A Glossary of Phonic Terms*

This is the place to get a handle on all of that jargon:This glossary provides, for generalist readers, a set of simple working definitions. It is acknowledged that there are other ways of defining some of the terms listed here.

blend (vb.)
To draw individual sounds together to pronounce a word, e.g. s-n-a-p, blended together, reads snap
Two (or three) letters making two (or three) sounds, e.g. the first three letters of ‘straight’ are a consonant cluster
Two letters which together make one sound, e.g. sh, ch, th,ph,ee, oa
A letter or a group of letters representing one sound, e.g. sh, ch, igh, ough (as in ‘though’)
grapheme-phoneme correspondences
The relationship between sounds and the letters which represent those sounds(GPC)
(vowel) digraph
Two letters making one sound, e.g. sh, ch, th, ph. Vowel digraphs comprise two vowels which, together, make one sound, e.g. ai, oo, ow
split digraph
Two letters, split, making one sound, e.g. a-e as in make or i-e in site
segment (vb)
To split up a word into its individual phonemes in order to spell it, e.g. the word 'cat' has three phonemes: /c/, /a/, /t/
The abbreviations for vowel-consonant, consonant-vowel-consonant, consonant-consonant-vowel-consonant, and are used to describe the order of letters in words, e.g. am, Sam, slam.
A device for memorising and recalling something, such as a snake shaped like the letter 'S'
The phonological units of speech that make a difference to meaning. Thus, the spoken word rope is comprised of three phonemes: /r/, /o/, and /p/. It differs by only one phoneme from each of the spoken words, soap, rode and rip.
phonemic awareness
The insight that every spoken word can be conceived as a sequence of phonemes. Because phonemes are the smallest units of sound that are represented by the letters of an alphabet, an awareness of phonemes is key to understanding the logic of blending (synthesis) in phonics and so spelling. Pphonics instructional practices emphasise how spellings are related to speech sounds in systematic ways.

*From the Rose Report on teaching early Literacy - DfES (UK)