RICA
Phonological Awareness
The awareness that oral language is composed of smaller units, such as spoken words and syllables.
Phonemic Awareness
A specific type of phonological awareness involving the ability to distinguish the separate phonemes in a spoken word.
Phonics
The Alphabetic Principle
The idea that letters and letter patterns represent the sounds of oral language.
Sight Words
Words that should be taught as whole units without having to break them down or sound them out.

Consonants
Sound that occur when airflow is obstructed by the mouth, teeth, or lips.
Continuous Consonant Sounds

Stop Sounds or Clipped Consonants

Sounds that are uttered quickly with a quick puff of air. Examples are “b”, “c”, “d”, “g”, “j”, “k”, “p”, “qu”, and “t”.

Consonant Digraphs

Two-letter consonant combinations that make one sound. Examples are “ph”, “th”, “ch”, “sh” and “wh”.

Consonant Blends

Silent Consonants

Consonants not heard in a word such as the “h” in “ghost” and the “t” in “whistle”.
Schwa
A short vowel sound; an unaccented, unstressed syllable, “uh” sound.

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Contraction

One word comprised of two words, using an apostrophe to take the place of the missing letter(s).

Vowels
Sounds made when air leaves the voice-box unobstructed with a clear passage.
Phonograms
Letter clusters that help to form word families or rhyming words (i.e. , ad, ack, at, an).
Syllable
Vowel Digraphs
Two-vowel combinations that make a single sound. Examples are “oa” in “boat”, and “ea” in “teach”.
Usually the first vowel is long and the second vowel is silent.

Dipthongs
Sounds that consist of a blend of two separate vowel sounds such as “oi” in “oil” and “oy” in “boy”. The tongue often starts in one position and ends in another.
R-Controlled Vowels
Neither long or short vowels. The proximity of “r” affects the pronunciation of the vowel such as the “a” in “car”, “e” in “her”, “i” in “girl”, “u” in “hurt” and “o” in “for”.
L-Controlled Vowels
Neither long or short vowels.

The proximity of “l” affects the pronunciation of the vowel such as the “a” in “chalk”, “e” in “help”, “i” in “milk”, “o” in “cold” and “u” in “bull”.

Onset
The part of the syllable that precedes the vowel of a syllable. In the case of multi-syllabic words, each syllable has an onset.

For example, the onset of the word “pill” is /p/.

Rime
The part of a syllable (not a word) which consists of its vowel and any consonant sounds that come after it. For example, the rime of the word “pill” is /i/ /ll/.
VC
Word pattern of short vowel + consonant. 
Exceptions: or
CVC
Word pattern where medial vowel is short and between two consonants.

 
Examples: man, pet, lip, tot, bun.

CVCC
Word pattern where the vowel is short. 
Examples: balk, cost, film.
CCVC
Word pattern usually starting with a consonant blend. 
Examples: brat, clap, skip.

CVVC
Word pattern where the vowels are often digraphs. 
Examples: bait, goat, team.
CVCE
Word pattern that includes long medial vowel sound. 
Example: made, like, cone, huge.
Exceptions: love, live.

Pre-communicative Spelling Stage

Showing no understanding that letters represent sounds. A child in this stage will “write” by drawing pictures or making squiggles. If letters appear, they are random. The child has no understanding of the alphabetic principle.

Semi-phonetic Spelling Stage

Attempting to use letters to represent sounds. The child’s knowledge of the sound-symbol relationship is poorly developed, however. Children at this stage do not often write a letter for each sound; some sounds are unrepresented.

Phonetic Spelling Stage

At this stage, children know that letters represent sounds and at least one letter represents each sound in a word. This does not mean that the child will always choose the right letter or combination of letters, however. Writing at this level can sometimes be difficult to read. At this level, children should be encouraged to write even though they make mistakes.

Transitional Spelling Stage

Conventional Spelling Stage

The child spells almost all words correctly. Mistakes at this level occur when the child tries to spell new words with irregular spellings. Children at this level can also generally recognize that a word they have spelled is spelled incorrectly.

Orthographic Patterns

Frequently occurring letter combinations of English spelling (e.g. the rime -ight, the suffix -ation).

Cognates

Words that look alike and mean the same thing in two different languages.

Word Identification

Knowing how to pronounce a word.

Word Recognition

Associating a meaning to a word.