Why does PLD focus on onset & rime blending when blending three phonemes is the essential pre-requisite skill or CVC decoding?

Blending is an essential pre-requisite skill for CVC decoding. Hence, to enter PLD's Stage 1 (CVC) students need to learn to blend so that they can start to read words such as ‘fig’, ‘tin’ and ‘mat’ is the skill of blending.

PLD (and speech pathology) conceptualises this as a two-step process, commencing with blending 2 sounds using (i.e. onset & rime) before progressing into three sound units.

First, students must learn to blend at an onset and rime level.
E.g. Listen carefully and put these sounds together and guess this word: 'f' (one second pause) 'ig
Second, students then learn to blend three phonemes or individual sounds.
E.g. ‘Listen carefully and put these sounds together and guess this word; ‘m’ (one second pause) ‘a’ (one second pause) ‘t’? Answer: ‘mat’.
In the scheme of children's development, onset and rime blending is not directly important for decoding, but at PLD we view onset and rime as a stepping stone into three phoneme blending.
Many mainstream students who enter with strong language skills will not require the two-step blending process. BUT ... low socio-economics and low entry levels will mean that students definitely benefit from the teaching of blending in the two steps.

Updated on: 07/12/2022

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