You’ll never be bamboozled by your child’s teacher again once you learn these 11 reading terms and what they mean.
Next time you’re attending a parent-teacher meeting you can nod enthusiastically when the teacher is discussing your child’s reading, because you’ll know exactly what they’re talking about once you get these reading terms and their meanings into your brain’s filing cabinet of useful things to know.
- Consonants – These are all the letters in the English alphabet that are not vowels, so: b c d f g h j k l m n p q r s t v w x y z There are 21 of them.
- Vowels – These are all the other letters that are not consonants. a e i o & u. Beware of ‘tricky y’, this is consonant that wants to be a vowel and sometimes it is in words like; type, gypsy, bye & system.
- Long Vowels – Are simply vowels that makes a long sound. The same sound as the letter name in the alphabet. For example: “A” as in apron, “E” as in eat, “I” as in ice-cream, “O” as in open and “U” as in uniform.
- Decoding – This is related to reading. It’s the process of identifying letter symbols and knowing which sounds they are making in words when you are reading. When our children are reading, they are decoding the words, turning the symbols into sounds and creating meaning as they read. The word CAT can be decoded in sounds as “cuh” “ah” “tuh”.
- Digraph – In this word ‘di’ means 2 and ‘graph’ relates to graphemes or letter symbols so, 1 digraph is 2 consonants or 2 vowels that together make just one sound. Think of “ch” in chip or “ea” in steak.
- Encoding – This is related to spelling. It is the process of identifying letter sounds and predicting which letters they represent when writing or spelling a word. “duh” “o” “guh” makes the word DOG.
- Fluency – Is the ability to read with speed and accuracy, with the appropriate expression, whilst comprehending what is being read.
- Phonics – Is the relationship between letters in the English alphabet and the sounds they make in English words.
- Semantics – The meaning of written text.
- Syllable – The beat or the rhythm of words. For example, the word “happy” has 2 syllables – hap/py. The word “violin” has 3 syllables – vi/o/lin.
- Syntax – The set of rules used when writing complete sentences in the English language.