Teaching Syllabication & Word Breaks

Teaching Syllabication & Word Breaks
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  • 0:00 Why Learn Syllabication?
  • 1:06 Remember the Rules
  • 2:27 Start with Names
  • 3:41 Strategies Beyond Names
  • 4:24 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Learning how to break words up into syllables is a helpful part of spelling and decoding. This lesson gives you some ideas about how to teach syllabication and word breaks.

Why Learn Syllabication?

Ms. Fern is a reading specialist at an elementary school. Her students often struggle with decoding, or the aspect of reading that has to do with sounding out words on the page. Even her students who are solid decoders often have trouble with spelling, particularly when it comes to longer words. Ms. Fern knows that there are many important ways to help students with decoding and spelling, but one important aspect is to teach students explicitly about syllabication and word breaks.

Syllabication refers to breaking words up into their component syllables. Students who can count the syllables in a word are aware of how many vowels a word should have, and they are better prepared to chunk, or break them into manageable parts, polysyllabic written words so that they are easier to decode. Though syllabication is not necessarily the most exciting part of learning to read and write, Ms. Fern knows that it is essential, especially for those students who need an extra boost to accessing the complexities of written language.

Remember the Rules

When Ms. Fern helps other teachers in her school prepare to work with their students on syllabication and word breaks, she cautions them to first refresh their own understanding of syllabication rules in English. The five most common and important rules to remember, according to Ms. Fern, are:

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