Orton Gillingham for All

CLOSED Syllables – Breaking down REVLOC

on January 10, 2013

For the purpose of understanding the REVLOC system, we can look at each syllable type more closely.
First, let’s define what a syllable is. A syllable must contain a vowel. As in nan ny – two syllables. (In this case, the first syllable is closed and the second is open.)
A syllable can be a stand-alone vowel, but not a stand-alone consonant. As in, a lone (the a is a syllable and a schwa).
I’ve gone through what REVLOC is, but now I want to go through each letter in individual posts. Starting with C.
C stands for closed syllable.
A closed syllable is one that has consonants “closing in” a vowel. This “closing in” causes the vowel to be a short sound. Of course, there are exceptions, but nine times out of 10, you may follow this rule and know that when a vowel is closed in by consonants, the sound of that vowel is short.
One Syllable Words.

These words are labeled with the pattern, CVC – Consonant, Vowel, Consonant
Up (p closing in u still keeps vowel short)

Two Syllable, Closed Words.
In OG, these types of words are called Rabbit Words.
In order to determine our syllables, we would underline the vowels, look at the pattern of consonants and vowels, decided where to break up the word, and pronounce. This simple syllable pattern is also a good time to start practicing accenting, so we can determine where to put the emphasis on our speech.

Examples of Two Syllable Rabbit Words and how to divide.
Rabbit words contain a pattern VCCV or Vowel, Consonant, Consonant, Vowel. Rabbit (underline vowels). When you have two consonants together, especially in a word like this, you will divide between the two consonants.
So Rabbit would be VCCV, two closed syllables – Rab bit.
(A=vowel, B=consonant, B=consonant, I=vowel – all equaling VCCV pattern)

Based on the two closed syllables, someone can know that the word is rabbit. If it were ra bit, without two b’s, the a in the first vowel would be long and the word would be pronounced as such.
Here’s another example,
Napkin nap’ kin
(A=vowel, P=consonant, K=consonant, I=vowel – all equaling VCCV pattern)
Notice: at the point we underline the vowels, we start looking at the pattern. CVVC. Divide between the p and the k and you get two closed syllables. This means we now know to pronounce each syllable as a Closed Syllable and each vowel will be short.
Here are other examples. See if you can notice the CVVC pattern and why each word is divided where it is divided.
Expel      Ex pel
Admit    Ad mit
Confess  Con fess
Compel   Com pel
Kitten     Kit ten
Witness    Wit ness

Using nonsense words, such as Convat (con vat,) is a great way to make sure someone understands the concept rather than just breaking words where they know them to be broken.

Nonsense Examples VCCV:
Hanzad     han zad
Rogdit      rog dit
Proptem   prop tem
One note to keep in mind; when you have an R closing in a vowel, it will be R-controlled because, R “trumps” C in the REVLOC system. Example, Bird isn’t pronounced with a short i because the r is changing its sound.
Once getting the hang of why we are doing this, it is easier to move on to other syllable types and vowel-consonant patterns of where to divide words. Pretty soon, someone can divide up three syllable words and four syllable words and have a reason for pronouncing each vowel or consonant a certain way because there are rules to follow. English makes more sense knowing that rules can be followed for pronunciation and spelling!


18 responses to “CLOSED Syllables – Breaking down REVLOC

  1. […] is one with a vowel at the end of the syllable, making the vowel long. In comparison with the closed syllable, which is closed in by another consonant that makes the vowel short, the open syllable does not […]

  2. divya tarkas says:

    thank u so much. . .makes fell better when i knw smthng. . . .wot i used 2 call nonsense b4 due 2 not knwing d actual rule. . .hope i learn mch more.!!!!!! glad 2 have this help. . . THANK U SOO MUCH. . . :-):->:-):->:-D:-D

    • momssoulcafe says:

      Thank you Divya for letting me know I am helping someone with this blog! It encourages me to continue getting the word out about this method of teaching English.

  3. […] covered Closed, (Magic )E, and Open syllables in the REVLOC system of classifying syllables to give them rules to […]

  4. […] far, I have covered R, E, O, C in the REVLOC system of breaking down words to provide rules for easier word pronunciation. Next, […]

  5. […] all of the syllable types except one in the REVLOC system of syllable division. We have covered C, E, O, R, and L. The final type of syllable is Vowel Teams – the V.  These vowel teams are vowel […]

  6. […] post(s) on REVLOC, please read that now, and come back. It is important to have an understanding of REVLOC before dividing words, because after dividing the words into syllables, the rules of REVLOC will […]

  7. […] we move into VCV – or vowel consonant vowel – patterns. If you have not read the posts on REVLOC or VCCV please do that now and come back. Each of these posts builds on the […]

  8. […] you have not yet read the posts on REVLOC, VCCV, and VCV, I suggest reading those and coming back to this post. OG is a system that builds […]

  9. […] learning through OG, words are broken down into the REVLOC system and pronounced by rules. But what about sight words? Those pesky words that do not follow […]

  10. […] have covered all of the components of REVLOC and the different syllable division rules. Today, I would like to condense that down to an […]

  11. […] written in the past about closed syllables and how if a syllable is “closed in” by consonants, then it will be a “closed syllable” and […]

  12. David Stoeri says:

    Hi, Any chance that you might be continuing your OG blog? I sure hope so!

    • momssoulcafe says:

      Hi David, I am planning to continue! Thank you for letting me know you miss my posting. My plan was to go back to writing as soon as my kids went back to school, but so far I have been a tied up studying for a real estate test. I promise to get back to it soon!

  13. Anna says:

    Thank you for writing this!

    I have a question about the middle bit. I understand the bit about VCCV patterns, but in the middle of the post you say this:

    “Notice: at the point we underline the vowels, we start looking at the pattern. CVVC. Divide between the p and the k and you get two closed syllables. This means we now know to pronounce each syllable as a Closed Syllable and each vowel will be short.
    Here are other examples. See if you can notice the CVVC pattern and why each word is divided where it is divided.”

    and I can’t identify the CVVC patterns — they all still look like VCCV to me. Is it a typo or am I missing something vital? Help!

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