Understanding the Six Syllable Types - Stable Final Syllables

Understanding the Six Syllable Types - Stable Final Syllables.png

Stable Final Syllables or C-L-E syllables are the last of the six syllable types that we introduce to our students.

 What are Stable Final Syllables?

 This is a word that has a consonant followed by ‘le.’ You will hear a schwa sound /ul/ in these syllables preceding the le.Think of the word “table.” Notice how the –ble sounded like /bul/? This is due to the schwa sound before the le. A stable final syllable provides the extra vowel necessary to make it a two syllable word.

Think about the word apple. We hear /a/, /p/, /l/ but cannot spell the word as “apl” because we need to have at least two vowels in a two syllable word. That is why we have the “ple” at the end.  

How do I teach a Stable Final (CLE) syllable?

 We call this the Turtle Rule and teach students that when they spot a word ending in –le, they need to check to see if a consonant comes before the –le. If it does, they have a Consonant-le. (If it has a vowel, chances are it is a VCE syllable. You can read more about them, here.) We model how to count back 3 to divide this syllable starting at the last letter and counting back.

 Step 1 – Spot and dot your vowels


Step 2 –When dividing these words, we start at the end. Find your ‘e’ and count back three.


Step 3– Cover your second syllable while you read the first, then cover the first and read the second. Blend the syllables together.

If your first syllable is closed, like in apple (ap-ple), the first vowel will be short. If the first syllable is left open, like in title (ti-tle), the vowel will be long.

Looking for resources to support instruction of this syllable type? Check out our Teachers Pay Teachers store!

 You can find more information on the other syllable types here:

Organizing our teaching into the six syllable types has made a done of difference for our students. Curious what other steps we’ve taken to get gret results for our students? Join us for our FREE online training, 7 Steps to Reading Intervention that Works! >> Click Here << to learn more!


Corey Pollard