The syllabic method is a technique for teaching children to read from a very young age. How can it be used effectively in class?
The syllabic method was developed by the pedagogues. Both focused on finding a technique that would allow children to learn to read much more quickly and effectively. To achieve this, they developed a method that uses syllables and their combinations to facilitate the learning process.
According to some studies, the syllabic method is a derivation of the phonetic method, because before presenting the syllables to children, they need to understand the sound of each letter separately so that they can then make the various combinations.
The syllabic method in classrooms
It is a method that allows children to correctly recognize and use phonemes representing each letter of the alphabet and create combinations with them according to the rules of the language being studied. To put it into practice in class, it is important to follow the following steps.
Vowels and consonants
All exercises in class following the syllabic method should focus first on vowels, then on consonants. Let’s look at it in more detail:
Vowel learning: a-e-i-o-u is taught by insisting on their reading and writing. Pupils should read them aloud and identify the sound with the corresponding symbol.
Consonant learning: not taught separately, but together with the vowels that the children now know. For this purpose, easy combinations such as ma-me-mi-mo-mu are presented. The important thing is that all pupils become familiar with the sound of consonants combined with vowels.
These are the first exercises that can be done in class and are the basis of the syllabic system. To make learning easier, colours can be used especially for the combination of consonants and vowels. Once you have consolidated this first step, you can continue with the next.
Working with syllables
Now that the pupils are familiar with vowels and consonants and some combinations of the two, it is important to take an extra step.
As you may have guessed, the syllabic method is a progressive learning method, and the difficulty increases as the students assimilate the content. To work with syllables at a more advanced level, there are some exercises:
- Introduce a consonant in the vocal-consonsonant combinations: the goal is to work on pronunciation and spelling, and an example is bra-bre-bro-bru or pla-ple-pli-plo-plu.
- Working with syllables in reverse order: until now pupils have seen combinations starting with one or two consonants, now you can increase the difficulty by putting the vowel first. You can work with al-el-il-ol-ul or ar-er-ir-or-ur.
Working in this way with syllables will allow the little ones to discover that the pronunciation of the same consonant can change depending on the combination with the vowels.
Diphthongs, tritongos, and mixed syllables
Having arrived at this point and dominated the previous ones, it is better to start seeing other combinations that can occur between vowels and consonants, such as diphthongs, tritongos and mixed syllables.
Let’s see some exercises to do for this purpose:
Diphthongs: these are the simplest and most suitable for starting; children are taught easy combinations such as ai-ou-ei, as well as all other possible combinations.
Trittonghi: You add an extra vowel to the front units, such as iao or iai.
Mixed syllables: In this case, combine the syllables studied at the beginning (consonant + vowel) with the inverse syllables (vowel + consonant) to form a single word. Some examples are pan-ta-lo-ne or al-be-ro.
Formation of sentences and expressive reading
After completing all the previous steps, the pupils are ready to build longer and longer sentences, until periods are formed. However, the ultimate goal of the syllabic method is to be able to read and understand a text easily and without problems.
The main advantage of this method is that it works well by allowing children to become familiar with spelling and sounds, and then learn how to use them and read a text, as well as understand it. It also encourages learning to write sentences, periods and sometimes short personal texts.
Perhaps it is not the best known method, but it can be easily integrated into the school curriculum while always maintaining a gradual difficulty, just as in our examples. If carried out correctly, the results can be positive.