Updated: May 13, 2019
Have you come across the phrase a split digraph and thought what on earth is that? No probs. Read on to discover exactly what they are, how they are taught and a quick fix to explain the sounds that they make. You will never struggle to get your head around a split digraph again. It takes 1 minute!
Split digraphs mastered in 4 simple steps:
1) Split digraphs are digraphs (2 letters that make 1 sound) with a consonant in the middle.
2) Split digraphs are always one of the 5 vowels (a,e,i,o,u) with an e - separated by a consonant.
3) Split digraphs make their letter name sound (rather than their letter sound )
in mate the a -e makes an ay sound not a as in mat
in bite the i - e makes the sound eye not i as in bit
4) You may have been taught this, at school,as magic e .
Today, at school, children are taught split digraphs in year 1. But once your child is ready, I would start to point them out when reading to and with your little one. It is incredible how quickly they cotton on to them. Don't be phased by the terminology split digraph. Your child is taught what graphemes, phonemes and digraphs are (click here for definitions https://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/SubjectKnowledge.html) before they get to split digraphs.
Little ones are amazingly adaptable and will pick it up naturally!
Hope this helps!