Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 

Accent

stress placed on a word or part of a word; the mouth opens wider, the voice is louder and higher; all one-syllable words are accented
 

Alphabetic Principle

letters represent sounds in a spoken language
 

Blend

two or three consonant letters whose sounds flow smoothly together; each letter keeps its own sound; a blend can be broken apart into separate sounds
Example: bl, dr, sc, str, spr
 

Consonant

a set of speech sounds that are blocked or partially blocked by the tongue, teeth, or lips
One to one - 15 consonant letters make only one sound - b, d, f, h, j, k, l, m, p, q, r, t, v, w, z
Multiple sounds - 6 consonants make more than 1 sound - c, g, n, s, x, y
C - The letter c can be pronounced as /k/ or /s/. Before a, o, u, or any consonant the letter c is pronounced /k/ like cat, cot, cup, crib. Before e, i, or y, the letter c is pronounced /s/ like cent, city, cycle.
G - The letter g can be pronounced as /g/ or /j/. Before a, o, u, or any consonant g is pronounced /g/, like gate, got, gum, or glad. Before e, i, or y, the letter g is pronounced /j/ like gem, giant, or gypsy.
N - The letter n can be pronounced as /n/ or /ng/. In initial or final position and usually in medial position, n says /n/ like nap, snip or spin. Before any letter that is pronounced /k/ or /g/ n says /ng/ like sink, bank, or finger.
S - The letter s can be pronounced as /s/ or /z/. After an unvoiced sound, s is unvoiced and is pronounced /s/ as in pits, naps, rocks. After a voiced sound, s is voiced and is pronounced /z/ as in pins, seems, hills.
X - The letter x can be pronounced as /z/ or /ks/. In initial position, x says /z/, as in xylophone, xylem, xenophobia. In medial and final position, x says /ks/ as in exit, excel, mix, wax.
Y - The letter y can be pronounced as /y/, /ī/, or /ē/. In initial position, y is pronounced /y/. In initial position, the letter y is a consonant as in yes, yogurt, yellow.
In an accented syllable, final y is pronounced /ī/, as in fly, supply, reply. Here, the letter y is acting as a vowel.
In an unaccented syllable, final y is pronounced /ē/ as in penny, candy, happy. Here again, the letter y is acting as a vowel.
 

Decoding

the translation of symbols on a page into words (e.g., cat = /k/ /ă/ /t/
 

Differentiated Instruction

addressing the diversity of learners’ needs, interests, abilities, and experiences when planning and delivering instruction. Differentiated instruction is a continuous cycle: plan, teach, observe, evaluate performance, and plan again to meet the needs of each learner.
 

Digraph

two letters together that represent one sound
Examples: ch as in chin, ck as in duck, ng as in finger, sh as in wish, th as in thin or that (The diagraph th as in thin makes an unvoiced sound and a voiced sound as in that.)
Diagraph ch - The digraph ch has three different pronunciations depending on the origin of the word. The /ch/ pronunciation, as in chair, is the most frequent sound of the diagraph ch. This pronunciation comes to the English language from the Anglo-Saxons. The /k/ pronunciation, as in school, comes from the Greek language. The /sh/ pronunciation, as in chef, comes from the French language.
 

Explicit Instruction

direct and purposeful teaching of skills and concepts
 

Fluency

the prosodic flow with which a skilled reader reads; reading with adequate speed to maintain attention and access meaning
 

Gradual Release

teacher modeling that leads to guided instruction and then to independent use of a skill or strategy
 

Grapheme

a letter or group of letters that represent a specific sound
Example: cheek has five letters - c, h, e, e, k and three graphemes - ch, ee, k
 

Irregular Words

Words that are irregular for reading have unexpected pronunciations (e.g., to, of, the, who, friend, from, where, push, blood, again, could, thought, thorough science, draught, tonight).
 

Language or Listening Comprehension

 
Learner Profile
a learner’s exact instructional strengths and needs. A Learner Profile is determined via standardized testing or observational data
 

Letter

a symbol that represents a speech sound
Example: m, t, y, o
 

Orthography

way in which a language is written; letters represent sounds in a spoken language
 

Pathway

on neuhausacademy.org, a sequence of videos that introduce and reinforce the skills adults and adolescents need to be fluent readers with good comprehension
Pathway 1: the Phonology and Orthography (PO) of words, the spelling and pronunciation
Pathway 2: the meanings of the parts of a word and how it would be used in speaking and writing (Morphology, Semantics, and Syntax, or MSS)
Pathway 3: covers first the PO and then the MSS lesson for each word
 

