‘Long vowel’ is the term used to refer to vowel sounds whose pronunciation is the same as its letter name. To have a long vowel sound in a word, there are rules that the word will typically follow. The most common rules a student will encounter when they begin reading are “silent e” (the CVCe pattern – Consonant-Vowel-Consonant-Silent e), or “vowel teams” (the CVVC pattern – Consonant-Vowel-Vowel-Consonant).
There are other instances where a vowel will have a long sound, such as: go, dry, be, alien. These words can sometimes be confusing to young readers since they don’t follow the CVCe/CVVC pattern and, therefore, take longer to learn and master. However, through practice, these words will become easier to decode!
Some examples of words with long vowel sounds are (notice the long sound is denoted by the straight line above the vowel):