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TheAttachedMama

Sounding out the word "are"...

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Hi Everyone,

Just popping in for a quick question today--

Can anyone explain to me how you would "sound out" the word 'are' in English?   In other words, how would you explain the word to a child who has been taught to read using an OG approach?

I see the phonogram "ar" in there, and then is it a silent 'e'?  Why is the silent e there?   I seem to have forgotten this.  🙂

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I looked through ABCs and All Their Tricks and How to Teach Spelling and came up empty.

I flipped through All About Spelling Level 3 and found the answer in Step 7.  It states that the 'e' in the word 'are' is what AAS calls a Handyman E, meaning it doesn't have one of the other 4 functions of a silent e (make the vowel long, make the c or g soft, etc.)

So it would be the phonogram of ar and then the silent e on the end, according to AAS.

 

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Spalding calls it a "no-job E." It is the fifth reason for final silent e. We underline "ar," to show that those two letters make one sound; we underline the e twice, and put a subscript 5, to show that it is the fifth reason for the e.

FTR, the other reasons are:

to allow a single vowel to say its first (or long) sound, as in time (we underline each letter individually); we don't add a subscript number, because it is the first reason for final silent e.

English words don't end with u or v, so we add an e (have, blue); we underline the u or v, and underline the e twice and add a subscript 2, to show that it's the second reason'

to allow c and g to say their second (or "soft") sounds, as in chance or charge; we underline the ch and the c, and underline the e twice with a subscript 3

Every syllable in English has to have a vowel, even if it isn't need for pronunciation, as in the word "lit-tle." We would underline the e twice, with a subscript 4.

And the no-job e.

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When I'm working with a child, I call it a "look pretty e." When the child hasn't encountered the word very often, I'll remind them "some words in English have an e that is only there to look pretty and doesn't change the sound. Even though you'd expect this to be a pinch-y e and the word to be pronounced air, this one we ignore. How would you say it, then? Good work, r." Later, if the child is looking perplexed, I just remind them "this is a look pretty e," and that's enough for my kids. 

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@Ellie, I was unpacking boxes and came across my 1990 ed of Writing Road to Reading (It is still in great condition) and Sanseri's Teaching Reading at Home.  If you know anyone who might want them, they're free +shipping.  

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I don't remember R&S addressing the silent e here in the word, are. But I know when they explain the rule of silent 'e' after the 'v' or 'g' it's explained as a a friend of 'v' and 'g,' that they need a friend to end a word. I might be included to just say that 'e' is actung as a friend to the 'ar' here, and that it's very rare. 

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28 minutes ago, 2_girls_mommy said:

I don't remember R&S addressing the silent e here in the word, are. But I know when they explain the rule of silent 'e' after the 'v' or 'g' it's explained as a a friend of 'v' and 'g,' that they need a friend to end a word. I might be included to just say that 'e' is actung as a friend to the 'ar' here, and that it's very rare. 

There are other words which have a no-job e: house, horse, engine,  promise, release, senate, nonsense, to name a few. 

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2 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

@Ellie, I was unpacking boxes and came across my 1990 ed of Writing Road to Reading (It is still in great condition) and Sanseri's Teaching Reading at Home.  If you know anyone who might want them, they're free +shipping.  

That was the best edition, ever, of WRTR. I have the fifth and sixth editions, which have some good features, such as an alphabetical list of the spelling words; but both of them leave out Chapter 6, which is full of helpful information, and just don't have Mrs. Spalding's feel to them. They don't change the method, exactly, but  I just like Mrs. Spalding's editions better. Also, after Mrs. Spalding died, Spalding Education International published teacher guides, which Mrs. Spalding believed were not necessary, as everything is in the manual. The sixth edition of WRTR refers to the teacher guides relentlessly, but the teacher guides do not add anything to the method at all; they are just mostly class management. SEI sent copies of the guides to me to preview. 🙂

Which is a long way of saying I would be interested in the WRTR. Not Sanseri, though; she mucked with the Spalding Method too much. Sorry. 🙂

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4 minutes ago, Ellie said:

That was the best edition, ever, of WRTR. I have the fifth and sixth editions, which have some good features, such as an alphabetical list of the spelling words; but both of them leave out Chapter 6, which is full of helpful information, and just don't have Mrs. Spalding's feel to them. They don't change the method, exactly, but  I just like Mrs. Spalding's editions better. Also, after Mrs. Spalding died, Spalding Education International published teacher guides, which Mrs. Spalding believed were not necessary, as everything is in the manual. The sixth edition of WRTR refers to the teacher guides relentlessly, but the teacher guides do not add anything to the method at all; they are just mostly class management. SEI sent copies of the guides to me to preview. 🙂

Which is a long way of saying I would be interested in the WRTR. Not Sanseri, though; she mucked with the Spalding Method too much. Sorry. 🙂

PM me your address and I'll mail it to you.  I only ever used it with my oldest.  It has either been on a shelf or in a box since then.  