Phoneme

an individual speech sound that changes the pronunciation or meaning of a word; changing /m/ in /măt/ to /s/ changes the word to /săt/ and changes the pronunciation and meaning
Example: sat has 3 phonemes /s/ /ă/ /t/
three has 3 phonemes /th/ /r/ /ē/
break has 4 phonemes /b/ /r/ /ā/ /k/
 

Phoneme Characteristics

Blocked - the position of the tongue, teeth, or lips blocks the production of sound
Example: /m/ /l/ /s/
Partially blocked - there is a release of the tongue, teeth or lips during the sound production; the sound is not blocked during the entire production of the sound
Example: /p/ /t/ /k/
Continuant (continuous) and clipped - a continuant sound is produced continuously as with /l/, /s/, and /m/; a clipped sound has a brief production as with /g/, /t/, and /p/; it is important to not add /ŭh/ to the end of clipped sounds
Voiced and unvoiced - voiced sounds activate the vocal cords during production as in /l/ and /m/; unvoiced sounds do not activate the vocal cords during production as in /s/ and /t/
 

Phonics

instruction that connects sounds and letters and teaches reliable patterns for reading
 

Reading Comprehension

the ability to attach meaning to words that have been translated from symbols
 

Regular Words

words that follow reliable, frequently occurring letter patterns; regular words can be sounded out
 

Sight Words

words that are common everyday words that appear frequently in reading and writing; sight words can be regular or irregular words
Example: there, their, way, once, said, where, were, was, say, it’s, the, a
 

Sound-symbol Correspondences

the pairing of phonemes and graphemes; knowledge of these associations enables students to sound out unfamiliar words
 

Sustained Practice

continued practice of a concept or skill so that the concept or skill is learned to automaticity and is remembered over time
 

Syllable

a word, or part of a word, that has one vowel sound; counting syllables means you are counting vowel sounds
 

Syllable Division Patterns

patterns that determine the division of words with two or more syllables; the most common patterns in the English language are VCCV and VCV
VCCV - A common pattern in English is the VCCV pattern. In this pattern, there are two consonants between two vowels. This pattern appears in words such as: napkin, combine, and secret.
"VCCV Syllable Division" on Reading Teachers Network
VCV - Another common pattern in the English language is the VCV (vowel-consonant-vowel) pattern. In this pattern, there is one consonant between two vowels. This pattern appears in words such as rotate, event, and cabin.
"VCV Syllable Division" on Reading Teachers Network
VCCCV - The VCCCV (vowel-consonant-consonant-consonant-vowel) is another pattern. In this pattern, there are three consonants between two vowels. This pattern appears in words such as lobster, surprise, and pumpkin.
"VCCCV Syllable Division" on Reading Teachers Network
VV - This is VV (vowel-vowel) pattern. In this pattern, there are two adjacent or side by side vowels that do not form a vowel pair. This pattern appears in words such as chaos, boa, and duet.
"VV Syllable Division" on Reading Teachers Network
 

Syllable Type

There are six different types of syllables in the English language. Knowing the types of syllables gives the reader a strategy to decode an unfamiliar word and not rely on guessing.
Open Syllable - An open syllable is a word or part of a word that ends in one vowel. The vowel is long or says its name. (e.g. he, so, hi, cogent, compliant)
"Open Syllables" on Reading Teachers Network
Closed Syllable - A closed syllable is a word or part of a word that ends in at least one consonant after one vowel. The vowel in a closed syllable makes its short sound. (e.g. bat, clock, aberration, description)
"Closed Syllables" on Reading Teachers Network
Vowel-Consonant-e Syllable - A vowel consonant e syllable has 1 vowel, 1 consonant, and a final e. The e is silent and the vowel is long or says it name. (e.g. cake, like, impute, bellicose)
"Vowel-Consonant-e Syllables" on Reading Teachers Network
Vowel-r or r-Controlled Syllable - A vowel-r syllable is a word or part of a word that has an r after the vowel. The vowel is not short but makes an unexpected, but reliable sound. (e.g. her, far, bird, corn, burn, parched, brokerage)
"Vowel-r Syllables" on Reading Teachers Network
Vowel Pair Syllable - A vowel pair syllable has two adjacent or side by side vowels. (e.g. feet, boat, disdain, feasible)
"Vowel Pair Syllables" on Reading Teachers Network
Final Stable Syllable - A final stable syllable is part of a word that always comes at the end of a word. A final stable syllable is always stable or reliable in its pronunciation and spelling. (e.g. candle, giggle, aberration, heritage)
"Final Stable Syllable tion" on Neuhaus Academy
"Final Consonant -le Words" on Neuhaus Academy
"Final Stable Syllables" on Reading Teachers Network
 

Trigraph

three adjacent letters that represent one speech sound
Example: (tch as in sketch, igh as in fright)
 

Vowel

speech sounds that open the mouth; vowels in English are: a, e, i , o, u and sometimes w and y