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At a COBIDA conference this weekend, I found Isabel L. Beck’s “Making Sense of Phonics: The Hows and Whys.”
The introductory chapter provides an explanation of some terms.
- Decoding: using the letters on a page to retrieve the sounds associated with those letters
- Word recognition, sight word recognition: decoding by applying letter-sound knowledge immediately, without any apparent attention. Also called automaticity.
- Word attack: decoding by the conscious and deliberate application of letter-sound knowledge to produce a plausible pronunciation of a word. Self-aware “figuring-out” of a word.
- Encoding: sometimes called spelling, encoding is the opposite of decoding. It involves the application of letter-sound relationships to identify which letters will be needed to create a specific written word.
- Alphabetic principle: the ground rule that written words are composed of letters, and those letters correspond to segments of written words. In this alphabetic language, a letter (grapheme) is associated with a unit of speech (phoneme).
- Grapheme: a letter associated with a unit of speech; the smallest written representation of speech sounds. For example, in the word “mop” (the m , the o and the p ). Or the three representations in the word “chain” (ch and ai and n.)
- Phoneme: A unit of speech; the smallest speech sound into which a spoken word can be divided. For example, the sound /m/in the word “mop.”
- Great Debate: a term coined by Jeanne Chall in 1967 to describe the argument in the reading world about whether to teach beginning readers with a code-oriented approach (these days associated with phonics) or a meaning-oriented (often referred to as “whole language”) approach .Also called “the reading wars.”
- Explicit, systematic phonics: the instructional strategy by which the relationship between letters and sounds are directly (explicitly) taught in a pre-established (systematic) sequence. In most reading programs (but not all) the consonants and short vowels are presented before long vowels, vowel teams and r-controlled vowels.
- Orthography: a language’s writing (spelling) system.
- Orthographic knowledge: what an individual knows about the writing system of a language.
- Invented spelling: children’s initial attempts to represent oral language, such as CU for “see you” or bak for “back.”
- Consonants: the English letters whose sounds are produced in the mouth and throat by blocking or controlling the air in some way; they may be voiced or unvoiced.
- Consonant blend (or clusters): two or three contiguous consonant letters in which each letter maintains its sound (the b and r in “brush”).
- Consonant digraph: contiguous consonants in which the letters do not maintain their sounds ( sh in “ship”) but produce a unique sound.
- Vowel: in English, the vowels are a ; e ; i ; o ; u ; and sometimes y (as in “my). They are letters whose sounds are always unblocked and voiced.
- Short vowel: the sound of a vowel in a “closed” (CVC)syllable: the sound of o in the word “hot,” for example.
- Long vowel: the sound of a vowel when it “says its name.” For example, the sound of o in the word “no” or “note.”
- Vowel digraphs or “teams”: two contiguous vowels in which they stand for a long vowel sound (ai in “sail,” for example) or a sliding vowel sound ( ou as in “out,” for example). The spelling for a “sliding” vowel sound is sometimes referred to as a …
- Diphthong: the vowel digraph representing a sliding sound (the ou in “out,” or the oi in “join”). In a sliding vowel sound, the speech sound begins with one vowel sound and moves to another.
- R-controlled vowel: a vowel followed by r no longer has its short sound. Notice that the sound of a in “car” is not the sound of a in “cat.”
- Grapheme-phoneme (letter-sound) correspondences: expression used to name the correspondence between a grapheme and a phoneme. How letters map onto the sounds of a word, and vice versa.
- Spelling-sound relationships: the concept that a reader knows to use various sub-word units which are often beyond the grapheme-phoneme relationship, such as ous or tion in “nervous” or “action.”
- Phonological awareness: an umbrella term for a person’s ability to understand spoken words, or recognize rhymes, or to identify that “at” and “it” are different or to notice different words in a spoken list (“cat,” “mat,” “fat” for example).
- Phonemic awareness: an understanding of the individual phonemes in a word (for example that “ran” and “rain” both have three sounds.
- The Alphabetic Principle and Phonics
- Letter-Sound Instruction
- Word Building
- Multisyllabic Words
- CVC Pattern
- Long Vowels of the CVCe Pattern
- Long Vowel Digraph Patterns
- rControlled Digraph Patterns
- Word and Syllable Matrices for Syllasearch
- The Word Pocket
There are also References, and an Index.
The definitions above are from the “Introduction” chapter of Isabel L. Beck’s book, “Making Sense of Phonics: The Hows and Whys,” published by Guilford Press (http://www.guilford.com). 134 pages. ISBN 1-59385-257-6 (paper).
tutoring in Columbus OH: Adrienne Edwards 614-579-6021 or email firstname.lastname@example.org