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What is the difference between a consonant blend and a consonant digraph?
Research

What is the difference between a consonant blend and a consonant digraph?

A consonant digraph contains two letters but only makes one sound: the digraph sh makes the sound /sh/. Other common consonant digraphs are sh, ch, wh, th, ck. A blend contains two or three consonants that each make their own sound but blend together to make syllables and words: in the word sleep, the letters s and l form sl. Other common blends are st, fl, sk, and gr. In other words, a digraph corresponds to a single phoneme whereas a blend corresponds to two or three phonemes (sounds) blended together.

For example, the word tree contains a two-consonant blend of t and r. Each letter makes its own sound and these sounds are blended together into tr. The word splash contains a three-consonant blend of s, p, and l. Each letter makes its own sound and these sounds are blended together into spl. Whereas, the sh in ash is a digraph because s and h make a single sound.

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Foolproof Phonics Part 1

Deep Dive

Read our report on the Science of Reading. Research-based reading instruction must incorporate the 5 pillars of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. This report provides an easy to understand overview of each of these pillars and explains the important connection between how the brain learns to read (the Neuroscience of Reading) and how we teach children to read (The Science of Reading Instruction). It also explains why helping children build connections between letters and sounds, through phonics and phonemic awareness, is so crucial for the developing reading mind. This report is perfect for sharing with colleagues and friends!