[Mod] Learn how to read [phonics]

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[Mod] Learn how to read [phonics]

by Neuromancer » Fri Dec 28, 2012 14:03

Phonics by gbacon24 and Neuromancer

The purpose of this mod is to teach people to read. Initially it will be used to teach English, but there is no reason it could not be adapted to any language that relates symbols to sounds. The idea is that there are 45 or so basic sounds in English, and only 26 characters to represent them, so we will improvise and invent some new characters so that we have one per sound. For example "oo", "sh", "ch", "ar", "au" and long vowel symbols. By having 1 character represent 1 sound, you have simplified the language and given a beginner an easier way to start to learn how to read. Reading words then becomes an exercise in sounding out words.

The best way to teach someone a new skill is to immerse them in it. This phonics mod will allow you to immerse new readers in phonics the same way they are immersed in speech. By allowing you to easily create page objects and use chat commands to fill them with phonics (type "/w this is a test") you can create massive amounts of phonics for your new reader. But the cool part is that with Minetest, you are only limited by your imaginations. Follow the lead of your learner and whatever they are interested in at the moment. Say they want to play an RPG type game. Pretend you are an elf or some other magical creature who can't speak and can only communicate by thinking phonics onto magical pages. These pages are automatically created with mouth blocks which allow the new reader to sound out any word you have typed. The best way to do this is through multiplayer which is easy to set up. If you do not have 2 computers, then you can still easily create pages beforehand and place them throughout your Minetest world/map beforehand.


License: code, textures, and sound are all WTFPL

Existing Functionality:
--left click the blue blocks and they make phonics sounds and light up.
--Place a "sound out word" block (the one with a mouth on it) and then build a word by placing the blue blocks next to it.
--Left Click (punch) the mouth block to hear the word you built sounded out.
--more advanced readers can use the gray silent letters to have more accurate word spelling
--punctuation symbols are also included on green blocks

Create Pages:
--place a Scroll block ("StartPage") on top of a column as high as you want it (try 3 high). Then in the same row (in any diriection, place the Checkered Flag block ("PageFinish") on the ground 5 away and 3 down from the Scroll Block. A blank page is created.
Write on Pages:
type "/w " followed by any phrase you want to appear on the page. Remember to spell based on how the phonics sound, not on how the letters sound. example: "/w This iz testing". Notice how "ing" was automatically converted into 1 phonic. If you want to use silent letters, preceed them with "0". If you want to use long vowels, preceed them with "_". example "/w m_in0e" gives you "mine" with a long "i" and a silent "e".
Clear Page (and re-enable writing to it):
To clear a page with writing on it, and to enable it to be written on again, left click (punch) the scroll block at the upper left hand corner of the page.
Remove Page:
Dig (Left click with a pickaxe in your hand) the scroll block, and all the blocks for the page will be removed when the scroll block is dug.

If you are teaching someone to read, have them try the following games:
-guess the sound each phonic makes until they know them all.
-Give them word endings like "ot", "at", or "ing" and have them come up will as many words as they can by placing blocks in front of the endings. (let them use the mouth block so they can hear the word sounded out).
-give them words to spell.
-spell out a word for them and have them read it to you. If they get stuck, let them sound it out with the mouth block.

Plan for enhancements (being worked on):
High Priority:
--Identify & improve those phonic sounds that don't sound good.
--Sound out punctuation symbols.

Ideas under consideration:
--Create minetest related/themed stories in text files that are displayed and can be sounded out one sentence at a time. Including stories about mods, texture packs, and maps.
--Left Clicking (punching) on the mouth block left click says a word it wants you to spell
--followed by sounding out what you have spelled to the right of it.
--if what you have spelled matches one of the spellings for the mouth the block is looking for it makes a
---firework sound (eventually launching blocks into the air as fireworks)
--if you have not spelled the word the mouth block is looking for, it makes a sad noise.
--if you destroy mouth block, it destroys all letters to the right of it (explode or fire burn)
--gray blocks are silent letters which are not sounded out
-- this means we have to create sounds for words and an array of spellings for each word.
--if you don't want a word and want a new word, just destroy the mouth block.
--maybe have it spell out the correct answer if you put a show answer block on top of the mouth block.
--if you place a word block, a word is automatically generated to the right of the word block and you are expected to read it.
--you can click individual blocks to help you sound it out
--you can also left click the word block to get the answer (it will sound out the word and then say the word.)
--Create blocks with pictures of the thing that the word describes so that someone learning the language as a second language could also benefit.
--have a block give a word ending like "ot" or "at" and have the user create as many words as they can by adding a letter in front of that ending.
--someday have an NPC Tutor.
Last edited by Neuromancer on Tue Jan 01, 2013 17:27, edited 1 time in total.

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by Ragnar » Fri Dec 28, 2012 14:06

btw, nice mod :d
can come in handy in lets plays for those who dont have a microphone :D
Are you saying that I put an abnormal brain into a seven and a half foot long, fifty-four inch wide GORILLA?

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by davidpace » Fri Dec 28, 2012 14:17

Nice Mod! +10
Taking a break for a while see ya guys!

In some of my posts I will be putting "Secret" White sentences.. Tell me if you see them!!! :D

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by Neuromancer » Fri Dec 28, 2012 15:19

Ragnar wrote:btw, nice mod :d
can come in handy in lets plays for those who dont have a microphone :D

Thanks. I can see all kinds of alternative uses and forks that I'm hoping other modders might try. Use it as a start for scrabble, put it on a server, and you've got "words with friends" mod. Or crossword puzzles or word search. There's a lot that can be done with it.
Last edited by Neuromancer on Fri Dec 28, 2012 15:19, edited 1 time in total.

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by Neuromancer » Thu Jan 03, 2013 03:21

Pages have been added to this mod which allow you to use a /w chat command to insert lots of phonics sentences quickly.

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Re: [Mod] Learn how to read [phonics]

by christoferl » Sat May 02, 2015 13:59

Incredible possibilities... has development ended on the mod?

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