I recently heard a teacher say, "When two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking." I stifled my sigh, I think; but, not my sadness that this old teacher tale was still being offered as a way to approach unfamiliar words.
So, I did a quick Google search and found the myth was all over the internet! I wanted to cry!There are many studies that disprove this myth. Incredibly, it's only about 36-42% of vowel teams in common words that follow that "rule" depending on which collection of common or frequently found words you use.
A few vowel teams do follow that pattern most of the time: ay (way), ee (green), oa (coat), oi (coin) and oy (boy).
The rest of the teams that do not follow the old tale!
The vowel team ea can say e its name as in eat, its sound as in bread, or the long sound of a as in great.
The vowel team oo can say oo as in cool or oo as in good.
The vowel team ew can make the sound in few or in sew.
The vowel team ey can make the sound in money or in they.
The ie team can say thief or lie.
The au team can make the sound in fault or in laugh.
The ou team can say pouch, boulder, couple, should, or cougar.
The ei team can say receive, forfeit, or vein
The ai team can say rain, plaid, aisle. or said.
This does not mean we do not teach vowel teams; rather, it means we teach the strategic patterns such as, ai is usually in the middle of a word and ay usually is at the end! Perhaps I need to make tee shirts that say two vowels did not go for a walk!