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Importance of Syllable Types in Reading Success


By: Suzie Dalien, M.Ed.

Little girl laying in bed reading a book with text overlay Importance of Syllable Types in Reading Success

As I listen to my child struggle to sound out words I think about the conversation with the other parents at lunch yesterday.


“Isn’t she reading yet?”
“My Katie was reading to her siblings at age 4!”


My child wants to read so badly, but she has dyslexia.


She has literally cried at the sight of a book.


I just wanted to find an easier way before she gave up altogether.


Teaching syllable types is one way I found to help her with reading.


Importance of Syllable Types in Reading Success


Teaching Syllable types is often one of the most overlooked tools for teaching children to read. But it can also be one of the most effective!


This type of phonetic instruction is beneficial for all students. It is especially helpful for children that have persistent reading difficulties, such as dyslexia.


Teaching syllable types provides students with knowledge of patterns in words. These patterns help them to know how words are pronounced when they are reading and writing.


This is essential when students are reading longer, multi-syllable words. If students don’t know how to pronounce a long word, they may guess or skip the word when reading. Guessing hurts their reading comprehension of the text.


It may take time to instill the love of reading in your child, so be sure to be patient. Most of all, remember to keep reading light and fun.


What is a Syllable?


  • A syllable is a word part that contains a vowel or a vowel pattern. 
  • There are six different syllable types in words. 


What are the Six Syllable Types? 


#1 Closed Syllable

    • This syllable has one vowel and at least one consonant after the vowel (“closing” the syllable off). Closed syllables have a short vowel sound.  
    • Examples:
      • mat
      • trap
      • picnic
      • fantastic

#2 Open Syllable

    • This syllable type has one vowel at the end of the syllable. Open syllables have a long vowel sound (vowel says its name). 
    • Examples:
      • go
      • zero
      • solo

#3 Vowel-Consonant “e” Syllable

    • This is a syllable that has one vowel, followed by a consonant sound, and then a silent “e.” Vowel-Consonant “e” syllables have long sounds.
    • There are some exceptions to this rule: have, give, etc. — Teach children the exceptions!
    • Examples:
      • ride
      • spike


#4 Vowel Team Syllable

    • This syllable type has two or more vowels (or consonants acting as vowels) together that stand for one vowel sound. The vowel sound can be long or short or make a different sound.  
    • Examples:
      • meat
      • pain
      • draw
      • night

#5 R-Controlled Syllable

    • This syllable type has one or two vowels, followed by r. Vowel makes a different sound (not long or short).
    • Examples:
      • sort
      • surf
      • term
      • farm
      • curve

#6 Consonant-Le Syllable

    • This syllable type has a consonant, followed by “le” and is found at the end of a multi-syllable word. 
    • Examples:
      • stable
      • giggle


I found a few games for teaching syllables that would be a fun way to learn.



If your child struggles with reading check out the following articles that may help.

Do you need help with their reading… we offer one-on-one special education tutoring that can be done from anywhere you are! Why? Because our special education experts conduct their sessions online!

Get started with a free consultation!


Young girl laying in the bed reading a book with text overlay Importance of Syllable Types in Reading Success

Do you have a child struggling to read? Teaching your child about syllable types is a strategy that will help in a big way!

This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 18th, 2020 at and is filed under Student Resources and tagged as , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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2 Responses to Importance of Syllable Types in Reading Success

  • Scarlet | Family Focus Blog says:

    That is really great information for teaching kids to read. It is important to make sure they get the reading strategies they need so that they can learn to love reading.

  • Darina says:

    Thanks for this info. I also think syllables teaching should be mandatory. Knowing where the syllables begin and end will also help with transporting a word to another line when writing.

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