Pattern 1: Closed Syllables The closed syllable is the most common spelling unit in English. A closed syllable has a short vowel sound, spelled with one letter, which is always followed by one or more consonants: cab, sit, men. Some examples of words with two closed syllables are: combat, comet, contact, dentist, fabric, insect, kitten, pencil, subject, rabbit, sudden, velvet. Almost 50% of syllables in the words we read are closed off by one or more consonants. Consonants are doubled at the end of closed syllables when suffixes beginning with a vowel are added: ed, ing, er, est or y – rub-bed, squat-ting, glad-der, glad-dest, cat-ty. Two or more consonant letters often follow short vowels in closed syllables – think of words like judge, stretch, back, stuff, doll, mess, jazz. This is a spelling convention – the extra letters do not represent extra sounds. Each of these example words has only one consonant phoneme at the end of the word. Pattern 2: Open Syllables In an open syllable, nothing comes after the vowel. Look at the word “he” – we say that the vowel is open – there is nothing closing it in. Look at the open syllables in these words: ba-by, e-ven, to-tal, ri-val, bi-ble pa-per, a-ble. If a syllable is open, it will usually end with a long vowel sound. Therefore, when syllables are combined, there will be no doubled consonant between an open syllable and one
that follows: be-gan, be-yond, de-pend, lo-cate, re-cent, a-pron, ba-sic, re-lax, stu- dent Why teach Students about Open and Closed Syllables? T here are six different syllable types, but open and closed syllables are the easiest to teach and learn. Hundreds of words can be read and written with a basic understanding of open and closed syllables. Knowing these syllable types will help students be better spellers and also better readers. It is also a foundation for multisyllabic reading. Larger words are built off the smaller chunks of two-syllable words. When reading and spelling multisyllabic words, students should be able to break the word apart into syllables and then decipher each syllable independently to build the word. Words that have a double consonant are often difficult to spell. Students only hear one of the consonants when spelling. However, if students are taught that a short vowel is followed by a consonant, they will learn that mit/ten must have two “t’s” in the word. Pattern 3: Silent E (Vowel-Consonant-e) These syllables contain long vowel sounds that are spelled with a single letter, followed by a consonant and a silent e, such as: wake, while, yoke, rude, fate, plate, etc. Pattern 4: Vowel Team A vowel team may be two, three, or four letters. A vowel team can represent a long, short, or diphthong (oi) vowel sounds. Vowel teams occur most often in old Anglo-Saxon words whose pronunciations have changed over the years, but the original spelling patterns remain. Examples of vowel teams are found in thief, boil, boat, ailment, boastful, suit.
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- Fall '10
- Vowel, human language