Yes, there have been a few changes! We continue to refine and expand what we teach as we learn more. Here are some changes we have made over the years.
I: We now teach four sounds of this phonogram: /ĭ-ī-ē-y/ as in it, ivy, stadium, onion.
Updated in 2012.
Why the change? I says /ē/ in many words, such as patina, radio, and magazine. It is especially common in loan words from many languages, such as pizza, burrito and ski.
OU: We now teach a fifth sound of this phonogram, /ü/ as in could. The five sounds are /ow-ō-ö-ŭ-ü/, as in the sample words house, soul, group, country, could.
Updated in 2015.
Why the change? While the fifth sound, /ü/, is has not traditionally included as a sound of this phonogram in Orton-Gillingham programs and is only heard in three commonly known words, would, should, and could, and their derivatives, these words are very common in English. We concluded that given the frequency of their use, /ü/ should be taught as a regular sound of the phonogram, making it easier for students to decode and spell these words.
Learn more about this change and download an updated OU Phonogram Flashcard here!
ES: We began teaching ES as a phonogram in 2018. ES says /ĕz-z/ as in wishes, tries.
Updated in 2018.
Why the change? We have always taught the plural noun and third person singular verb suffix -ES. However, since -ES makes two different sounds in different words, we have concluded that it is most clearly explained as its own multi-letter phonogram.
Download a free printable ES Phonogram Flashcard here!
Spelling Rule 7: We updated this rule in 2018 to clarify where I and Y may say /ē/. The rule now states:
7.1 Y says /ē/ only in an unstressed syllable at the end of a multi-syllable word.
7.2 I may say /ē/ with a silent final E, at the end of a syllable, and at the end of foreign words.
Spelling Rule 31: We added Spelling Rule 31 to teach students about schwa:
31.1 Any vowel may say one of the schwa sounds, /ŭ/ or /ĭ/, in an unstressed syllable or unstressed word.
31.2 O may say /ŭ/ in a stressed syllable next to W, TH, M, N, or V.
31.3 AR and OR may say their schwa sound, /er/, in an unstressed syllable.
Why the change? Schwa is the most common vowel sound in English, and as we learned more about it we concluded that giving students clear, explicit instruction about what it is, why it occurs in our speech, and where they will find schwa sounds in English words was very helpful in teaching reading and spelling and in clarifying how the language works! Learn more at Introducing Spelling Rule 31 on the LOE blog.
We continue to add new advanced phonograms as English continues to borrow new words from other languages and as we continue to make new observations in English spelling patterns. We added 13 new advanced phonograms in 2015, in the 2nd edition of the Advanced Phonogram Flash Cards. In 2018, in the 3rd edition, we added three more: zz saying /ts/ as in pizza, LL saying /y/ as in tortilla, and ñ, which says /ny/ in words from Spanish like jalapeño.