Color is exciting
People like to touch things
Most children understand by seeing.
Some people do not remember what they hear.
All people learn best when they control what they do.
If we see, hear, touch and do something, we remember better and longer.
A Simple Approach
• The teacher does not need to memorize anything before beginning to use FONEMZ®.
• The learner does not need to know anything.
• A student can start with nothing: No speech, no language, no phonemic awareness, no hearing, and no social skills.
• Most communicatively handicapped individuals are visual/kinesthetic learners.
• FONEMZ instruction is systematic, direct, engaging, multi-sensory and success oriented.
FONEMZ need to be:
controlled by the student
used with few or many
FONEMZ use improves:
• phonemic awareness
• oral expression
• reading & literacy skills
• social interaction
• accent reduction
How it works
FONEMZ® utilizes a different color and a different shape to represent each of the phonemes in English.
The FONZABET bridges to spelling and reading by using the same 40 colors for the associated
• FONEMZ- isolated sounds
• Blend 2 sounds
• Blend 3 or more sounds
• Build words
• Spell and Read words
These Steps are the Five Milestones of the FONEMZ to FONZABET program. They progress from using FONEMZ to teach phonemic awareness, the ability to blend sounds visually and verbally, associating sound production with words and then building words volitionally. When the student develops the readiness to learn to associate letters of the alphabet with the sounds. Once this is achieved the student progresses quickly to spelling and reading...in the same lesson! It is done in a hierarchical, multimodal way. Students direct their own learning with their whole body and brain to learn.
Color and shape assists memory.
The tangible nature of FONEMZ® allows for physical engagement. Phonemes can be visually compared and sound order can be manipulated. By utilizing other avenues like vision, touch and movement, we as teachers can support, clarify and enhance the awareness of phonology that is associated with phonics, reading, spelling and speaking.
For adults who have suffered from a stroke and experienced the loss of speech, the FONEMZ program can be a very effective tool in building new pathways of learning. The recognition of color and shape is a right brain function. Often patients who loose their speech, suffer from a stoke that occurred in the left hemisphere of the brain. Therefore, a person using FONEMZ can utilize a persons stronger neurological ability to connect with the new learning of speech. Additionally, older patients may find it difficult to use the letters of alphabet, in association with relearning sound production. It often seems very elementary to a person who used to be a prolific reader…and now, unable to connect to simple letters. It reminds them of what they have lost. The memory of lost literacy can cause emotional upheaval, which can negate the therapy process for that day. FONEMZ in a new, interesting, colorful approach that can make the relearning of speech a positive and enjoyable process. In most cases the learning is rapid and is retained.
Adults who are English Language Learners, have found FONEMZ to be very useful in accent reduction therapy. The use of the alphabet can pose problems, because, of a person's old way of thinking about sounds and letters (their schema). They have a different perception of how letters should be pronounced. This is hard to bypass in order to think of a new way of pronouncing a sound. FONEMZ offers a fresh new perspective by using color and a unique shape to assist in the memory of the new sound pronunciation(s).
The FONEMZ program, and the concepts and tenets incorporated in the program, have been substantially researched for over ten years. Five years of data collection preceded the scientific research that has demonstrated the efficacy of this program. Twenty years of practice-based evidence with multiple ages and disabilities have supported it.
Pieretti, R.A., Kaul, S.D., Zarchy, R.M., and O’Hanlon, L.M. (2015). Using a multimodal approach to facilitate articulation, phonemic awareness and literacy in young children. Communicative Disorders Quarterly
In the Teacher's Guide, numerous innovative games for numerous other populations are suggested that incorporate some of the well researched best practices of the teaching profession, including, self-direction, self-reflection, autonomy and choice.