The Syllable Method


Making Reading Fun - The Syllable Method

The Syllable Method is a new, research based way of teaching children to read. Its goal is to produce confident, fluent readers that are equipped with all skills that are necessary to tackle any unknown text and make it their own.

Depending on your needs the Syllable Method can be both taught on its own or tied into any other phonics based program.


How does it work?

The main idea of the Syllable method is twofold:

  • Providing children (and teachers) with texts featuring color coded syllables.
  • Teaching children how to identify and read the 6 different syllable types of the English language:

(1) Color Coded Texts

The Syllable Method aims to break up longer words into their much more manageable parts: syllables. Therefore every text or song that can be downloaded on features color coded syllables:

Sweet Pudding / Color Coded Syllables

Because the color coding follows three simple rules, Syllable Method texts are much easier to access and understand than any other ‘early readers’ out there:

  • In longer words, syllables are color coded, alternating between black and red (e.g. banana)
  • Letters with unusual pronunciation, silent e’s and sight words that one can’t figure out by their letters are printed in lighter color (e.g. house, one, pudding)
  • “Sneaky e” syllables (e.g. ake, ice) which many children find hard to read are underlined (e.g. nice, make)

(2) Syllable Types

In the English language the syllable is the key to the vowel: Knowing and recognizing the 6 types of syllables of the English language will enable your child to judge whether the vowel sound in a word is long (as in cane) or short (as in can) – thus providing a solution to the one problem most beginning readers find daunting.

The six syllable types that are to be taught are:
(click on the images for additional information)

To ensure a smooth transition between color coded Syllable Method texts and standard texts that have not been previously color coded, children are taught special marks for all syllable types that can be scribbled into any other text.

What’s the benefit?

  • The Syllable Method leads to a much quicker reading progression than solely letter-sound based programs: Children with difficulties in reading will be able to keep up with their peers in standard phonics education. Skilled children can move on to much more ‘real’ texts much sooner – and with better understanding. they learn reading using the Syllable Method will need about a year from their first introduction to letters to fluent reading. Thus the Syllable Method saves a lot of time.
  • Since the different types of syllables are introduced very early in the reading process reading is not limited to CVC words: Syllable Method Stories tend to be more like ‘real’ English – and therefore more engaging and more fun.
  • The number of sight words can be cut in less than half (because most sight words do have a regular spelling – and knowing the syllable type can be read easily)
  • Because of the short amount of time needed and the focus on making the pronunciation clear this method is especially useful for ESL children (children with other native languages than English)
  • Focusing on the small building blocks of language rather than whole words the Syllable Method can be a useful tool to facilitate reading in special needs children.

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