Many words that students read in middle school have two or more syllables. These are called multisyllabic words. As children progress through school, the number of multisyllabic words they encounter in texts increases. When struggling readers are confronted with long words in their school texts, they often give up or read the words incorrectly, not understanding that some simple steps and strategies make reading long words easier.
How will you know whether your child struggles with multisyllabic words? When helping your child with an assignment, have your child read aloud. Only by listening to your child read aloud can you determine which words are difficult to decode. By recognizing that long words are made up of familiar units (syllables, root words, prefixes, and suffixes), students can gain confidence in multisyllabic word reading.
This resource describes a simple strategy you and your child can use to help decode long words.
The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk. (2020). How can I help my middle schooler read multisyllabic words? Five helpful steps. Austin, TX: Author.