In my 3rd and 4th grade decoding and encoding intervention groups, we have been working on syllable segmentation. I had a major internal conflict on whether or not to teach it as part of an intervention group, and in the end, I decided it would be worth the time to focus on it, and I was right!
After lots of research, and a lot of time spent looking at student data that clearly conveyed some of their deficits in reading and spelling, I decided to teach syllable segmentation for these reasons:
- Students can do it. They find success in things such as this, and success is just what they need.
- Segmenting syllables helps students encode (spell). It gives them another tool to identify consonant-le words, prefixes, suffixes, doubled consonants, etc.
- Segmenting syllables helps students decode (read). When students–particular those with reading deficits–come across multisyllabic words, they often struggle with whether or not sounds are short or long, which letter pairs are digraphs, diphthongs, etc. Learning to look at words in syllable chunks can help students immensely.
- It helps students with the correct pronunciation of words.
- It helps students to hear all the sounds in words.
- It's an advanced form of phonemic awareness.