• Sasha

Teaching Syllable Types

Updated: Dec 3, 2020

Every syllable can have one and only one vowel SOUND, and therefore, the type of vowel in a syllable determines the syllable type.

In multi-syllable words, there are 6 basic categories, Open Syllables, Closed Syllables, Vowel + E Syllables, R Controlled Syllables, Vowel Team Syllables and Consonant L E Syllables.

The chart below summarizes the unique properties of each syllable type, the type of vowel in each syllable type and the pattern for dividing multi-syllable words into individual syllables to determine how to pronounce the vowel.

To divide a word into syllable use the same basic questions:

  1. Are there any prefixes or suffixes that you recognize and can break off? Also, is there a connecting vowel for the suffix that you can segregate?

  2. How many vowel sounds remain in this word? Label the vowel sounds with the letter V.

  3. What type of vowels are in this word, single vowels, vowel plus E,R controlled vowels, vowel teams?

  4. To break the word into syllables, begin at the first vowel and stop at the second vowel. Label the consonants between these vowels with a C and then choose the syllable boundary pattern that you see in the word: V/V, V/CV, VC/V, VC/CV /CLE

  5. Once you have divided these syllable, continue through the word, focusing on two vowels and the consonants between the vowels to determine for e where to make the syllable break,

  6. Say the word, does it sound like a real word or do you have to change the syllable boundary at a different point?



1. post/ instrctormaum / i/ tion

prefix connective suffix

2. post/ insectormaum/i/tion v v v v v

3. single vowel, single vowel, R Controlled vowel, Vowel Team

4. post/ in/sectormaum/i/tion

vc/ cv

post/ in/sec/tormaum/I/tion

vc/ cv

post/ in/sec/tor/maum/i/tion v /c v

prefix/closed /closed/R controlled/vowel team/connective/ suffix Syllable Type Vowel Unique Features VCCV Patterns

Closed Single Syllable ends with VC/V

a consonant VC/CV

Twin consonants

Ex: lim/it, ad/mit but/ton

Open Single Syllable ends with V/CV

vowel which says V/V

its letter name Ex. Ex: i/ris, ne/on bo/a

Vowel + E Vowel + E V/CV+e



Ex: pro/mote, em/pire


R Controlled R Controlled V +R /CV



Ex: bar/ber, mur/mur for/est


Vowel Team Vowel digraphs V/CV

Vowel diphthongs VC/V


Ex: boat/load east/ern

sail/er smooth/er

Consonant LE E = schwa Sits at end /CLE

of word Ex: puz/zle mid/dle