In teaching a beginning reader how to read, it is useful to teach explicit, systematic phonics rules. However, it is important to note that almost all of these rules have exceptions. For example, one often-taught rule states that when two vowels go together, the first one does the talking (it says its name) and the second one does the walking (it is silent.) Common instances of this rule are rain , seed , and boat . However, the exceptions, such as maul , boil , steak , and height , account for 55% of the cases. 1 Therefore, it is important to remember that these rules are generalizations only.