If anyone wants Teaching Your Child to Read using Sanseri's ideas about Spalding, it's here for the asking.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart

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13 minutes ago, Ellie said:

There are other words which have a no-job e: house, horse, engine,  promise, release, senate, nonsense, to name a few. 

Yeah, it's not that uncommon. 

Realistically, when I as an adult try to sound out an English word I've never heard before, I will probably get it wrong. Not VERY wrong, but wrong. That's because there are as many exceptions as rules in English -- at some point, you don't have any choice but to memorize. 

It would really make just as much sense if "are" sounded like "air," and most words spelled like that do sound like that: "hare, mare, snare, care." So you just kind of have to remember that for some reason, this e doesn't do anything and move forward... 

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17 minutes ago, square_25 said:

Yeah, it's not that uncommon. 

Realistically, when I as an adult try to sound out an English word I've never heard before, I will probably get it wrong. Not VERY wrong, but wrong. That's because there are as many exceptions as rules in English -- at some point, you don't have any choice but to memorize. 

It would really make just as much sense if "are" sounded like "air," and most words spelled like that do sound like that: "hare, mare, snare, care." So you just kind of have to remember that for some reason, this e doesn't do anything and move forward... 

One of the many reasons I love the Spalding Method is that it teaches children to read by teaching them to spell, and the words they learn to spell are the MOO list (most often occurring); by the time they've completed the list, they can read and spell almost anything, including words that are not on the list. And they haven't actually *memorized* anything; they've analyzed, and marked, and discussed each and every word, and written it multiple times, and used it in context. There aren't that many exceptions; and there are only 29 rules (a rule in Spalding clarifies something; for example, all vowels have at least two sounds, and Rule 4 says that a, e, i, o and u say their second, or long, sounds at the end of a short word or syllable).

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59 minutes ago, Ellie said:

One of the many reasons I love the Spalding Method is that it teaches children to read by teaching them to spell, and the words they learn to spell are the MOO list (most often occurring); by the time they've completed the list, they can read and spell almost anything, including words that are not on the list. And they haven't actually *memorized* anything; they've analyzed, and marked, and discussed each and every word, and written it multiple times, and used it in context. There aren't that many exceptions; and there are only 29 rules (a rule in Spalding clarifies something; for example, all vowels have at least two sounds, and Rule 4 says that a, e, i, o and u say their second, or long, sounds at the end of a short word or syllable).

But sometimes you just have to know WHICH rule to use, which sure seems like an exception to people familiar with more phonetic languages.

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I always start with Spalding's rules, but when the kids are a bit older we dig into the words that are lumped under "no job e".

Often small words like "are" have a silent e simply to give them more "consequence" i.e. make them long enough in a printed text to be noticed. (This is the same reason we capitalize "I").

Words that naturally end in "s" (house, mouse, etc.) the "e" was added so as not to make the word look plural.

I also really love diving into the etymology of the word with slightly older kids (my 2nd and 3rd graders enjoyed it, and my 5th-7th graders really geeked out), because often you discover that spellings and pronunciations that appear to break the rules of English have a very clear history that makes sense.  Learning about this often helps cement the spelling for more natural spellers.  Plus, it's fun 🙂 Obviously we didn't do this for every word, but when kids complain about common words like "people" and "Wednesday" it can be fun to look up how those words made their way into the English language.

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24 minutes ago, medawyn said:

I always start with Spalding's rules, but when the kids are a bit older we dig into the words that are lumped under "no job e".

Often small words like "are" have a silent e simply to give them more "consequence" i.e. make them long enough in a printed text to be noticed. (This is the same reason we capitalize "I").

Words that naturally end in "s" (house, mouse, etc.) the "e" was added so as not to make the word look plural.

I also really love diving into the etymology of the word with slightly older kids (my 2nd and 3rd graders enjoyed it, and my 5th-7th graders really geeked out), because often you discover that spellings and pronunciations that appear to break the rules of English have a very clear history that makes sense.  Learning about this often helps cement the spelling for more natural spellers.  Plus, it's fun 🙂 Obviously we didn't do this for every word, but when kids complain about common words like "people" and "Wednesday" it can be fun to look up how those words made their way into the English language.

Do you have a favorite source for that kind of etymology, or do you just follow some rabbit trails online? Because that sounds like fun! 

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The silent -e in are truly doesn't serve any function, so we know it's just there for historical/etymological reasons. 

