Definitions of Essential Terminology
Vowel: a, e, i, o, u and sometimes y & w.
(These are speech sounds made with an open mouth.)
Consonant: Any letter that is not a vowel.
(These are speech sounds produced by obstructing the breath stream with the lips, teeth or tongue, for example p, b, r).
Blend: 2 or 3 consonants in sequence with the sound of each letter being heard (e.g. bl, sp, str).
Digraph: 2 consonants which go together to make one sound (e.g. ch, sh, th).
Diphthong: 2 vowels which go together to make one sound (e.g. ou, ai, ee, ay, ow).
Phonograms: The written letters used to represent a sound.
Decoding: (Reading) The breaking down of the written word in order to read it using the sounds associated with the letters.
Encoding: (Spelling) The systematic spelling of words using the letters associated with the sounds.
Syllable: A word or part of a word that contains one vowel sound (e.g. bag, boat, age). There are six different types of syllables.
Syllable Division: Breaking down the words into syllables in order to pronounce the words by looking for learned vowel and consonant patterns,
(e.g. VC/CV = vowel consonant/consonant vowel = nap/kin).
Base Word: A word that has nothing added onto it, such as suffixes or prefixes, and has a complete meaning in itself (e.g. spell).
Prefix: Something that is added to the beginning of a base word in order to change its meaning (e.g. misspell).
Suffix: Something that is added to the end of a base word in order to change its meaning or its usage (e.g. spelling).
Spelling Rule: A rule that is given to assist with words that can not be spelt as they sound.
(Please see reverse side for a definition of the spelling rules).
The Spelling Rules and Generalizations are as follows:
The “Floss” Rule: In a one syllable word, containing one short vowel which is directly followed by an f, l, s, or z,
the final f. l, s, or z is doubled (e.g. “fluff”, “sell”, “floss”, “buzz”).
The “k-ck" Rule: In a one syllable word, containing one short vowel which is directly followed by the /k/ sound,
“ck” is used (e.g. “pack”, “fleck”, “sock”), otherwise use “k”.
The “tch” Rule: In a one syllable word, containing one short vowel which is directly followed by the /ch/ sound,
“tch” is used (e.g. “catch”, “fetch”, “itch”), otherwise use “ch”.
The “dge” Rule: In a one syllable word, containing one short vowel which is directly followed by the /j/ sound,
“dge” is used (e.g. “badge”, “hedge”, “dodge”), otherwise use “ge”.
The Doubling Rule (or the “111 Rule”): When adding a vowel suffix to a one syllable word, containing one vowel that ends in
one consonant, double the final consonant (e.g. fatter, running, hidden).
When the word contains 2 vowels, 2 final consonants or a consonant-suffix is being added, just add the suffix.
The Silent ‘e’ Rule: When adding a vowel suffix to a word ending in a silent “e”, drop the silent “e” before adding the suffix (e.g. saving, baker, phoning),
unless the ‘e’ is needed to keep ‘c’ or ‘g’ soft (e.g. changeable, serviceable). When adding a consonant-suffix, keep the ‘e’ and add the suffix.
The “y” Rule: When a word ending in “y” is preceded by a consonant, change the “y” to an “i” when adding a suffix (e.g. “happiness”, “parties”).
When a word ends in “y”, preceded by a vowel, just add the suffix (e.g. “playing”, “joyful”).
The “ay” Generalization: When the long /a/ sound is heard at the end of a word, use “ay” (“play”).
The “oi/oy” Generalization: When the /oy/ sound is heard at the end of a word or syllable, use “oy”, (e.g. “toy”, “oy/ster”);
“oi” is used at the beginning or middle of a word (e.g. “oil”, “boil”).
The "ou/ow” Generalization: When the /ow/ sound is heard at the beginning or middle of a word, use /ou/ (e.g. “out”, “shout”).
When the /ow/ sound is heard at the end of a word, use “ow” (e.g. “cow”), or when it is followed by “l”, “n” or “er” (e.g. “owl”, “town”, “flower”).