Multisyllabic Decoding: Problems with the Six Syllable Approach
If you have been searching for a method to teach a child to read multisyllabic words, you've probably encountered the method that teaches the six syllable types. A child is expected to learn each of the six forms of syllable, then apply that knowledge as he's attempting to decode a word with several syllables. As you, yourself, learned that method did it ever occur to you that you weren't previously taught those six syllable types, but that somehow you managed to learn to read all those longer words you read daily despite that lack of knowledge? So, maybe that's not the best way to approach a multisyllabic word after all?
The Six Syllable Types
The first two types are 1) open syllables and 2) closed syllables. I'll discuss those later.
The third type is the vowel + e syllable, in which the vowel sound is represented by a split vowel such as the "i-e" in "hive" or the "o-e" in "home." Awareness of that syllable type prepares a child to read words like "livelihood" (live-li-hood" and "behave" (be-have).
The fourth type is the two-vowel letter syllable where the vowel sound in a syllable is represented by a vowel digraph such as the "ow" in "grow," or the "ea" in "teach" and "head," or the "ay" in "clay."
The fifth type is the consonant + "le" syllable in which a syllable, usually at the end of a word, is spelled, for example, "ple," "tle," "ble," "cle," etc. Examples are "purple" (pur-ple), "turtle" (tur-tle), "marble" (mar-ble), and "uncle" (un-cle).
And the sixth and last type is the syllable ending in an r-controlled vowel, such as "or," "ar," "er," "ir," "eer," etc. Examples here are "fortune" (for-tune), "farflung" (far-flung), "mercy" (mer-cy), and "cheerful" (cheer-ful).
Confused yet? Don't be. Look at each of the last four types of syllables. Each of them just emphasizes code knowledge, specifically knowledge of the various vowel spellings and what each spelling's viable pronunciation options are.