The Short O Sound
Partial Alphabetic Course
A partial alphabetic reader is a student who understands that words are made up of sounds that can be spelled by letters. We say this child is a “partial alphabetic” reader because they are using part of a word’s spelling to predict what a word says.
We want to help the student who is a partial alphabetic reader to sound out words by applying his or her letter-sound knowledge. To make this happen, we want to move the student from predictable text to decodable text with some picture support. Decodable texts are texts that have a majority of words spelled with phonics patterns that students have learned, and so they can sound out the words independently. The decodable text will help the student to become “glued to the print” (Chall, 1996) as they sound out the words and become less dependent on guessing the words from the pictures. This is a short phase of reading development if a student gets a lot of practice reading the words that are spelled with the phonics patterns they have been taught.
As the beginning reader learns the short vowel sounds and has a lot of practice reading words with closed syllables (e.g. consonant-vowel-consonant) the beginning reader will recognize more and more words automatically and progress to the “alphabetic“ phase of reading development. A closed-syllable word is a word that has one vowel, followed by one or more consonants, with a short vowel pronunciation (e.g. cat, tap, hog).