Learning to spell can be easily taught before children enter the formal school environment. The most basic of all foundational spelling skills is phonological awareness. Phonological awareness is the ability to manipulate identify and discriminate sounds. These skills are recognised as the greatest predictors of reading and writing success. We all know that children are receptive to learning at a very young age, so why not prepare to make the learning journey one that is fun and successful at this special time. Phonological Awareness is made up of many skill areas but for this blog I will only discuss syllables.
What is a Syllable ?
Before stepping into the world of sounds the child must learn the associated language so that they can understand what is being taught.
A syllable is a chunk of sounds or letters in a word. Every syllable has one vowel sound. These vowel sounds can be made with one, two or three vowel letters e.g. cat (1 vowel), feed (2 vowels one sound), beautiful (3 vowels one sound). There are also examples of more vowels, but for now, this is enough. I have inserted a picture that stimulates the child’s memory when talking about syllable. It can be useful for the child to draw his own picture as this has a personal relevance.
Every time a syllable is voiced, the chin moves down. Have the child feel this movement by placing his hand under his chin, as shown.
Practise with many words of varying lengths-butter (2 chin movements), tiger (2 chin movements), cat (1 chin movement) elephant (3 chin movements). The number of chin movements tells how many syllables in a word. A short word has one chin movement while longer words have more. If the child finds it difficult to feel the movement in the chin, he can stamp, clap, stomp, tap or click or use any preferred movement. This early session of identifying syllables requires no resources and can be done anywhere from the car to the park to the beach. Repetition is the key to consolidating learning. Most children find syllable identification quite easy but don’t see the relevance of it. Hence the second step.
Syllable identification supports breaking up words into sounding chunks when reading and writing. The information that adults need to know is that the syllable must have at least one vowel or a y acting as a vowel, this means the letter, y, is at the end of the word and will say the letter name, e or I ; as an example, sky and baby. The separation of syllables has certain rules governing it but this will be addressed as the child moves forward. There are six types of syllables that can help with this skill, but the vowel is the important identifying mark. The word, cat-one syllable with one vowel, tiger-two syllables because it has two vowels that are separated by a consonant, very-chin goes down twice so there are two syllables with one vowel and a letter, y, that is acting like a vowel and saying the vowel sound, /e/. The separation is between the r and the y.
At this stage, we will only be dealing with three letter words which are one syllable words because they have one vowel sound. Happy syllabifying !!!!
To compliment this early learning I have taken 50% off the introductory package that will teach your child to learn the letters and sounds of the alphabet. Click on the link to receive your product-available until the 22nd December.
Have a great Christmas and a happy New Year.
Contact Ann 0n 0414340883
Ann holds the following qualifications
Diploma of Teaching
Bachelor of Educational Studies
Master of Education ( Special Needs)
Master of Education (Counselling & Guidance)
Ann has also studied specialised units at the London and Pennsylvanian Universities