Just as literacy development depends on Phoneme Awareness and understanding of the Alphabetic Principle, maximal literacy development depends also on Syllable Awareness and understanding of the Syllabic Principle: written English patterns depend both on letter-sound relationships and on syllable-level patterns. These patterns in the writing system of English are the Syllable Types. They often go unrecognized. Learning to recognize this structure in the words being read helps a person to read with greater accuracy and automaticity, which aids in fluency and comprehension. Recognizing this structure is also the basis for accuracy (and automaticity) in spelling.
The Word Revelation activities are designed to help students learn to recognize the syllable structure in words, and to use that recognition while reading and ultimately while spelling, also. While students are never asked to divide words into syllables, the activities gradually give them the ability to read new multisyllabic words. Doing the activities helps students develop accurate – and then automatic – decoding and word recognition skills, and then to apply those skills while reading texts.
The Word Revelation activities were originally designed for use with middle-schoolers in a whole-class setting. They are use-able with whole classes, small groups, or individuals, and with some adaptation have ended up working very well with 2nd- to 8th-graders, high-schoolers, and adults.
Some keys to the efficacy of the Word Revelation activities are that they require the students to both sound out (decode) and engage meaning, or think about the meaning of what they just read, right from the beginning. That way, when it comes time to apply their skills in a text, they have already begun to develop the habit of monitoring their own comprehension as they read. In addition, students learn to do so with one-syllable words at first, and then 2-, 3-, and even some 4-syllable words, on the way to doing so in texts. Both of those aspects of this approach help students to make the transition from decoding single words in isolation to fluently reading regular texts while monitoring their own comprehension.
Word Revelation instructional materials are distributed at Word Revelation workshops.