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Tutoring Glossary

Affixes - Prefixes and suffixes.

Articulation - The clear and effective pronunciation of speech sounds.

Auditory Discrimination - The ability to hear a speech sound and correspond it to the correct spelling; also, the ability to segment and to blend adjacent speech sounds.

Baby Sound - A distinct speech sound created by the articulation of two sounds represented by two adjacent letters. Examples of baby sounds: the sound /y/ in onion; the sound /w/ in fluid.

Blending - The process of gliding from one speech sound to the next in a syllable and in a word.

Comprehension – See "Reading Comprehension."

Consonant - A speech sound articulated by the various actions of the mouth involving the lips, teeth, tongue, palate, and aspiration.

Consonant Blend - The articulation of two or more consonant sounds in rapid succession.

Consonant Cluster - The spelling of a consonant blend with two or more letters. Examples: bl spelling /bl/ in black; qu spelling /kw/ in quit; str spelling /str/ in strap; nds spelling /ndz/ in bends.

Consonant Digraph - Two letters that spell a single consonant sound: sh spelling /sh/ in ship.

Critical Reading – Reading to analyze and judge what has been said. Critical reading involves learning not only to recognize what the author is saying, but how the author portrays his subject matter. The critical reader learns to judge what the author’s purpose is as revealed in his writing, to discern how the author develops his ideas, to interpret the author’s perspective, and to tell the extent to which the author subjectively or objectively treats his topic.

Descriptive Writing – writing that describes a person, place, scene, or event.

Diacritic - A special mark on a phonetic symbol that makes it produce a distinct speech sound. The breve, macron, umlaut, and circumflex are diacritics.

Digraph - Two letters that spell one speech sound.

Diphthong - A vowel sound articulated by gliding rapidly from one simple vowel sound to another: /oi/ in boy; /ou/ in cow. The diphthong is treated as one speech sound. (Four of the six long vowel sounds are diphthongs: ā, ī, ō, yü.)

Expository Writing – writing to inform or to explain.

Grapheme - The spelling of a speech sound (phoneme).

Letter - One of 26 written symbols in the English alphabet. A spelling representing a speech sound will consist of a letter or letter cluster. The x is the only letter in the alphabet representing a blend of two consonant sounds.

Mapping - The corresponding of a speech sound to one letter or to a cluster of letters. A speech sound can be mapped to a single letter, a digraph, a trigraph, or a four-letter phonogram.

Modes of Development – ways in which a writer develops his writing primarily in exposition. These ways include developing by example, reason, process, classification, process analysis, comparison and contrast, definition, cause and effect, and analogy.

Narrative Writing – writing that tells events typically in time order.

Paraphrase – a restatement of an author’s ideas in one’s own words.

Persuasive Writing – writing that gets someone to think or act in a certain way.

Phoneme - A speech sound. Each speech sound (phoneme) is represented by a phonetic symbol. Examples of phonetic symbols: /ä/, /t/, /k/, /ô/, /ŋ/.

Phonics – a method of teaching reading that involves teaching a student how to connect the sounds in spoken English with letters or groups of letters and then teaching him to blend the sounds together to form words.

Phonogram - 1). A written symbol consisting of one letter or a cluster of letters representing one speech sound. One-letter, two-letter, three-letter, and four- letter phonograms represent speech sounds in English. Examples of phonograms: p, a, ph, ff, tch, ieu, eigh. 2.) A pattern of letters representing a blend of speech sounds that occurs in several words. Examples of these phonograms are qu in quiet and quick, ight in fight and night.

Précis - a concise summary in one’s own words of only the main ideas of a passage.

Prefix - An affix joined to the beginning of a word.

Reading Comprehension – Understanding what one reads without making any critical evaluation. Comprehension involves understanding what one reads as a means of acquiring information without judging the author’s tone, purpose, or treatment of the subject.

Schwa - An unclear vowel sound represented by the phonetic symbol Ə.
A vowel letter or digraph can be pronounced as a schwa if unstressed. The schwa /ǝ/ sound between the p and l in apple is unique because it is pronounced as part of the l.

Segmenting - The process of isolating and pronouncing the distinct speech sounds in a syllable.

SoundSpell – a phonics program developed at Avid Readers where a student learns to pronounce and hear 44 sounds in the English language before he learns to recognize the various letter spellings that correspond to each sound. In addition, the student learns to recognize 7 syllable patterns that enable him to manage multi-syllable words.

Spelling - In SoundSpell, spelling refers to the letter or letter cluster that stands for one speech sound.

Spelling Patterns - The distinct syllables: closed, open, digraph, silent e, trigraph, gh, and schwa-closed.

Stress - The accent on a prominent syllable with a clear vowel sound. The stressed syllable is the one pronounced with emphasis.

Structural Analysis - Word study that involves the identification of word parts by syllable, by base word, by root, and by affixes, and the application of orthographic and grammatical rules of usage to determine the correct rendering of a word in context.

Suffix - An affix joined to the end of a word.

Syllabication - The process of identifying syllables in a written multisyllable word in order to read it and in a spoken multisyllable word in order to write it.

Syllable - A word or word part with a distinct spelling pattern containing a single vowel sound that may be joined by one or more consonant sounds.

Trigraph - Three letters that spell one speech sound: eau spelling /ō/ in plateau; pph spelling /f/ in sapphire; tch spelling /ch/ in match; ssi spelling /sh/ in mission.

Unfriendly Vowels - Two adjoining letters that represent two distinct vowel sounds which belong to two separate syllables. Examples: li on; po et. The pairing of unfriendly vowels produces a "baby" sound.

Unvoiced Consonant - A pure consonant sound pronounced without voicing from the vocal chords. Examples: /p/, /t/, /k/, /s/.

Voiced Consonant - A consonant sound pronounced with the assistance of voicing from the vocal chords. Examples: /b/, /d/, /g/, /z/.

Vowel - An unobstructed voiced speech sound, a sound produced by the vocal chords.

Vowel Digraph - Two letters that spell a vowel sound: ay spelling /ā/ in say.

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