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What is Word Study?. Jane Bean- Folkes February, 2014. Phonics + Spelling + Vocabulary Instruction = Word Study. Why do we teach Word Study?. Word study is the study of phonics, vocabulary, and spelling instruction.

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What is word study

What is Word Study?

Jane Bean-Folkes

February, 2014

Why do we teach word study
Why do we teach Word Study?

  • Word study is the study of phonics, vocabulary, and spelling instruction.

  • Words study is the integration of phonics, spelling, and vocabulary instruction.

  • Word study teaches students how to look closely at words to discover regularities and conventions of English orthography or spelling.

Word study and the ccss
Word Study and the CCSS

  • Foundational SkillsFoundational skills must follow a developmental sequence. Students must "know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words." There is a call for explicit instruction.

  • VocabularyVocabulary demands are greater today, as students must read more complex literary and informational texts.

  • MorphologyThe study of morphology involves deep and generative study of words and their meanings.


Purpose of word study
Purpose of Word Study

  • “First, students develop a general knowledge of English spelling. They also discover generalizations about spelling, instead of just spelling rules.” Sound,

  • “Second, word study increase student’s specific knowledge of words – sound, spelling & meaning of words .”

    Words Their Way

Why word study
Why Word Study?

Literacy is like a braid of interwoven threads:

  • Reading

  • Oral Language

  • Writing

  • Orthography

  • Words Their Way demonstrates how exploration of orthographic knowledge can lead to the lengthening and strengthening of the literacy braid.

    See WTW, page 2

  • Synchrony of literacy learning
    Synchrony of Literacy Learning

    Layers of the English Orthography:

    Alphabet Pattern Meaning

    Reading and Writing Stages:






    Spelling Stages:




    Syllable & Affixes


    What is word study

    Spelling-Word Study




    J. Brownell, 2011

    What should students know
    What should students know?

    • Spelling Stage 1 - Emergent (2) Preschool-K

    • Spelling Stage 2 - Letter-Name Alphabetic (5) 1st to 2nd grade

    • Spelling Stage 3 - Within-Word (4) 2nd to 3rd grade

    • Spelling Stage 4 - Syllable Affix (3) Late 3rd grade to 5th Grade

    • Spelling Stage 5 - Derivational Relations (3) 5th Grade and up(See Handout)

    End of year spelling goals per grade level
    End of Year Spelling GoalsPer Grade Level

    • K Middle Letter Name

    • 1 Early Within Word

    • 2 Late Within Word

    • 3 Early Syllable and Affixes

    • 4 Middle Syllable and Affixes

    • 5 Late Syllable and Affixes

    • 6+ Derivational Relations

    What is word study


    What students:

    • can do and do know

      • Students need to be able to explain the pattern of the words studied; deeper knowledge and generalization of words

      • Cumulative assessments

    • use but confuse

      • Day-to-day writing; students use knowledge of words

    What is word study

    Gates (1919) wrote students should not “write words 10 times each”.

    Learners need frequent, deep and rich experiences with words and vocabulary.

    Strategies to help
    Strategies to Help

    • Sight Words

    • Sound

      • Picture sorts

      • Word sorts

      • Blind sorts

    • Pattern

      • Word sorts

      • Can use key pictures

    • Meaning

      • Concepts sorts

        • Content area words/pictures

        • Pre-reading/pre-writing/grammar

      • Spelling-meaning sorts

        • Homophones (buy, by)

        • Homographs (record (v), record (n))

        • Greek/Latin elements ( spec = spectator, inspect, speculate)

    Word study resources
    Word Study Resources


    • Huneycutt.biz/english/wordstudy

    • Literacyconnections.com/wordstudy

    • Readingrockets.org


    • See handout

    English alphabetic code
    English Alphabetic Code