Jargon Buster – English
At the request of some of our parents, we have put together a guide to some of the terms your child might use in their English lessons. There is a brief explanation of the term and some examples.
Feel free to speak to Mrs Ruddick in Class 6 if you would like some further clarification or if you hear a term that your child uses which you would like explained on here please let Mrs Ruddick know.
Phonics and spellings
Phonics – the way we teach children about letters and the sounds they make in different words.
Phoneme – a unit of sound. The number of phonemes or sounds in a word is not always the same as the number of letters. For example, the word ‘sheep’ has 5 letters but only 3 phonemes
sh - ee - p.
Grapheme – a letter or group of letters.
Digraph – this is when two letters work together to make one sound. For example, the word ‘church’ has 3 digraphs ch – ur - ch. There are loads of digraphs which the children learn at school. Here are just a few examples:
ee in meet, ea in beans, oo in spoon, oi in coin, or in fork.
Trigraph - this is when three letters work together to make one sound. For example, the word ‘light’ has a trigraph in it: l - igh - t. There are quite a few trigraphs that the children learn at school. Here are a few examples:
ear in fear, air in chair, ure in sure.
Split digraph – This is a digraph that is split round another letter. For example:
oe in toe can be split around letter ‘p’ to make hope
ie in pie can be split around the letter ‘t’ to make bite
Others include a- e in cake, e-e in Steve and u-e in tune.
Vowel - The vowels are a, e, i, o, u. They can also be represented by two or more letters e.g. vowel digraphs include:
ai in rain, ea in beach and ay in day.
Vowel sounds can sometimes be represented by the letter y e.g. gym, funny, sky.
Consonants - These are all other letters of the alphabet.
Short vowel sounds: a, e, i, o and u when they make their sound.
For example: a in ‘cat’
u in ‘up’
e in ‘pet’
i in ‘pick’
o in ‘dog’
Knowing the short vowel sounds is very handy for learning some spellings rules.
Suffix – This is something that can be added on to a word to change tense or word type. For example, ful in wonderful, ly in carefully, ed in walked, ment in improvement, ing in going, est in coolest.
Noun – we teach this as something you can have e.g. I can have a lolly/ headache/ prize/ present/ thought.
Noun Phrase - A group of words to describe a noun. For example, his lolly, the pink lolly, the lolly with 100s and 1000s on it, my melting lolly.
Singular – one of something. For example, a fox, the field, my brother, one biscuit.
Plural – more than one. You usually add s or es to a singular noun. For example, two foxes, my brothers, some biscuits, the fields. Sometimes there are nouns which do not follow this pattern e.g. lots of children, twenty sheep.
Verb - we teach this as a word which is being, doing or having. For example,
I am happy.
He goes to the park.
She ate her breakfast and drank her milk.
After lunch, Grandpa slept in his chair.
Every day, I have cereal for breakfast.
Children need to know when a word that looks like a verb is actually performing a different function. For example, in the following sentence 'running' is not a verb but an adjective as it describes the shoes.
She had PE so she wore her running shoes.