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The Theory

Phonological decoding

is the ability to visually decode language by knowing letter-sound relationships in order to successfully read, write and speak the language.​

Spelling processing

refers to letter recognition and memorization, which involves noting sequences of letters in words and being able to distinguish the spelling patterns of words. Although their population is smaller than that of children with phonological deficits, some children with reading and spelling problems have difficulty processing words orthographically (Stanovich & West, 1989).

This is exactly what the Watermelonworks™ methodology does. Explicit teaching of sound-associated letter sequences to improve phonological deficits as well as improved spelling in FSL/LFS and FFL/LFP. #linguisticduality​

The threads, the letters and the words.

Sounds are produced by exhaling air from the lungs.  There are vowels and consonants.

  1. Phonetics studies the sounds of language as they are produced.

  2. Phonology studies sounds from the point of view of their function in a language: the sounds that allow words to be distinguished from each other are called phonemes.*

      *  Grevisse Goose Grammar 1990 p13.


In other words...

1. Sound is produced by air passing through the lungs. There are vowels and consonants.

2. Phonetics is the study of speech sounds and their production.

3. Phonology studies sounds from the point of view of their function in language: the sounds that distinguish words from each other are called phonemes.*

​Watermelonworks™ French Sounds is exactly that.  A linguistically designed program that strengthens decoding skills so students can successfully read, write and speak French. French sounds connect the written word to the spoken word for success!


Designed as a remediation tool for struggling learners, but used effectively for emerging readers! A prevention tool for effective learning.


​Don't take any risks while reading!  Use the patented Watermelonworks™ methodology today!


​#laconsciencephonologique #frimm #fsl #fsl4all #frenchsounds #french4all #bilingualnation #canadianmade​


Reading is recognized as essential to virtually all aspects of learning; However, up to one in five children experience difficulty learning to read (Lyon, 1995). Juel (1988).


It is thanks to phonemic identification that children will achieve greater success and develop a taste for reading.


Phonological awareness for reading:

There are two main measures of phonological awareness:

​1.  Soundproofing

​2.  mixture of phonemes


​Watermelonworks™ French Sounds is exactly that. 

A)  The sound deck is a series of cards that identify an entire list of sounds in isolation.  The sound play also consists of complex phonemic mixtures.

​The sound game engages lexical access speed when used as flash cards.


​B)  Consonant play is a phonemic mixture of CV sounds.


C) Word construction engages lexical access. Give the student a set of pre-sorted patented phonemic cards that spell certain words and ask them to spell the word you said. Not only will the child be able to engage and play, but they will also be able to spell, speak and read the words in the process. This process guarantees lifetime retention.

​D)  Repeat after me audio improves phonological working memory by being able to recite the identified phonemic mixtures contained therein in the "sound game" using a list of sound cards and a structured audio component.​



Learning to read and spell words is a central part of literacy.


When reading a text, most of the words are processed and experienced readers are able to do this effortlessly. How they acquire skills in processing graphic signals has been the focus of our research. Results indicate that pre-readers do not acquire graphics skills by learning to read signs and labels in their environment.

Mastery of letters is rather required.​

While prereaders use visual or contextual clues to identify words, as soon as children get started with reading, they turn to sound clues of letters. Initially, words are read by accessing memorized associations between a few letters in spelling and sounds in pronunciation. Later, when decoding skills mature, the complete spellings are analyzed as phonemic symbols for pronunciations and are stored in memory.

Various studies indicate that having a visual image of speech in memory is an important part of a person's information processing equipment. Spelling can influence how words are pronounced, what sounds people think are in words, how quickly people judge the rhymes of spoken words, how quickly pronunciations change over time.

Ehri, Learning to read and spell, 1984​


The alphabetical principle and phonetics


The National Research Council (1998) highlighted the importance of the alphabetic and phonics principle when it observed: "Visual word recognition can only flourish when children replace the belief that print is like pictures by the belief that written words are composed of letters which, turn around, map to the sounds of speech. (p. 45) National Reading Council (1998). Prevention of reading difficulties in young children. National Academy Press.​


​Engage students, one sound at a time!


Shaywitz's Reading Disability and the Brain (2003) states that for printed material to be recognized in the mind, it must be converted from the linguistic code. ... "the phonetic code, the only code recognized and accepted by the linguistic system."

"To break the code,...readers must develop phonemic awareness...of the fact that words break down into smaller sound chunks."

Proof that #FrenchSounds makes a difference in the development of lifelong reading acquisition through phoneme segmentation and blending.​

The purpose of reading is to understand what is read.


However, a large part of the difficulties in learning to read do not come from comprehension difficulties but from decoding difficulties, that is to say from difficulties in reading regular words in terms of grapheme-phoneme correspondences, this which is the case with most French words."

(Reading and dyslexia, Dunod, pp. 57-69).  Sprenger-Charolles, L. & Colé, P. (2010). Assessment of comprehension and fluency: reading aloud a short story (test developed for the Gentaz et al., 2013 study)​

#researchbasedevidence which proves that decoding is the tool for reading comprehension.

Based on the hypothesis that good decoding skills constitute a priming mechanism for reading comprehension, the present study examined the relative contribution of the first skill to the second in relation to that of three other predictors of reading comprehension. (listening comprehension, vocabulary and phonemic awareness). among 392 first-year French-speaking students from low-SES families.

This large sample was divided into three groups based on their level of decoding skills assessed by reading pseudowords. Using a threshold of 1 SD above or below the mean of the entire population, there were 63 good decoders, 267 average decoders, and 62 poor decoders. 58% of the variance in reading comprehension was explained by our four predictors, with decoding skills proving to be the best predictor (12.1%, 7.3% for listening comprehension, 4.6% for vocabulary and 3.3% for phonemic awareness).

The interaction between group skills and decoding skills, listening comprehension, and phonemic awareness accounted for significant additional variance (3.6%, 1.1%, and 1.0%, respectively). The reading comprehension effects of decoding skills and phonemic awareness were greater among poor and average decoders than among good decoders, while listening comprehension explained more variance among good and average decoders than among poor decoders. .

Furthermore, the percentage of children with reading comprehension difficulties was higher in the group of poor decoders (55%) than in the two other groups (average decoders: 7%; good decoders: 0%) and only 6 children (1.5%) had impaired written comprehension skills and intact decoding, listening comprehension or vocabulary skills.

These results call into question the results of studies on “poor comprehenders” by showing that, at least in the first year,

poor reading comprehension is strongly linked to the level of decoding skills.

Citation: Gentaz E, Sprenger-Charolles L, Theurel A (2015) Differences in predictors of reading comprehension among first graders from low-SES families with good and poor decoding skills. PLoS ONE 10(3): e0119581.

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