ERIC Number: ED277985
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: N/A
The Utility of the "Vowels in Open Syllable" and "Vowels in Closed Syllable" Phonic Rules When Pronouncing Two-Syllable Words.
Greif, Ivo P.
To determine the usefulness of two commonly taught phonics rules concerning the pronounciation of two-syllable words, a study analyzed more than 138,000 words in the "New Grolier Webster International Dictionary of the English Language." The rules state that (1) a vowel is short when the only vowel in a syllable is not the last letter in the syllable (the closed syllable rule), and (2) a vowel stands for the long sound when the only vowel letter is at the end of a syllable (the open syllable rule). Results indicated that 44.9% of the open syllable words and 56% of the closed syllable words could be pronounced correctly. Findings suggested that the utility of the two rules decreases as the list becomes larger and more removed from early elementary vocabulary lists. Based on the notion that a word cannot be correctly pronounced if one syllable in a word cannot be correctly pronounced, analysis of two-syllable words indicated utility of the two rules to be approximately 25%. Evaluation using the five categories of pronounciation revealed similar results. Since it is unlikely that children in early first grade will divide words into syllables with perfect accuracy, as the evaluation presumed, the utility of the two phonics rules is probably considerably lower than the percentages reported, and the rules should not be taught to children. (JD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A