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Starting Points glossary


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Last updated 26 October 2012 15:28 by NZTecAdmin
Automatically
Without having to think about it; for example, decoding whole words or phrases without needing to sound out individual letters or syllables.
Collocation
A combination of words that commonly fit together; for example, take a shower, catch a bus.
Decode
To read words by translating the written symbols into the sounds of spoken language (often silently).
Encode (in writing)
To write (that is, spell) words and common symbols from spoken language in the symbols (letters and punctuation marks) of written language.
Fluent, fluency
A speaker, reader or writer is fluent (demonstrates fluency) when they can speak, read or write rapidly and accurately, focusing on meaning without having to give laborious attention to the individual words or the common forms and sequences of the language.
High-frequency words
The 2,000 words most commonly used by English language speakers.
Letter–sound relationships
The way that certain letters or letter combinations in written language relate to certain sounds in spoken language.
Non-phonemic script
A writing system in which the symbols represent meaning rather than phonemes (sounds). Chinese languages provide examples of non-phonemic script.
Onset and rime
The initial sound (the onset) and the following sound (the rime) in a syllable; for example, sh/op, th/ink and scr/ap. Note that rime differs from rhyme, which is when two words share the same rime in their final syllable; for example, sh/op, dr/op and lo/lli/pop.
Phoneme
The smallest segment of sound in spoken language, for example, pot and knife have three phonemes each.
Phonemic awareness
The awareness of individual sounds in spoken language and that these sounds can be represented by letters or groups of letters in written language.
Phonemic script
A writing system in which the symbols represent phonemes (sounds). In English, the letters of the alphabet are the symbols that represent phonemes.
Phonological awareness
Phonological awareness (PDF, 54 KB) The awareness of different levels in the sound system of spoken language – word, syllable, onset and rime and phoneme.
Phrase
A group of words that forms part of a sentence but does not express a complete thought; for example, as happy as anything (adjectival phrase) or a unique and unexpected experience (noun phrase).
Rime
See Onset and rime.
Rhyme (Of two or more words.)
To share the same or a very similar final syllable; for example, pill, will and still. Sometimes words that rhyme may only share the same rime (final sound) in their final syllable; for example, lollipop and drop.
Root word
The original base word from which one or more other words have been formed; for example, the root of original is the Latin word origo, origin-, meaning "to rise".
Sentence structure
The arrangement of words and phrases to create sentences. Sentences may be simple ("I am a Kiwi"), compound ("I'm a Kiwi but I come from Australia") or complex ("I'm a Kiwi from New Zealand, which is a small country in the South Pacific").
Sight words
Words that a reader knows and can read automatically, rather than needing to decode them.
Syllable
A segment of a word, often a vowel sound with initial or final, or initial and final consonant sounds. Words may consist of one syllable, for example, dog, on, brought, play, or more than one syllable, for example, to/day, de/ci/sion, ce/le/bra/tion.
Symbol
A graphic image that represents a particular concept; for example, a picture of a skull and crossbones often represents poison or another form of danger.
Text
A piece of spoken, written or visual communication that is a whole unit; for example, a conversation, a speech, a poem or a poster.
Vocabulary
The words in a language. There are different ways to count vocabulary items, but the vocabulary of a language is often based on the number of words or phrases with specific meanings. For example, different forms of a verb (word family) are equal to one vocabulary item, as is a compound word or an expression such as shoot the breeze.
Word family
A group of words that share a common base or root word; for example, run, ran, runner, running or care, careless, carefree, uncaring.

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