Reading, writing, and spelling – it’s about oral language and building the brain for literacy! Success in reading, writing, and spelling requires a systematic way of learning, practicing, and applying knowledge about sounds, letters, and meanings of spoken and written words. Whether you’re a classroom teacher new to the study of language structure or a seasoned specialist, this course will provide essential knowledge and tools to more effectively deliver structured word study instruction.
In this module, you’ll gain an understanding of the brain’s biological wiring and organization for oral language and how the brain is re-wired when we learn to read and write; examine genetic, neuronal and neuroanatomical, perceptual, cognitive, and environmental factors that can interfere with the development of efficient reading and writing neural circuits; develop your knowledge about the language structure of spoken and written words; become familiar with the impact of speech-to-print methods, multilinguistic approaches, and statistical learning processes on literacy learning; and gain valuable insights on best practices for structured literacy instruction.
Through hands-on activities, you’ll begin to explore the core areas of language that must be explicitly and systematically taught to students: phonological awareness, orthographic knowledge and pattern awareness, vocabulary knowledge and semantic awareness, morphological awareness and knowledge, and robust development and use of lexical word forms, also known as mental graphemic representations (MGRs) and mental orthographic images (MOIs). You’ll gain insights for best practices in teaching word study so you can instill the best practices in your students, while eliminating the common practices that don’t work.
After completing this course, you’ll have foundational language essentials needed to more effectively implement word study instruction and a new-found level of confidence in your ability to deliver structured literacy instruction to your students.
- Explain how current behavioral and brain-imaging research has changed our understanding of best practices for teaching literacy.
- Identify language centers of the brain that are active when reading and writing for good readers and writers vs. struggling readers and writers.
- Identify one or more factors that impede the development of efficient reading and writing neural circuits.
- Describe the language components of word study and identify the phonological, orthographic, and morphological structure of English words.
- Explain why three common teaching practices – guessing a word from context when reading, writing spelling words multiple times, and flash card drills for sight words – are ineffective and can interfere with students’ acquisition of reading and spelling skills.
- Explain how reading and writing automaticity and fluency is achieved and identify instructional practices that promote automaticity and fluency.
- Use best practices that reflect clinical and neuroscience research to deliver structured literacy instruction.
- Refine instructional activities using principles of speech-to-print, functional connectivity, and statistical learning. Immediately layer these constructs into your existing literacy program.
- Discontinue teaching practices that interfere with students’ learning. Gain insights into best practices for teaching reading and spelling and eliminate practices that don’t work.