Myleene Klass: How to remember the phonetic alphabet

Myleene Klass’ brand-new book They Don’t Teach This at School is packed full of handy activities that provide you and your children with essential knowledge to tackle everyday challenges – things they didn’t teach you at school!

Read on for an extract about how to remember the phonetic alphabet…

“F for Freddie, S for sugar … this is my pet hate; a made-up phonetic alphabet! There’s always someone who’ll say this and it gets me every time. Apart from anything else, the phonetic alphabet is an international one, so ‘S for sugar’ is meaningless when talking to someone from Spain (azucar) or Italy (zucchero) or Malaysia (gula). You get the point.

As my dad was in the Navy, the phonetic alphabet was something he used all the time. I’d hear him across the radios, and when you’re a kid and hear what sounds like a whole new language, it’s magical. Dad also used to watch Juliet Bravo and all the other classic Eighties cop shows where we’d hear them spell things out like this and think how cool and sophisticated it sounded. I’m sure at some point as a child I would have used F for Freddie and been corrected, and I’ve never forgotten it since.

With my own kids we broke this up and used rhythm to help them remember the phonetic alphabet, so that they could also enjoy the sound and feel of it.

Practising in everyday situations also helps. I encourage them to use it to read out number plates or spell out their names and see who can do it fastest – that way you soon find yourself using it naturally when someone asks you to spell something out. The kids love it and get really excited by it, and it makes me very happy that, in a situation where she needs to spell something out clearly, the days of hearing my younger daughter saying, ‘Uh, H for … Hula Hoops? E for … elephant. R for … um …’are over!”

They Don’t Teach This at School is available here.

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