Getting to Know the Sounds of the Suffix —ed


Hearing letter sounds is a major key to learning to write and understand English. It can be confusing because many letters or letter combinations have more than one sound. Today I will go over one of the combinations – the suffix –ed. The suffix –ed is used to represent past tense; plenty of even smaller children may realize this. What a person may not have given attention to is that –ed makes three different sounds. A sentence to represent this  (and practice) is: He rented a boat, jumped in and sailed off. Hear it? Rented -- /ed/  (said like the name, Ed) Jumped -- /t/...

Orton Gillingham Help, Unlock the Mystery of Vowels Teams


So we’ve now gone through 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 sounds (it’s the sound, not just the letters) formed by two or more letters (notice it is letters, not vowels) within the same syllable. For example: Bee Bread Boy Light Eight In dividing a word, a Vowel Team syllable will look like this: Conceit                                      con (closed or C)  ceit (vowel team or V) As a side note: is QU a vowel team as in...

How To Pronounce Sounds Teaching Phonics is Important


There are times when pronouncing a consonant letter, people will say it like this: For “m” someone might say, “muh” or “d,” “duh.” Actually, m says, “mmmm” and d says “d” (clipped, no uh on it). The sounds of letters are the smallest unit of sound in the English language. They are called phonemes (pronounced: ph?-n?ms). This is a good place to start with a child in OG. In class we made a deck to use. I use the deck by showing each card with a different consonant on it. I usually have this conversation, “Tell me what the letter says.” I hold up “m”...

Secrets to Syllable Division: Don’t Get Ruffled or Baffled by Consonant + le


So far, I have covered R, E, O, C in the REVLOC system of breaking down words to provide rules for easier word pronunciation. Next, comes the L, which stands for Consonant + LE syllable types. This type of syllable ALWAYS appears at the END of words. The E (the vowel in this type of syllable) is ALWAYS silent. Dictionaries may represent this syllable pronunciation as /b’l/ (to indicate the silence of the e). Examples of consonant + le syllables: ble          able                       notice the split:  a  ble – a is an open syllable so it’s long, ble is cons. + le dle          cradle                   ...

Unlocking the Secrets to Orton Gillingham Syllables: R is Very Controlling


We’ve covered Closed, (Magic )E, and Open syllables in the REVLOC system of classifying syllables to give them rules to help pronounce words. From here, things get slightly trickier. The R-controlled syllable is the R in REVLOC. In a past post, I acknowledged the reason for the order of the letters in REVLOC is that this is the order in which each syllable “trumps” the next. R-controlled trumps all. If a word has a syllable that is R-controlled, but closed, you pronounce it r-controlled. For example – fir Technically, fir is closed, right? It’s a vowel closed in by two consonants. But,...

Unlocking the Secrets to Orton Gillingham Syllables: Open Syllables


In Orton Gillingham, words are broken into syllable types using REVLOC. This is taken further when we use these syllable types in syllable division to break down words for easier reading and spelling. We’ve gone through the closed syllable and silent (or magic) E syllable types. Next in REVLOC is the open syllable. An open syllable 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 have a consonant after it, and...

Teaching Phonics: The E has Magic – Silent E Syllables


Having covered closed syllables in REVLOC, we now move on to “Magic E” syllables. The magic of the Magic E is that by adding the silent e to the end of a syllable, it “makes the vowel say its name.” Our pattern for a closed syllable is: consonant-vowel-consonant (cvc), as in pin The pattern of the Magic E syllable is: vowel-consonant-silent e (vce) as in pine With a closed syllable, the “closing in” with the consonant makes the vowel short. With Magic E, adding the e at the end makes the vowel in the middle long, or “makes it say its name.” Here...

The Secrets to Orton Gillingham Syllables: CLOSED Syllables


Closed syllables are a type of syllable pattern where a vowel is "closed in" by a consonant or two consonants on either side. This "closing in" makes the vowel short. 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. What makes a syllable? 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...

The Secrets to Syllable Types in Orton Gillingham Teaching


What makes OG (Orton Gillingham) so special is the way it teaches the English language in broken down parts and then re-assembles them into a whole; meaning that by the time a student is older (or for an adult), it's easy to the English language 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 is. Each letter stands for a syllable type. Each...

Schwa Is the Most Common Sound In the English Language


In the English language, there is an interesting sound that can come from any of the vowels – a, e, i, o, u, and y. The sound is called a schwa. We teach schwa in the Orton Gillingham scope and sequence early and again later. It's a lesson that keeps going over time. A schwa is represented in print with an upside-down e, a lower-case, upside-down e. The sound a schwa makes sounds like a short u, /u/. Schwas are only found in multi-syllable words. Let me give an example. Cotton. You don’t say, cot-ton (where the o sounds like the word ton), you...