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, we focus on the letters – the orthography – of words.
Children are wired for sound but print is an optional accessory that must be painstakingly bolted on.
~ Stephen Pinker in the Forward to Diane McGuinness’ book, Why Our Children Can’t Read.
Unlike oral language – listening and speaking – our brains are not biologically wired for written language – reading and writing. Explicit instruction and repeated, meaningful exposures to print are needed for students to learn how to read and write words.
Orthographic learning takes place at both the sub-lexical and lexical levels. At the sub-lexical level, students acquire orthographic knowledge about letter-sound relationships (phonics), orthographic patterns & rules, allowable sequences of letters (orthotactics), orthotactic constraints, and frequencies of orthographic patterns. At the lexical level, students develop, store, retrieve, and use stored representations of specific written words and affixes (i.e., prefixes and suffixes). These stored representations of words – called mental graphemic representations (MGRs), mental orthographic representations (MORs), mental orthographic images (MOIs), among other terms in the literature, are critical for accurate and fluent word-level reading and spelling.
In this webinar, you’ll learn how students acquire orthographic knowledge at the lexical and sub-lexical levels through implicit learning and how explicit instruction facilitates acquisition of orthographic knowledge and the development of efficient neural networks and robust lexical representations of words and affixes for reading and writing.
At the sub-lexical level, you’ll examine the differences between and the advantages of using speech-toprint vs. print-to-speech methods for teaching phonics and orthographic patterns and rules and you’ll explore instructional methods to facilitate student’s implicit learning of orthotactics, orthotactic constraints, and regularity of orthographic patterns. At the lexical level, you’ll learn what an MGR/MOI is and what is isn’t, gain an understanding of the role MGRs/MOIs play in reading and writing, and become familiar with theories of MGR/MOI development including Ehri’s amalgamation hypothesis, Share’s self-teaching hypothesis, and more recent multilinguistic theories supported by the research of Trieman, Apel & Masterson, and others. You’ll learn what makes a “sight word” a “sight word” and what types of activities contribute to and facilitate the development of MGRs/MOIs. You’ll learn about best practices in teaching word study so that you can use best practices to develop students’ MGRs/MOIs, while eliminating common practices that don’t work.
You’ll also learn about the Dual Route Reading Model with its lexical and sub-lexical route for reading to help understand the difference between surface dyslexia, which impairs recognition of irregular words, and deep/phonological dyslexia which impairs decoding of unfamiliar words. You’ll become familiar with a dual route cognitive model of spelling that is useful for understanding the interplay of phonologyorthography-semantics and working memory for spelling words.
- Define sub-lexical and lexical orthographic knowledge and give an example of each.
- Explain the role of implicit learning in the abstraction of statistical regularities and constraints of the orthography of a language.
- Distinguish between “sight word” and “irregularly spelled” word.
- Define MOI/MGR, describe how a robust MOI/MGR develops, and explain the importance of robust MOI/MGRs in reading and spelling.
- Explain the basic tenets of Ehri’s amalgamation hypothesis, Share’s self-teaching hypothesis, and more recent multi-linguistic theories supported by the research of Trieman, Apel & Masterson, and others; explain how each model impacts the way we teach our students.
- 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 – may limit or interfere with students’ acquisition and development of orthographic knowledge
- Acquire knowledge about the role of implicit learning and explicit instruction in the development of reading and spelling skills. Understand traditional and current views on the acquisition of orthographic knowledge and how these views impact the way we teach.
- Discontinue practices that interfere with your students’ acquisition of orthographic knowledge. Gain insights into best practices and eliminate practices that don’t work.