ERIC Number: ED436718
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999
Letter-Sound Relationships of Phonic Cells.
Using 17, 211 words drawn from the word list compiled for the Stanford Spelling Study (1963) and drawing upon the "American Heritage Dictionary of the American Language" as the pronunciation reference, a researcher approached the language as if little was known about its letter-sound relationships and examined by computer the letter-sound correspondence for all single and paired combinations--a, b, c...aa, ab, ac.... He also examined many three, four, and five-letter clusters and phonograms; if a word contained multiple occurrences of a letter or letter combination, he studied the first occurrence only. All juxtaposed single vowel and consonant combinations that looked like a pair or digraph were counted with the vowel pair or consonant digraph. As he proceeded, he began to find"stand-alone" phonic units and placed these in tables of "phonic cells." Within each phonic cell, he included a ratio of words conforming to the sound(s) to the total number of words identified for that cell. Eventually, all but a handful of the letters and letter clusters fit into a cell. Findings are shown in 3 vowel tables (Tables 1-3) and in 3 consonant tables (Tables 4-6). In summary, the predictable "cells" for the three vowel tables show a collective predictability of 93%, while the consonant tables exceed 99% in letter-sound predictability. This understanding of letter-sound relationships can be applied to students who struggle with decoding; this simple approach to successfully teaching reading fluency can be used with struggling readers from primary-age students to illiterate adults. (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A