Between teaching R and S blends, we teach what is called special vowel combinations. There is another letter that is usually doubled following the vowel and that is the letter L. The letter L becomes part of the vowel sound. We mark an x under the vowel and then arc all three letters together. When double L joins with the vowel it changes some of the special vowel combination.
Special vowel combination also include the four vowels a, o, u, and i followed by the nasal sound of ng and nk. These combinations all cause some change to the vowel sound.
These combinations are taught and marked together initially to help students learn their sound and their spelling. But later when we begin decoding multi-syllable words they will split.
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