From David Crystal's The Story of Be: A Verb's-Eye View of the English Language:
"In Old English, three forms competed for the role of a present tense of be. One set clustered around a form usually shown as sind in the grammars (as in modern German), which had such variants as sindan, synden, and sint. These lasted into the early Middle English period: the latest citation in the OED is for 1300. But by then, the other two forms had become dominant: one developed into modern are; the other into modern be
We see the are set starting out in Old English in such dialect forms as earon and earan (showing an inflectional ending) and developing in Middle English as aren, aryn, eryn, eren, and many other variants until the -n is lost and we get such forms as arre, er, and the first instances of are."

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1 hour ago, square_25 said:

But sometimes you just have to know WHICH rule to use, which sure seems like an exception to people familiar with more phonetic languages.

English is "phonetic." It's just that it has so many words from so many different languages which each have their own phonics. 🙂

Again, with Spalding, a rule clarifies something. That ay and ai both say /A/ is not a rule; that we use ay at the end of a word instead of ai because English words don't end with i is Rule 17, which has to do with spelling rather than reading.

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3 hours ago, Ellie said:

English is "phonetic." It's just that it has so many words from so many different languages which each have their own phonics. 🙂

Again, with Spalding, a rule clarifies something. That ay and ai both say /A/ is not a rule; that we use ay at the end of a word instead of ai because English words don't end with i is Rule 17, which has to do with spelling rather than reading.

English is phonetic, in the way that spoken languages are phonetic.  However, English orthography is definitely not as phoneme dependent as many other languages.  We can certainly apply the rules across the words and account for most spellings, but the actual phonetic pronunciation varies greatly.  It's definitely easier to predict the way to say a word in English from the spelling than it is to spell the word from its pronunciation, especially considering the wide numbers of accents worldwide for English.  If you come from a language where there is a higher orthography-phoneme relationship, English can be a challenge to wrap the brain around.  Even for native speakers, we teach the rules to our youngest readers, and the "most" and "usually" parts of the rules are challenged in their most frequently read words: "Most English words to not end in i, u, or v" but they encounter "I" and "you" with frequency.  "Vowels a, e, o, and u usually say the second sound at the end of a syllable" and then we encounter "to" and "do" right away.  

 

@square_25, I haven't found an awesome etymology resource for kids.  Once Upon a Word is new and looks like a passable introduction.  Mostly we just rabbit trailed as it came up.  I like to start with the sounds of "ch".  The words with the "ch" sound as in "church" usually come to English from German/Saxon, the words with the "ck" sound usually come through Greek, and the words with the "sh" sound usually come through French.  We keep a running list and pick one periodically to look up.  Etymology is certainly not the way I would teach spelling, but it has usually interested the students in my classroom and helped the natural spellers nail down some words that they found tricky.

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12 minutes ago, medawyn said:

@square_25, I haven't found an awesome etymology resource for kids.  Once Upon a Word is new and looks like a passable introduction.  Mostly we just rabbit trailed as it came up.  I like to start with the sounds of "ch".  The words with the "ch" sound as in "church" usually come to English from German/Saxon, the words with the "ck" sound usually come through Greek, and the words with the "sh" sound usually come through French.  We keep a running list and pick one periodically to look up.  Etymology is certainly not the way I would teach spelling, but it has usually interested the students in my classroom and helped the natural spellers nail down some words that they found tricky.

DD7 is a natural speller and I don't expect having to teach her to spell at all. (DD4 guesses words much more than DD7 and sometimes sounds out words in the wrong order, so we'll see how her spelling is...) So this would be a fun thing to do for us -- thanks for the suggestion! 

 

12 minutes ago, medawyn said:

English is phonetic, in the way that spoken languages are phonetic.  However, English orthography is definitely not as phoneme dependent as many other languages.  We can certainly apply the rules across the words and account for most spellings, but the actual phonetic pronunciation varies greatly.  It's definitely easier to predict the way to say a word in English from the spelling than it is to spell the word from its pronunciation, especially considering the wide numbers of accents worldwide for English.  If you come from a language where there is a higher orthography-phoneme relationship, English can be a challenge to wrap the brain around.  Even for native speakers, we teach the rules to our youngest readers, and the "most" and "usually" parts of the rules are challenged in their most frequently read words: "Most English words to not end in i, u, or v" but they encounter "I" and "you" with frequency.  "Vowels a, e, o, and u usually say the second sound at the end of a syllable" and then we encounter "to" and "do" right away.  

Exactly. You don't need to speak any Russian whatsoever to sound out most Russian words, even most long Russian words. That is NOT true with English. 

Edited by square_25
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23 hours ago, Ellie said:

There are other words which have a no-job e: house, horse, engine,  promise, release, senate, nonsense, to name a few. 

That's true. It's been awhile since I had one in phonics with our ten year gap between the olders and the younger. I've forgotten a lot of it. I'll be coming across these again and see how R&S handles it soon. The friend of v and g always stuck with me. 🙂 I know I was impressed with how thorough R&S phonics is during my last times through.

