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O (want) Sound with “a” Spelling Multisyllable Word List

By Rodney Everson

This list has all multisyllable words in the database that contain the a spelling of the /o/ sound. They are arranged by the chunk that the spelling occurs. It can be a valuable resource for locating words to illustrate a certain pattern or to find words to practice reading that pattern.

Of the 7,000 words in the database constructed from a popular children’s dictionary, 507 of them are multisyllable words containing the "a" spelling of the /o/ sound. The list is long for one reason. All the words where the letter "a" represents an unaccented schwa sound are treated as having an /o/ sound instead.

The OnTrack Reading curriculum doesn’t teach the schwa sound. Instead, it assigns one of the nineteen vowel sounds to that vowel position. In a word like away which we pronounce “u-way” students are taught to treat the word as “ah-way”, putting more stress on the first chunk and using the /o/ sound in hot. That reduces the memory load for spelling to two choices for the sound, the letter “o” or the letter “a”. From there, they soon realize that the /o/ sound at the beginning of a word is almost always spelled with an “a”.

In addition, the curriculum emphasizes forming a “perfect pronunciation” of a word where it makes sense. The ending "ant" in words like infant can be thought of as rhyming with the word plant. The ending "age" in words like luggage can be thought of as rhyming with the word wage. Similarly, the vowels in many other endings can be mentally assigned /a/ or /ae/ sounds for spelling purposes.

Note on the word divisions: Each word is divided into chunks determined by the unique and effective OnTrack Reading Multisyllable Method. The chunks are not syllables.

Otr wordlists cover digital

Comprehensive Word Lists

Features over 100 word lists built from 7,000 words input from a children's dictionary. Lists are organized by vowel and consonant sounds and cover most common spellings. Useful in the classroom for building curriculum aids such as short stories that emphasize specific sounds and spellings. Multisyllable words are also included, chunked according to the method taught in the OnTrack Reading Advanced Code Phonics Workbook.