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...

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...

When Does an English Word End in a V?


The answer? Never! English words do not end in V. There will always be an E after the V. If you can hear the “v” sound at the end of an English word, it’s a safe bet to put the letter E after it. The saying we can use with a student is: “No English words end in V, it will always be followed by an E.” Examples: Active Effective Behave Hive Have Grove Serve Salve Solve Reprieve Receive Want more? Check out the Workbook Store. This information plus worksheets are in the workbook store.

How a Dialect Can Mix Things Up


When teaching short vowels… if you are from the south, you may not want to teach “i” and “e” together. Southerners tend to say things like, “Go git (get) your brother.” If you are from the north, you may not want to teach “a” and “o” together. Northerners tend to say things like, “Get a jab (job).“ A good way to teach short vowels is to make vowel strips. On a strip of paper use markers and write the vowels out. Have the student recall the sounds as a drill. You might follow up this exercise by dictating some short vowel words...

The Letter Q(u)


You will never see, in the English language, the letter q without a u following it. The exception here is in proper names, like Q-tip, but that is the only exception. The rest of the time, qu is always together. For this reason, in Orton Gillingham, Qu is a consonant together and the sound it makes is “kw.” After I learned this, I started thinking of words and sure enough, qu is always together. Queen, quarter, quilt, quill, quiet, quite, quick, quit, question, quack, quality, quip, quintuplet, quagmire, squint, squat, squirt, squirrel … I could keep going but I’m sure you get...