What Is A Grapheme?

Notes from Shifting the Balance: 6 Ways to Bring the Science of Reading into the Balanced Literacy Classroom 

Check it out here on Amazon

Shift 3: A Common Practice to Reconsider

Misunderstanding: Phonics isn’t really worth teaching because English is unpredictable and its spellings are unreliable

It’s deep…

Orthography: The way that words are spelled – letter patterns- in a particular alphabetic system is referred to as its orthography.

Deep Orthography: An orthography that has many ways to spell the same sound, or many sounds for some spellings, is referred to as deep.

City, Cat, and Chew —one letter, 3 different pronunciations…

English’s orthography is very deep —with 44 phonemes represented by 200+ letters and letter combinations known as graphemes.

What is a grapheme?

A grapheme is a written symbol that represents a sound (phoneme).

Example:

Phoneme Number of spellings Graphemes Example
/b/ 1 b ball
/k/ 5 K, c, ck, ch, que Kite, cat, black, choir, plaque

But it’s not impossible for children to learn…

In fact, 50% of words use only the most common sound spelling (regular).

So words that may not appear to be decodable at first glance, actually do have very reliable sound spellings.

 

Join the phonics launch team!

<Read Part 10: What is Scope and Sequence?

Read Part 12: What is Reading Exposure vs Reading Mastery>

Leave a Reply

More posts

How To Make Phonics Fun

Notes from Shifting the Balance: 6 Ways to Bring the Science of Reading into the Balanced Literacy Classroom  Check it out here on Amazon Shift 3: A

Read More »

What Is A Grapheme?

Notes from Shifting the Balance: 6 Ways to Bring the Science of Reading into the Balanced Literacy Classroom  Check it out here on Amazon Shift 3: A

Read More »

What is Scope and Sequence?

Notes from Shifting the Balance: 6 Ways to Bring the Science of Reading into the Balanced Literacy Classroom  Check it out here on Amazon Shift 3: A

Read More »