How to include the syllabic method in the classroom

Do you know the syllabic method to teach children to read more effectively? The syllabic method was developed by Samuel Heinicke and Federico Gedike, two renowned pedagogues. They wanted to find a technique to make learning to read easier for children and they achieved it with their method that uses syllables and their combinations to facilitate the process. The syllabic method is like a derivation of the phonetic method. Before children understand the syllables they must know them separately to be able to combine them.

In the classroom

This method allows children to correctly recognize and use the spelling of the alphabet and to combine letters and syllables correctly according to the language they know. It is necessary to put it into practice in the classroom so that children can learn its proper use in all its variants. To do this, some things must be taken into account.

Learn the vowels and the consonants

Children have to learn the vowels and the consonants and therefore, during the learning of the syllabic method they will focus first on the vowels and then on the consonants. To do this:

  • Vowels: learn a-e-i-o-u in reading and writing. Children will identify and read the corresponding sound and spelling aloud.
  • Consonants: are not taught in isolation, but are learned along with vowels. That is why learning vowels is so important to do in advance. Then the vowels are joined with the consonants and simple syllables are formed: pa-pe-pi-po-pu, la-le-li-lo-lu, al-el-il-ol-ul, etc. The children will become familiar with learning the sounds of each of the letters.

In the classroom it can be represented with chips of different colors, one color for the vowels, another color for the consonants and third tiles for combined syllables. In this way, learning is more visual and for children it is much easier.

Learn the syllables

Once the previous point has been consolidated, then it is important to continue working to achieve understanding and good use of syllables to form words. The syllabic method is a progressive process, this means that the method goes from easier to more difficult as the children acquire and understand the concepts.

There are some exercises that are key in all this learning:

  • Syllables combining vowel-consonant: pla, bre, bru, pro …pronounce the pronunciation and spelling combining vowels and consonants.
  • Syllables in reverse order: would be syllables where the vowel goes first and then the consonant (al, ar, er, el , etc).

Learning in this way will help children discover how the same consonant can change its pronunciation just by combining with different vowels. A clear example would be the “r”, which is not the same to say: “rose” than “orbit”. Both “r” are with o, but depending on where it is located it is pronounced differently.

What is the syllabic method

Diphthongs, triphthongs and mixed syllables

When all of the above has been mastered, then it is time to teach other combinations between vowels and consonants: diphthongs, triphthongs and mixed words. Let’s see:

  • Diphthongs: are simple; oh, oh, hey. And you have to identify them in the syllables of the words.
  • Triphthongs: one more vowel is added to the combination of vowels within the same syllable, for example: guau; uau.
  • Mixed syllables: is when simple syllables (consonant and vowel) are combined with inverse syllables (vowel and consonant) and a word is formed. For example: es-pal-da.

Forming sentences and comprehensive reading

Once all of the above is achieved, it will be time to start forming sentences and that children understand the reading they do. It is no longer just about decoding words, but also about understanding what is read and expressing what is written.

In this sense, the purpose of the syllabic method, It is always that children learn to read and write correctly, in a simple way. That they do so by understanding what they read and knowing what they want to write. Reading and writing are encouraged and children feel motivated to do things better and better.