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Phonics Glossary

Phonics: the relationships between the sounds of a language and the letters
those sounds
Orthography: the spelling system of a language
Phoneme: basic sound unit of speech, shown in slashes / /
Graphemes: letterswritten symbols that represent
phoneme /k/; the graphemes igh in
Phonological Awareness: awareness of units of
Phonemic Awareness: the understanding that words are made up of individual sounds (phonemes)
category of phonological awareness. It includes the ability to distinguish rhyme, blend sounds, is
(such as initial & final), segment sounds, and manipulate sounds in words.
Phoneme Segmentation: splitting a spoken word
in the word (example: /k/-/a/-/t/ for cat)
Phoneme Blending: taking given phonemes and combining them to make a wor
is employed when decoding new words
Decode: to take written letters and translate them into sounds (phonemes)
while decoding, the words must be recognized
by the reader from his/her aural (listening)
vocabulary
Encode: to translate spoken language into written
symbols, the opposite of decoding; writing,
particularly invented spelling, is an act of
encoding as the writer attempts to write letters
that represent the sounds present in words
Invented Spelling: the process of writing a word
one doesnt know how to spell, using
knowledge of how sounds correspond to
letters and letter combinations; also known as
developmental, temporary, or phonetic
spelling
Phonemic Markings or Phonemic
Representation: representing a word
sounds using phonetic symbols between
slashes (fox = /fks/, dishes = /dsh
competition = /km p t shn/); apostrophes
show syllable emphasis
CONSONANTS: phonemes where the flow of air
is cut off partially or completely
Voiced: the vocal cords vibrate in creating the
sound
Unvoiced: the vocal cords do not vibrate in
creating the sound
: the relationships between the sounds of a language and the letters or letter combinations
: the spelling system of a language
, shown in slashes / / (see chart at right)
symbols that represent phonemes (for example, the grapheme c in
graphemes igh in night represent the phoneme //)
: awareness of units of speech, such as words, syllables, and phonemes
: the understanding that words are made up of individual sounds (phonemes)
category of phonological awareness. It includes the ability to distinguish rhyme, blend sounds, is
(such as initial & final), segment sounds, and manipulate sounds in words.
a spoken word into its constituent phonemes in the order in which they are heard
/t/ for cat); this skill is required for a child to invent full
: taking given phonemes and combining them to make a word, the opposite of segmentation; this
is employed when decoding new words
and translate them into sounds (phonemes) that make up words;
be recognized
(listening)
into written
, the opposite of decoding; writing,
particularly invented spelling, is an act of
write letters
in words
: the process of writing a word
using ones
knowledge of how sounds correspond to
; also known as
developmental, temporary, or phonetic
a words
sounds using phonetic symbols between
z/,
postrophes
the flow of air
: the vocal cords vibrate in creating the
the vocal cords do not vibrate in
or letter combinations used to represent
(for example, the grapheme c in cat represents the
speech, such as words, syllables, and phonemes
: the understanding that words are made up of individual sounds (phonemes); this is a sub-
category of phonological awareness. It includes the ability to distinguish rhyme, blend sounds, isolate sounds
into its constituent phonemes in the order in which they are heard
full phonetic spellings
d, the opposite of segmentation; this
words; to make meaning
VOWELS: phonemes where air flows through the mouth
unobstructed (In reading instruction, the letters a, e, i,
o, and u are considered vowels, although vowel
can be represented by consonants, as in
a combination of consonants and vowels,
Short vowels: -- Think of the CVC pattern (bag, beg,
big, bog, bug)
Long vowels: say the name of the letter
sounds in bate, beet, bite, boat); phonetically,
there is no long u, but the vowel sound in
is called long u in reading instruction
u sound is actually a combination of /y/ and /
R-Controlled Vowel: A vowel followed by an r is
always distorted, making such w
spell. (// her, bird // dare)
Diphthong: phoneme where the mouth glides from
one vowel sound directly into another.
reading instruction, only the sounds /oi/ as in boy
and /ou/ as in cow are taught as diphthongs.
Schwa: the vowel sound of any unaccented syllable in
English (about, competition, im
suggest) The schwa sound can
we elongate a words soundsto hear the schwa,
the word must be spoken as it would be in
everyday speech.
Continuant Consonant: a consonant that can be
stretched out with a continuous sound, such as /m/,
/n/, /s/, or /r/; these are preferred as first letter sounds
to learn, because they are more easily heard,
particularly the voiced ones
Hard & Soft Consonant Sounds: some graphemes
c (/k/ and /s/) or g (/g/ and /j/);
Consonant Digraph: two consonants together that
constituent letter), like ship, chip, ph
Consonant Blend: a sequence of two or three consonants, each of which is heard. (
last word has a triple consonant blend)
Consonant Cluster: A sequence of consonants without a vowel between them, including digraphs & blends (
shriek, lunch)
Vowel Digraph: two letters together that
vowels in vowel digraphs, such as the y in s
Onset: the beginning consonant sound(
syllables have onsets (at, oar, in)
Rime: the vowel sound and any others that follow it in
share a rime. Each syllable in a word can be analyzed in terms of
: phonemes where air flows through the mouth
unobstructed (In reading instruction, the letters a, e, i,
o, and u are considered vowels, although vowel sounds
as in myth or fly, or
ation of consonants and vowels, as in night.)
