VI. The Commonest Irregular Consonant Spelling Patterns

From: Let’s Read

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part vi TheCommonest Irregular Consonant SpellingPatterns | 403 Guide to Part VI, Lessons 200–245 T he Let’s Read pupil about to begin part VI is like a climber close to the top of a mountain. Although at times subject to fatigue and discouragement, the steady pace has brought the pupil to the last stage of the quest. And like adventurous climbers, the pupil and teacher should begin to feel some exhilaration from their impressive achievement. But they’re not quite there—yet. Part VI teaches the most irregular consonant and some irregular vowel spelling patterns (would, friend, heart, for example). Their singularity within the Let’s Read sequence is their irregularity, but they are integral to the common vocabulary and almost irreplaceable in English: Can one manage without the conditional could, would, or should? Is it possible to get by without language, machine, nation, Russia, or question? Though their written forms may be different, nonalphabetic, some of them comprise very large patterns and are prolific contributors to the basic English vocabulary. Scope of Part VI ▪ Group I: Irregular Consonant Spellings ▪ c as in cent, face ▪ g as in gem, page ▪ dg as in edge, bridge ▪ k (silent) as in knee, knock ▪ g (silent) as in gnaw, gnome irregular consonant spelling patterns 404 | ▪ w (silent) as in write, whole ▪ b (silent) as in lamb, doubt ▪ l (silent) as in talk, calm ▪ h (silent) as in hour, school, John ▪ t (silent) as in often, whistle ▪ n, c, th (silent) as in autumn, scene, clothes ▪ gh (silent) as in caught, high, bough, though, through ▪ gh as in rough ▪ ph as in phone, orphan ▪ Group II: Irregular Vowel Spellings ▪ value of u as in put: woman, could ▪ value of u as in cute: shoe, soup, fruit, beautiful, view ▪ value of i as in pin: build, busy, pretty, hymn, sieve, spinach ▪ value of ee as in beet: field, ceiling, people, key, gasoline ▪ value of e as in bet: any, again, guess, bury, friend, leopard ▪ values of a as in date and German: vein, obey, foreign ▪ values of o as in note and aw in saw: soul, sew, broad ▪ value of i as in bite: eye, buy, guide, island ▪ value of ar as in car: heart, guard ▪ Group III: Irregular Consonant and Vowel Combinations ▪ as in finger, angle, onion, Julia, champion, language; sure, Russia, ocean, special, anxious, machine, nation; rouge, measure, occasion, picture, question, soldier, education, exact These irregularities are best presented as patterns and learned as patterns without phonics-based apology for how they are spelled. The sheer volume of vocabulary in these lessons is a great help to pupils; it deemphasizes the deviation of the patterns in part VI from earlier patterns, making these irregularities appear quite logical. Suggestions for the Teacher In general, pupils have little difficulty with the new vocabulary of part VI. If difficulties do occur, by this time the teacher will have at the ready many tested ways to get around them. The challenges of part VI for the pupil and, occasionally, the teacher are mainly: to accept sound-letter correlations that are both different and logical; to accept a range of pronunciation variations common to the vocabulary; and, sometimes, to learn new words and their meanings. guide to lessons 200–245 | 405 Suggested procedure: 1. The pupil is ready for more extended reading passages. While their purpose is to demonstrate the use of the vocabulary in narrative text, the stories certainly demand more attention to meaning than earlier connected reading. A pupil’s interpretation of the stories will, of course, be at a level appropriate to his or her age and experience; therefore, when discussing a story, the teacher should keep the pupil’s maturity in mind. 2. A pupil’s enthusiasm for and desire to talk about a particular story is a good indicator of comprehension. Not all stories will be equally enthralling to a pupil, and this judgment will be reflected in the pupil’s interpretation of them. In the interests of maintaining a high regard for the art of reading, therefore, it is probably the wiser course to discuss more fully the meaning of reading that captures a pupil’s interest, which is not to say that a pupil should skip or gloss over what fails to measure up to his or her personal standard. Notes 1. Additional activities. Continue with whatever reinforcements and other activities seem appropriate or that the pupil likes to do. Surely for the computer-literate pupil...