Grade school theory of the syllable?

AndrĂ¡s Kornai writes with the following interesting query (supplemented here with some text formatting and a Wikipedia link):

My son is in grade school, and he is learning a great deal of terminology about English spelling. For example, a digraph is a letter-combination that regularly corresponds to a single sound, sh, ck, etc. This is pretty standard. A blend is a syllable-final consonant cluster as far as I can make sense of this, welded sounds are a closed set of rhymes (ing, unk, … — there doesn’t seem to be any defining property), bonus letters are the second members of doubled (consonant) graphemes irrespective of whether the sound they represent is long or short, taps have something to do with moras, perhaps.

Google for these terms and you find plenty of school curricula that demand knowledge of these notions, most of them related to something called the “Wilson Reading System“. Is there anything out there that links this terminology to better-established linguistic notions? Has anybody produced an overview (or a critique) of the system from the perspective of contemporary phonology? Any pointers would be greatly appreciated.

If you know anything relevant to this query, please post your comments!

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