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Things to know about syllables

Posted by speldsa on May 19, 2011

Things to know about syllables

Many teachers, tutors, parents and students are unaware or unsure of the rules of syllabication, but knowing those rules and some tips and tricks to help students identify the sounds within words is very important for students with specific learning difficulties. Below is a chart that was published in our SPELD SA SPRING 2010 newsletter that you may find useful.

Things to know about syllables Every syllable has at least one vowel 

  • When you say a word every time you drop your chin you are saying a syllable
  • Syllables are in types that follow rules
  • Syllables help you spell especially long words
  • Syllables help you read especially long words  
There are seven types of syllables, six that fit a pattern and an extra group that is differentType 1 the open syllable (o) 

  • me no o/pen cry/ing fi/nal
  • In these syllables the vowel is open at the end of the syllable and it often says its name.

Type 2 closed syllable (c)

  • in lost pest o/pen cry/ing
  • These syllables have a short vowel, spelled with a single vowel letter, and end in one or more consonants.

Type 3 the magic e syllable (vce) – vowel-consonant-e

  • Kate  ice  mine  scrape  re/bate  dis/place   bit/ing
  • This is the one where you drop the e to add ing eg, bite > biting
  • The vowel has been opened and is long and says its name.

Type 4 consonant+le syllables (c-le)

  • ble, cle, kle, fle, gle, ple, stle, tle and zle
  • ta/ble  pad/dle  stee/ple
  • The preceding vowel can be short or long. If it is short, the middle letter is doubled, eg, pad/dle, and you drop the ‘e’ to add ‘ing’ – pad/dling

Type 5 syllable

The diphthong (dippy) syllable when two vowels or a vowel and a consonant make one sound (dip)

Wait  snow Au/gust main/tain de/stroy/ing

Type 6 syllable the vowel-r syllable (rc)

This has combinations of ar er ir or ur

A vowel combined with r when the vowel always comes first.

Ho/garth  ford  bird  de/ter/mine

The type 7 syllable is the suffix syllable

These are usually final, unaccented syllables with odd spellings.

Eg,  tion,  sion,  cion,  ing,  ed,  ly, ive

The ‘sion’ syllable has two pronunciations.

The ‘s’ can be pronounced ‘ʒ’ (eg, confusion) or, if it follows l, n, r, s, it sounds like a ‘sh’ (mansion)

When ‘ss’ comes before ‘ion’, it sounds like ‘sh’ eg, per/miss/ion

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