981 Structured Word Inquiry: Literacy Instruction Through Understanding English Orthography
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981 Structured Word Inquiry: Literacy Instruction Through Understanding English Orthography
Presented by: Dr. Peter Bowers
May 25, 2020 | 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
May 28, 2020 | 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
June 1, 2020 | 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
June 4, 2020 | 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
June 8, 2020 | 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Location: Online
Grade Level / Audience
About the Session

Day 1: SWI as Scientific Inquiry and Word Families

I introduce a “big picture” of structured word inquiry as the application of scientific inquiry about how our spelling system works as and how to use that as a driving feature of literacy instruction for learners of all abilities and ages.  

Key to this “big picture” is introducing the linguistic concept of “word families” as words connected in spelling structure and meaning through activities used from the beginning of schooling. By the end of the session, participants have practice and resources for using the same type of activity with students of all ages/abilities.

Day 2: Learning from the Word Families--orthographic phonology, spelling-out-lound, orthographic markers & suffixing changes

Building on word families, we begin to understand the crucial way grapheme-phoneme correspondences are constrained by morphological constraints - and touch on the role of etymology too. The process of spelling-out-loud also helps us identify “orthographic markers” letters or letter combinations that are not graphemes.
The similarities and differences between standard phonics instruction and the instruction of orthographic phonology is addressed with an introduction to the essential SWI process of “spelling-out-loud word structure” which demands explicit attention to graphemes in the base. We learn that both phonics instruction and instruction about orthographic phonology can provide explicit instruction about what the available grapheme-phoneme correspondences are, but that in SWI we also us morphological and etymological information to help understand which graphemes are needed in a given word based on the influence of word families.

Day 3: More practice with spelling-out-loud word structure, Cognitive Load Theory and SWI in the context of reading instruction

We have time to practice the process spelling-out-loud and writing-out-loud and tapping out of word structure introduced last session. We also look at how these processes and SWI in general reflect the recommendations of cognitive load theory - a major theory of learning in psychology. We also see how these processes are applied to the process of reading instruction.

Day 4: Digging deeper into morphoogical and etymological familes--working with the 4 questions of SWI, learning to read Etymonline and constructing 

For this session we use  a middle school science text as a launching pad for orthographic inquiries to build understanding of content are concepts and terms. We use this context to learn how to read Etymonline to collect etymological relatives (those that share a root) and then word sums to identify which of those words are also morphological relatives (those that share a base).

Day 5: More practice investigating morphological and etymological families, and the role of orthographic phonology, plus understanding the research

For the final session we look at questions about morphological and etymological relatives and how they interrelate with grapheme-phoneme correspondences. We build on all the concepts addressed in the first 4 sessions. The end of the session is reserved for a careful look at the research related to SWI.

About the Presenters

Dr. Peter Bowers

Pete Bowers, Ph.D., is a teacher, researcher, author, and founder of WordWorks Literacy Centre. Pete taught Grades 3-6 for 10 years before earning his Ph.D. from the Faculty of Education at Queen’s University. His research and practical work with schools and educational groups has been pivotal in transforming how teachers, tutors and students around the world understand English spelling. Instead of putting up with a frustrating system full of exceptions, the structured word inquiry (SWI) community understands that investigating the spelling-meaning connections in words is not only rich literacy instruction -- it is also a rich context for learning about any subject. His teacher resource book, Teaching How the Written Word Works expands on the lessons of his vocabulary intervention (Bowers & Kirby, 2010), and introduced the term “structured word inquiry.” His workshops have taken him to Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and North America. 

Registration Deadline: May 24, 2020

Registration Fee: $0.00

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