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On 6/8/2020 at 1:00 PM, Ellie said:

English is "phonetic." It's just that it has so many words from so many different languages which each have their own phonics. 🙂

Again, with Spalding, a rule clarifies something. That ay and ai both say /A/ is not a rule; that we use ay at the end of a word instead of ai because English words don't end with i is Rule 17, which has to do with spelling rather than reading.

To me, Spalding doesn't so much teach spelling as it teaches analysis.  The rules are amazing, but because there are so many words that can use different phonograms or rules, you pretty much have to memorize.  And I have a kid who can't memorize.  For instance, she spells Bible as "Bibull" every single time.  The way she spells things always follows rules, but she probably isn't using the CORRECT rules for the word.  

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1 hour ago, Terabith said:

To me, Spalding doesn't so much teach spelling as it teaches analysis.  The rules are amazing, but because there are so many words that can use different phonograms or rules, you pretty much have to memorize.  And I have a kid who can't memorize.  For instance, she spells Bible as "Bibull" every single time.  The way she spells things always follows rules, but she probably isn't using the CORRECT rules for the word.  

Yes, it teaches the children to analyze words so that they can spell them correctly. In the spelling lessons, children analyze each word, writing it in syllables, marking phonograms, deciding whether or not a rule applies (they don't guess; the teacher tells them), checking letter formation (penmanship), and so on. The Extended Ayres list has the most often occurring words, so that by the time the children go through the list twice, analyzing each one, they can read and spell most anything. It isn't memorizing, not in the sense that we memorize poetry, or telephone numbers; when done properly, it is internalizing the spelling protocols, and many words will be memorized, because they were used and written and analyzed so extensively.

Not every word has a rule; in fact, most do not. Rules only clarify things, such as Rule 4 (vowels say their second sounds at the end of a short word or syllable), or Rule 18, which says that English words don't end with i (so we use oi and ai in the middle of words, oy and ay at the end).

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5 hours ago, Ellie said:

Yes, it teaches the children to analyze words so that they can spell them correctly. In the spelling lessons, children analyze each word, writing it in syllables, marking phonograms, deciding whether or not a rule applies (they don't guess; the teacher tells them), checking letter formation (penmanship), and so on. The Extended Ayres list has the most often occurring words, so that by the time the children go through the list twice, analyzing each one, they can read and spell most anything. It isn't memorizing, not in the sense that we memorize poetry, or telephone numbers; when done properly, it is internalizing the spelling protocols, and many words will be memorized, because they were used and written and analyzed so extensively.

Not every word has a rule; in fact, most do not. Rules only clarify things, such as Rule 4 (vowels say their second sounds at the end of a short word or syllable), or Rule 18, which says that English words don't end with i (so we use oi and ai in the middle of words, oy and ay at the end).

Yeah.  It's a great program.  I taught it in a private school, and I'm a big believer in Spalding.   It just absolutely didn't work for my kid, but she has major memory issues.  She's 15 and still doesn't know the months of the year.   She knows the rules, but Apples and Pears was more effective.  

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13 hours ago, Ellie said:

Yes, it teaches the children to analyze words so that they can spell them correctly. In the spelling lessons, children analyze each word, writing it in syllables, marking phonograms, deciding whether or not a rule applies (they don't guess; the teacher tells them), checking letter formation (penmanship), and so on. The Extended Ayres list has the most often occurring words, so that by the time the children go through the list twice, analyzing each one, they can read and spell most anything. It isn't memorizing, not in the sense that we memorize poetry, or telephone numbers; when done properly, it is internalizing the spelling protocols, and many words will be memorized, because they were used and written and analyzed so extensively.

Not every word has a rule; in fact, most do not. Rules only clarify things, such as Rule 4 (vowels say their second sounds at the end of a short word or syllable), or Rule 18, which says that English words don't end with i (so we use oi and ai in the middle of words, oy and ay at the end).

I'm with @Terabith.  It is a solid approach, but it is not one that works with all kids.  Apples and Pears has been a much better fit for my dyslexic kids.  The morpheme approach and the spiral dictation which incorporates previously covered words/rules encourages long term memory of spelling vs. WRTR's approach.  (Hence my giving it away. 🙂 )

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4 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I'm with @Terabith.  It is a solid approach, but it is not one that works with all kids.  Apples and Pears has been a much better fit for my dyslexic kids.  The morpheme approach and the spiral dictation which incorporates previously covered words/rules encourages long term memory of spelling vs. WRTR's approach.  (Hence my giving it away. 🙂 )

I did really appreciate being able to tell my kid the rules.  The rules didn't really help her spell the words correctly, but they satisfied the, "English makes no sense" whining.  

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