With the rise of the Science of Reading and the increased testing in many states for new teachers, reading terminology is as important as ever.

These important words are like a vocabulary bank for teachers and the knowledge and use of them can help you to:

*Communicate effectively with colleagues about students and programs

*Identify components of your literacy instruction

*Report on student progress and goals on reports, 504s & IEPs

*Understand the research surrounding early literacy

*Help you to pass tests for educators

Here are 21 Literacy Based Terms You Should Know

If you want a handy dandy printable version, click here and I’ll send it over to your inbox!

  1. Phoneme- a single sound in spoken language
  2. Phonemic Awareness- The ability to hear and isolate individual sounds in words (a part of phonological awareness)
  3. Phonological Awareness- The ability to hear and manipulate sounds in spoken lanuage (rhyming, segmenting, blending, substitution, syllables)
  4. Phoneme Substitution- The ability to hear a word and substitute one sound for another (“mop” instead of /m/ say /t/-” “top”) This is a higher level phonological awareness skill
  5. Phoneme deletion/ insertion- Hearing a word and adding or deleting sounds (say hat without /h/)
  6. Rhyme- Produce or identify words that have the same ending.

(NUMBERS 1-6 are all oral. There is no written or letter component to these skills)

7. Alphabetic Principle- Understanding that there are predictable relationships between written letters and spoken sounds

8. Phonics- The correspondence between phonemes and letters that produce the phonemes (graphemes)

9. Segment- Breaking apart words into individual sounds/ phonemes. (breaking the word “hat” into three sounds /h//a//t/)

10. Blend- The ability to put sounds together to produce words (hear /h//a//t/ and say “hat”)

11. Digraph- Pair of letters use to write one phoneme (ch, sh, th, wh,ea, ai)

12. Diphthong- Two adjacent vowel sounds that slide/glide from one to the other (examples: oy,ou, aw)

13. Blend/ Consonant blend- a group of consonants that are adjacent and each make a distinct sound (bl, st, sp)

14. Onset & Rime- Distinguishing between the initial sound and the rest of the word

15. Self monitoring- The ability to identify and self correct errors

16. Semantic- cues involving meaning (context)

17. Syntactic- Cues involving syntax/ grammar

18. Morpheme- Smallest grammatical unit of meaning (prefix, suffix, root word)

19. Structural analysis- Using familiar word parts of chunks to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words (prefixes, suffixes, root words)

20. Decode- The ability to apply letter-sound patterns (match graphemes to phonemes) to read text.

21. Encode- The ability to match phonemes to graphemes to write and spell words.

I have this in a handy little printable format you can grab here if you’d like me to send it to your inbox!

free printable reading terminology for teachers

Did I miss any important vocabulary words? Please leave them in the comments below!

Looking for more Elementary Literacy tips and info? Check these related posts out!

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