Phonics and Word Recognition

Is an umbrella term for instruction about letter-sound correspondences.
Pre-Alphabetic Phase
Very young children read words based on visual but nonalphabetic features.
Partial Alphabetic Phase
In this stage, children are learning letter-sound correspondences and use what they know to form partial connections between letters and sounds in words and word meanings.
Full Alphabetic Phase
In this phase, children have well developed knowledge of letter-sound correspondences.
Consolidated Alphabetic Phase
In this phase, children consolidate the letter patterns that they see across words into larger units.
Is the process of identifying letter-sound correspondences as well as larger units in a word and blending them to form a word.
Is the process of comparing an unknown word to a similarly spelled known word.
Contextual Guessing
When readers use contextual information, they draw on semantic cues (meaning cues) and syntactic cues (grammatical cues) to identify a word.
Sight Word Reading
When a child encounters a known printed word in text, he reads it as a whole unit from sight.
Word Study
Refers to instruction about words. Remember, any sort of word study instruction is a means to an end—comprehension of text.
High-frequency words
Are the most common words in printed English.
e.g., s, n, d
Consonant blends
e.g., st, cr, spr
Consonant digraphs
e.g., sh, ch, th, ph
Vowel Digraphs
For digraphs with two contiguous vowels, you may have been taught the expression, When two vowels go walking, the first does the talking. This speaks to words in which the first vowel in the digraph is long and the second one is silent (e.g., meat, boat, rain, cue). However, there are so many exceptions (e.g., eight, they, break, ready, again, laugh, eye) that it’s best not to teach it as a phonics rule.
Words with two contiguous vowels are pronounced with a gliding sound as one sound moves into the other. Common diphthongs include oi and oy (coin, boy), ou (shout), and ow (how).
R-Controlled Vowels
Vowels change their sound when they are followed by the letter r (car, her, sir, for, fur).
Common grammatical endings

Plural -s can sound like /s/ as in cats and banks or /z/ as in dogs and cars.


The past-tense ending -ed can make three sounds: /ed/ as in waited, /d/ as in yelled, or /t/ as in asked.

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