When studying Orton Gillingham, one of the main focuses of the program is on dividing words into syllables (known as syllable division). The one and only point of syllable division is to pronounce the word. Nothing else. This means, if someone does not perfectly divide up the word, but is still able pronounce the word based on how it was divided, the person doing the dividing should consider that they succeeded in their mission.
With that said, we still want to learn the rules to syllable division because it makes learning easier when there are rules to follow, rather than just trying to haphazardly divide a word and pronounce it.
How syllable division is done:
- By underlining the vowels in a word.
- Recognizing the pattern of the consonants and vowels, and dividing the words based on pattern rules.
- Classifying each syllable based on REVLOC, then using REVLOC rules to pronounce the word (for example: rab bit – two closed syllables so both vowels are short. I knew to break that word between the two b’s based on rules I learned in the pattern VCCV.).
If you are reading this before you have read the REVLOC portion, please go read that first and come back here. It will be a much more comprehensive view of OG if you know what the syllables are and how they are labeled before trying to divide the words into syllables.
The patterns of vowels and consonants are below. I am going in order of teaching (the order I learned them in).
- VCCV – Vowel-Consonant-Consonant-Vowel
- VCV – Vowel- Consonant-Vowel
- VCCCV – Vowel-Consonant-Consonant-Consonant-Vowel
- VV – Vowel-Vowel
- Compound Word
- Consonant + LE
As with REVLOC, I intend to go through each pattern in separate posts. This is just an overview.
The main idea I want to convey today is:
- The overall goal of this syllable division exercise is to be able to pronounce the word.
- There are patterns in consonants and vowels that determine where a word is broken up into syllables.
- Those syllables become REVLOC syllables, which have rules to pronunciation, which gives a word easier manageability when pronouncing a word.