Consolidated Alphabetic

In the consolidated alphabetic phase of decoding, the sequence of letters in a word becomes salient. A person in this phase groups common patterns of letters and sounds as units. This allows her to decode multi-syllable, novel, and nonsense words by analogy. A person in this phase decodes many words by sight.

For example, a student in the consolidated alphabetic phase whose sight words included might, fight, tight and sight would be likely to be able to identify a new word, blight, with the familiar rime, ight, with neither direct instruction nor letter-by-letter decoding.

It is also during this phase that a student recognizes affixes--prefixes such as un- and ex- and suffixes such as -tion and -ly.

Many school standards place skills associated with the consolidated alphabetic phase in curricula starting in second grade and progressing in proficiency, scope, and complexity until about fifth grade.

Referred to by some as the orthographic phase of word learning.

  1. Pre-alphabetic
  2. Partial alphabetic
  3. Full alphabetic
  4. Consolidated alphabetic
  5. Automatic

This table presents the sequence, content, assessment, and instruction of decoding.

home diagram

Ehri & Soffer, 1999

McCormick, 2003