I am heading off to the beach this week and looking forward to a "less stressed" and relaxing time. You may be asking, what does this have to do with reading instruction?
The English language is stress-timed, and when spoken, there is a natural rhythm and fluidity that aids in comprehension, pronunciation, syntax, and expression. The impact of the stressed and unstressed syllables determines spoken sounds, especially vowels.
Before my therapist training, I had never thought about the impact of stressed and unstressed syllables on spelling, pronunciation, syntax, and meaning. I honestly didn't know that the English language is a stressed-time language or what that meant for instruction. Now, I see that explicitly teaching the concept of stressed and unstressed syllables to my students aids in their decoding, encoding, and comprehension.
A stressed syllable is the part of the word that receives a stronger syllable mark. This is noted by the articulation of the word with the mouth open wider, the voice being louder, and the sound being held longer.
When we stress a syllable or word, it is emphasized. This can impact the meaning and pronunciation of words.
Do you have any fun strategies or tips for teaching schwa?
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