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The Mnemonic Power of Print. The contribution of Word Spellings for Vocabulary Learning and Instruction. Picture courtesy of www.pppst.com. Words . Set 1: rume, rane, taik, gote, yung, pillgrum, kartune, selafaine Set 2: said, was, one, tongue, sugar, ocean, iron, yacht

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the mnemonic power of print

The Mnemonic Power of Print

The contribution of Word Spellings for Vocabulary Learning and Instruction

Picture courtesy of www.pppst.com

words
Words
  • Set 1: rume, rane, taik, gote, yung, pillgrum, kartune, selafaine
  • Set 2: said, was, one, tongue, sugar, ocean, iron, yacht
  • Set 3: faster, step, grass, hunger, elbow, interesting, excellent, contribution
four ways to read words ehri 1998
Four ways to read words (Ehri, 1998)
  • by applying knowledge of Grapheme-Phoneme Correspondence (GPC) rules (decoding);
  • by analogy to words whose spellings are already known (analogy);
  • by using context cues, partial letters, or a combination (prediction);
  • by sight of words that have been read previously (sight).
which strategy ies to use to read words in sets 1 2 3
Which strategy(ies) to use to read words in Sets 1, 2, 3?

_______________

Set 1

rume, rane, taik, gote, yung, pillgrum, kartune, selafaine

_______________

Set 2

said, was, one, tongue, sugar, ocean, iron, yacht

analogy

sight-reading

decoding

_____________

Set 3

faster, step, grass, hunger, elbow, interesting, excellent, contribution

slide5

What does it mean to read words by sight?

What does reading by sight look like?

The Stroop Task

how is automaticity achieved
How is automaticity achieved?
  • Spellings of words become connected to their pronunciations and meanings in memory.
  • Knowledge of the grapheme-phoneme system provides the glue that connects graphemes in written spellings to phonemes in spoken words.
  • This information is stored as amalgams representing individual words in memory, as diagramed in the right.
would new vocabulary items be read by sight
Would new vocabulary items be read by sight?

Ehri (1980, 1992, 2005) and others have shown that all words can be read by sight (from memory) without recourse to decoding when practiced--not just high frequency or irregularly spelled words. Once their pronunciations and meanings become familiar, new vocabulary words may also be read by sight.

the study
The study
  • Low-frequency nouns were taught to 2nd and 5th graders.
  • Students rehearsed the pronunciations and meanings of the words over several trials.
  • During the initial study trial, the words were introduced.
  • All subsequent trials tested their recall of the words.
  • After each recall attempt, correct responses were provided.
  • Meanings of words were taught through pictures, definitions, and multiple sentences containing the words and clarifying their meanings and use.
  • Trials continued until students reached a criterion or a maximum number of trials.
treatment vs control
Treatment vs. control
  • In the treatment condition, words were accompanied by spellings during study periods (i.e., when the words were introduced and after each recall attempt).
  • In the control condition, students learned spoken words without spellings.
results 2 nd graders
Results: 2nd-graders
  • It was easier to recall meanings than pronunciations of the words.
  • Recall was superior when spellings were seen than when they were not seen.
  • This advantage held for the recall of meanings as well as the recall of pronunciations.
  • In recalling pronunciations, the benefit of seeing spellings grew larger over trials.
results 2 nd graders cont d
Results: 2nd-graders cont’d

Pronunciations and meanings of vocabulary words were learned better on the one-day delayed posttests when students were exposed to spellings of the words than when they only practiced speaking the words.

results 5 th graders
Results: 5th-graders
  • Higher readers outperformed lower readers.
  • Recall of pronunciations was better when words were learned with spelling aids than without spelling aids.
  • This was true for both groups.
  • The size of the advantage of spellings was much larger for higher than for lower readers; it grew larger and larger over the first 3 trials for the higher readers.
  • The size of the advantage over trials was more similar for lower readers after the first trial.
  • It may be that higher readers’ better knowledge of grapho-phonemic and of larger syllabic spelling units (than lower readers) gave the higher readers an advantage in forming connections to store multisyllabic words in memory.
results 5 th graders cont d
Results: 5th-graders cont’d
  • Higher readers outperformed lower readers in recalling definitions.
  • Spellings benefited recall for both reader groups during the first 3 trials, after which a ceiling effect was observed.
  • These findings show that fifth graders learned vocabulary words better when they saw spellings of the words than when they only spoke the words.
results 5 th graders cont d14
Results: 5th-graders cont’d
  • Students were able to spell many more of the words they had seen than not seen, indicating they had stored the spellings in memory.
  • Higher readers showed larger benefits than lower readers.
  • Even though lower readers had weaker orthographic knowledge, they still had enough knowledge to benefit from spellings in learning vocabulary words.
conclusions
Conclusions
  • Fifth graders learned the pronunciations and meanings of new vocabulary words better when they were exposed to their spellings than when they only spoke the words.
  • Students with stronger orthographic knowledge benefited more from seeing spellings than students with weaker orthographic knowledge.
  • When students are exposed to the spellings of new vocabulary words, grapho-phonemic connections are activated. This better secures pronunciations of words in memory.
  • Spellings themselves become bonded to pronunciations in memory and secure pronunciations earlier during the course of learning.
  • Better secured pronunciations provide a stronger base for learning meanings.
conclusions cont d
Conclusions cont’d
  • Spellings helped both second and fifth graders, indicating that the effect of spellings is not limited developmentally to the period of beginning reading or to more advanced levels but extends over all levels of reading, at least during the elementary grades.
  • When teachers encounter, pronounce, and explain new vocabulary words to their students, they should take time to display the spellings of the words, for example, when they are reading a story aloud to the whole class.
  • When students encounter new vocabulary words in their independent reading, according to present findings, they should stop and not only figure out the meanings of the words but also decode and pronounce their spellings.