Consolidated Alphabetic Course
When students enter the consolidated alphabetic stage of reading development, they are secure in sounding out and recognizing words with short vowels, including digraphs and blends. They recognize many words automatically, by sight. They start to read words by analogy because of the phonics knowledge they have gained from instruction and practice in text. For example, if they already know the word all, they can apply this knowledge to efficiently read the word stall. Reading by analogy is more efficient because instead of a reader having to decode sound by sound, (e.g., t-e-n-t to get to tent), they can decode in larger units, t-ent to get to tent. This ability can only develop after readers have sufficient practice with sound-by-sound decoding. WIthout decoding practice, they will not accumulate orthographic knowledge that allows for more efficient decoding by analogy.
In the consolidated alphabetic stage of reading development students are ready to learn to read long vowels, r-controlled vowels, and vowel diphthongs. These are best taught by teaching students the vowel syllable patterns of English. When students can recognize a vowel pattern they will know how to pronounce the pattern to read unfamiliar words. The six vowel syllable patterns in English are:open, closed, Silent -e, vowel teams (vowel digraphs & vowel diphthongs), r-controlled vowels, and Consonant+le. They are called vowel syllable patterns because each syllable has only one vowel sound. In this stage of development readers learn to recognize and read all of the six vowel syllable patterns and will become more competent at reading multisyllabic words.