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Lively Letters - Phonemic Awareness & Phonics
Telian-Cas Learning Concepts Inc
Category: Education
Updated: 2017-05-08

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As powerful as it is fun, this unique teaching tool is changing lives one letter at a time! Lively Letters – Phonemic Awareness and Phonics is an engaging app that simultaneously trains critical skills for developing reading, spelling, and pronunciation of the English language sounds. Unlike most phonics apps, this one is actually teaching, as opposed to just drilling or testing, letter sounds With proven strategies such as memory tricks, mouth and hand cues, humorous stories (told in both English and Spanish), colorful pictures of characters embedded into letters, and songs, this multisensory, structured approach has been shown to help students of all ages and abilities, including even the most resistant learners and those learning English as a second language. Targeting phonemic (sound) awareness, phonics, and speech production, the three unique teaching activities reflect and build upon the key features of the world-renowned, research-based program, Lively Letters, created by speech language pathologist, Nancy Telian, MS, CCC-SLP, and published by Reading with TLC. Used by over 15 million students and 75 thousand teachers globally since 1990, the Lively Letters program has been shown to quickly boost skills. Visit 
to learn more.

This long-awaited app, created by Penny Castagnozzi and Nancy Telian, can be used successfully as a supplement to the Lively Letters program materials. It can also be implemented by those with no Lively Letters experience. Although many aspects of this app can be performed independently by students, best gains will be made with some instructor/parent involvement.  Some adults and older students can use it independently. The app includes progress monitoring for all three featured activities: Flashing, Tracking, and Matching. For each activity, you can choose which letters to work with and what types of letters to use (i.e., Lively Letters pictures versus plain letters and lowercase versus uppercase letters). You can also record and play back the student’s voice.

Flashing: This activity introduces, drills, and tests the letter sound associations for the 44 English speech sounds, using all of the multisensory cueing methods that Lively Letters is so famous for. As the chosen letters flash in one at a time, students can hear the associated sound, the song, and the story (narrated in English by Marianne Nice, MS, CCC-SLP, or in Spanish by Angela Livingston, MS,CCC-SLP, TSSLD, BE). They can also see photos of the hand and mouth cues that help elicit the sounds, and they can practice printing.

Tracking: In this activity, students engage in the powerful Lively Letters manipulative word play, (tracking) activities. Here you simultaneously train phonemic awareness and phonics, while further practicing letter sounds and speech production. Students have fun building the critical phonemic awareness skills of sound blending, segmenting, and manipulation while learning how to sound out words of increasing length and difficulty for reading and spelling. In response to prompts from the instructor or parent, the student reads and spells new words, based on the one letter or sound change made by the instructor, word by word. Students can enjoy the Lively Letters “Human - Alien” game where they choose whether each word was a real or nonsense word. Some alternate uses of the Tracking Activity include receptive drilling, as well as printing of the letters, spelling to dictation, marking letter patterns, and dividing multisyllable words using the printing feature.

Matching: Here’s a playful way to practice letter sound associations and speech production skills. This activity also offers opportunities to associate uppercase to lowercase letters and to transition from Lively Letters pictures to plain letters. Students have fun playing the classic Match Game, now using the letters and letter types chosen.

Learn more about the Lively Letters program by visiting
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