework for teaching literacy using the synthetic phonics method in any alphabetically written language. It will offer a structure for language resources and the ability to keep track of a user's progress in becoming literate. It will allow games and other activities to query a user's knowledge base so that reading material can be selected that is tailored to the reading ability of the user. OLPC is being targeted as one of the first platforms for SynPhony.

What is really needed here is a connection between the engine and a frontend. Getting in contact with the developers of Synphony now. Need an API to sit on top and link the output of this db to sound files, pictures, etc. Need clarification on adding other languages. Will post output here. -Mike (OLPC Afghanistan). This should not be too difficult - using HTML 5 offline spec / Js we could store a learner's progress, or could use normal python / GTK.

For more information on SynPhony: [[2]]

Project page for SynPhony: [[3]]

Wiki for SynPhony: [[4]]

What is the synthetic phonics method? [[5]]

Add links to more activity pages here.

Ideas for New Activities

Many of the activities suggested for teachers at (see External Resources, below) are suitable for creating educational activities for the OLPC.

External Resources

"The Sounds of English" is a website that offers rich tools to construct word lists for phonics teaching. [[6]]

"" is a website offering many resources for teaching early readers.[[7]] It has a complete curriculum "Intervention A" that has been accepted by the Florida public schools.

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