Think of the CVC pattern (bag, beg,
say the name of the letter(vowel
; phonetically,
there is no long u, but the vowel sound in cube
is called long u in reading instruction; the long
u sound is actually a combination of /y/ and / /
: A vowel followed by an r is
always distorted, making such words harder to
honeme where the mouth glides from
one vowel sound directly into another. For
only the sounds /oi/ as in boy
and /ou/ as in cow are taught as diphthongs.
the vowel sound of any unaccented syllable in
imitation, colony,
The schwa sound can be distorted when
to hear the schwa,
the word must be spoken as it would be in
a consonant that can be
stretched out with a continuous sound, such as /m/,
; these are preferred as first letter sounds
to learn, because they are more easily heard,
: some graphemes (letters) have two sounds regularly associated with them, such as
the hard sounds are the stops, /k/ and /g/
wo consonants together that represent one phoneme (usually a sound
phone, laugh.
: a sequence of two or three consonants, each of which is heard. (step, lift
last word has a triple consonant blend)
: A sequence of consonants without a vowel between them, including digraphs & blends (
together that represent one vowel sound (bread, need, field). Consonants may also act as
vowel digraphs, such as the y in say or way
(s) before the vowel sound in a syllable (cat, treat, ch
: the vowel sound and any others that follow it in a syllable (cat, treat, chair). Cat, sat
Each syllable in a word can be analyzed in terms of onset/rime: fantastic
regularly associated with them, such as
(usually a sound not associated with either
ft, jump, bend, strapthe
: A sequence of consonants without a vowel between them, including digraphs & blends (trash,
. Consonants may also act as
chair). Not all words or
at and fat rhyme and they
ic, playground, airplane.
Word Families: words that share an ending, called a rime (mat, bat, flat, sat, that). These letter combinations are
sometimes call phonograms.
Syllable: Phoneme(s) that constitute a larger sound unit within a word, beyond the phoneme level; a syllable must
contain a vowel sound
Syllable Patterns: English syllables can be grouped into basic patterns according to their use of consonant and
vowels sounds:
1. Open: a syllable that ends in a vowel sound, typically a long vowel sound (tiger, hotel)
2. Closed: a syllable that ends in a consonant sound
3. Vowel Pair: a syllable with two vowel graphemes together, including digraphs and diphthongs (eat, loop,
boy); often the vowel sound is long
4. VCe: ends in a vowel-consonant-e pattern, often with a long vowel sound (kite, bake)
5. R-Controlled: the vowel is followed by an R, distorting the vowel sound (bird, her)
6. C+le: a consonant is followed by an le as in bottle or purple; the vowel sound is typically a schwa
Morphemes: Meaning units within a word, including prefixes, suffixes, and base words (Example: unhappy has
two morphemes, un & happy, and each contributes to the words meaning)
Whole-Part-Whole Phonics Instruction
(Balanced or Comprehensive)
Part-to-Whole Phonics Instruction
(Phonics First)
General
Approach
Students are immersed in authentic texts which
they can read because of their predictability.
Instruction then focuses on letters, letter sounds,
and letter/sound patterns (phonics), drawing on
the authentic texts and other meaningful words,
such as the childrens names, logos, and sight
words. This is a constructivist approach that
builds from the known to the new.
Students are taught letters, letter sounds, and
letter-sound patterns in isolation, proceeding to
short words, then sentences, etc. Concepts are
presented in a pre-determined sequence, and
children are only asked to read words for which
they have already been explicitly taught the
related letter-sound correspondences. This is a
behavioristic, transmissive approach to learning
phonics.
Direct &
Explicit
Lessons are guided/directed by the teacher, and a
discovery-oriented process is often used.
Teachers explain (make explicit) the concepts
being taught during the course of instruction.
Direct teaching of phonics concepts is more
behavioristic (stimulus-response), with each
concept explicitly taught from the outset (non-
discovery). Drill with flashcards or worksheets
is common.
Systematic Instructional sequence is based on childrens
development and targets what they use but
confuse. Phonics teaching is built into
classroom routines but also values teaching
opportunities that arise spontaneously as the
children engage in real reading and writing..
A pre-determined sequence of phonics concepts
is presented, typically continuant consonants and
short vowels first.
Embedded
v. Isolated
Whenever it is reasonable to do so, phonics
instruction is embedded within reading and
writing for meaningful purposes.
Typically, phonics concepts are taught at the
phoneme and then word levels, in isolation from
connected text, although the use of decodable
texts is soon introduced (see below).
Texts for
Beginning
Reading
Predictable Texts: texts that support beginning
readers through rhyme, repetition, cumulative
sequence, or use of the childrens oral language,
such as familiar songs (e.g., Five Silly Monkeys, I
Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, Brown
Bear, Brown Bear, etc.)
Decodable Texts: texts that are written to help
students practice decoding words for which they
have been explicitly taught the related letter
sounds and phonics generalizations or rules.
(e.g., Nan can fan Dan.)