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Moving reading on

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by teach321, May 22, 2011.

  1. teach321

    teach321 New commenter

    I have a year 5 boy who is having a lot of extra help for his reading and spelling (mainly synthetic phonics for reading/spelling single syllable words). Whilst he is able to read single-syllable words fairly accurately he tends to guess at multisyllabic words (although he uses some of the sounds that are there e.g he will read signing for signalling, lonely for longingly, crackers for caretakers).
    What would be his next steps? More synthetic phonics, but for longer words? Should he be taught to split the words into syllables to read each one, (if so, how would you go about getting him to split the words down - if into syllables, how should the syllables be split?), or just sound out every sound and blend them all together?
    Thanks for any help you can provide.

  2. I have some information about syllable division and reading the different syllables, several pictures to be sorted into 1, 2 or 3 syllables and a game to practise reading 2 syllable words with open or closed syllables.
    email: margaret2612@btinternet.com
  3. If he isn't able to sound out and blend all through the words (which he obviously can't, as he is guessing) then breaking words into syllables is definitely the way to go. Start with words which are straightforward to decode, break them where it sounds natural to do so, keeping in mind the syllable which is stressed and ensuring that each 'chunk' contains a vowel sound. Don't split up doubled consonants. Don't worry too much (if at all) about 'rules' of syllabification; they can just confusing for the pupil...
    Get him to sound out and blend 'chunk' at a time. get each chunk secure before you move on to the next. Once he is secure with the first two 'chunks' he can blend them together, then go to the next and repeat the process for as many syllables as the word contains. Be very firm about not allowing him to try to 'get' the whole word after he has decoded the first chunk; take it chunk at a time and build the word progressively is the strategy most likely to give him success the very first time he decodes an unfamiliar word. Sometimes, covering the word and disclosing it one syllable at a time is useful to prevent guessing.
  4. Sorry. I meant 'they can get confusing...'
  5. teach321

    teach321 New commenter

    Thank you for all of the suggestions. (Mags - I found some of your resources in TES resources - thanks).
    I have used toe by toe before. It seems to be useful for splitting long words into syllables, although the rules are all to do with 'closed' syllables (splitting the word following the consonant/consonant digraph), so I'm not sure how to approach 'open' syllables.
    I think I need to split the word for him, as Maizie suggested, and not worry too much about rules. Although is there something specific I should be doing to explain when the vowel sound is long e.g in pilot, pupil, robot?

  6. The first thing you have to accept is that there aren't any 'rules' when it comes to English orthography. There are, however, strong probabilities. Pupils have to learn to be flexible in their approach and try all the possibilities before giving up and asking someone! For example, all the single vowel letters can spell 2 'sounds', so if one way doesn't produce a recognisable word, try the other. So long as the word is in their spoken vocabulary they'll 'get it' once they have the correct vowel sound.
    As far as multi-syllable words are concerned if there is one, or no, consonant after the vowel the strongest probability is that it will be a long vowel sound, so always try long vowel first. If it doesn't produce a word, try the short vowel. In single syllable words it works the other way round, always try short vowel first.
    (If 'metal' and 'petal' had any decency they'd be spelled with a doubled consonant, to give us a good clueas to whether the vowel is long or short[​IMG] )
  7. We call these 'bad habit' words, as they're the less common pattern.
    And ...
    Where can I buy some Polish polish? (a good opportunity to teach capitalisation of proper nouns, at least!)

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