What makes OG (Orton Gillingham) so special is the way it teaches the English language in broken down parts then re-assembles them into a whole; meaning that by the time one is older (or for an adult, towards the end of the learning sequence), one can see English from a broad perspective.
A major component to help gain the overall perspective is REVLOC. In some circles they use CLOVER, but where I took the course, they call it REVLOC and soon I will reveal why.
First, let me break down the answer to what REVLOC actually is. Each letter stands for a syllable type. Each syllable in a word is broken down and categorized by rules, making it easier to pronounce a word when one follows the rules of that syllable. Of course, there are always exceptions and that is where sight words and memorization have their place.
So here is what each letter actually stands for.
E Magic E
V Vowel Team
L Consonant + le
They are not taught in this order, but are listed in this order because one “trumps” the other in how you would pronounce a word. R-controlled is always used as the rule over closed, as in the word War. You would not try to “close that in,” rather you would use the R-controlled pronunciation rule.
The order REVLOC is taught to students is:
Closed syllables cat, lip, stop, pump, shrimp
Magic E syllables bike, cake, Luke, Pete, poke
Open syllables go, he, she, hi, me
R-controlled syllables car, fork, fern, bird, fur, merry, tarry, earth
Consonant +le syllables bubble, maple, marble, steeple
Vowel Team syllables boat, bee, eight, ceiling, monkey
A closed syllable is one where a vowel is closed in by two consonants. As in lip.
Magic E syllable is one where the e makes a vowel say its name (it makes the vowel long). As in, bike.
An open syllable is a vowel that is not closed in by consonants. As in, he. In a multisyllabic word an example would be o pen (O is open syllable, PEN is closed syllable).
R-controlled syllables have the bossy-r in control of the syllable. As in, fork.
Consonant + le syllables have at its end a Consonant + le pattern. As in bubble. The syllable division is bub ble (BUB = closed, BLE = Cons+le). The b must be doubled to keep the sound of the first u short. Otherwise it would be buble and the u would be long (BU is open B+LE is consonant+le).
Vowel Team syllables have just that, a vowel team. A word like bee would not be an open syllable, because it has the double ee. It is considered a vowel team and marked as such when dividing. As in, monkey (MON is closed, key is vowel team because the ey is a vowel team).
REVLOC makes it easier for people to pronounce words because there are rules associated with each syllable type. Once a person learns that seeing a closed syllable usually means the vowel will be short, it opens them up to something predictable about that syllable. Particularly when someone has not seen a word before, this can come in handy.
In the course I took, we spent a lot of time dividing up words into syllables and categorizing each syllable into REVLOC. Every time I did these exercises I found that even the words that appear as sight words have rules in many cases. Like he, she, make, etc.
Let me know if I am not being clear here. Some of these concepts can be challenging. In the future I will go through each syllable type with a single, in-depth posts.