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Foundations of Spelling and Word-Level Reading

presented by Kenn Apel, PhD, CCC-SLP

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Kenn Apel is a co-author on SPELL-2 and SPELL-Links to Reading and Writing. Kenn Apel receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Non-Financial: Kenn Apel has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

Accreditation Check:

Spelling and word-level reading are language skills that are crucial for academic, vocational, and social success. Both written language skills are supported by five "building blocks" that enable individuals to decode and encode words. These building blocks include: phonemic awareness, orthographic pattern awareness, morphological awareness, semantic awareness, and mental graphemic representations. This course will introduce these five building blocks of literacy and discuss how they impact word-level literacy development. The developmental phases of spelling and word-level reading also will be discussed.

Meet Your Instructor

Kenn Apel, PhD, CCC-SLP

Kenn Apel, PhD, CCC-SLP, is professor and chair of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of South Carolina, Columbia. For more than 30 years, Dr. Apel has been conducting research in the areas of spoken and written language and working with children, adolescents, and adults who have language-based learning deficits. Dr.…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Introduction to Word Study

Word study is knowing why words are written the way they are. Current research supports taking a word study instructional approach when helping students read and write. Importantly, such an approach aids students' academic, vocational, and social success.

2. Phonemic and Orthographic Pattern Awareness

Phonemic awareness and orthographic pattern awareness are two of the five "blocks" of word study that help students understand why words are written the way they are. Phonemic awareness helps students think about the sounds of our language. Orthographic pattern awareness helps students consciously consider the rules for how letters represent sounds in print. Both skills aid students' spelling and word-level reading abilities.

3. Morphological and Semantic Awareness

Morphological awareness and semantic awareness are two more of the five blocks of word study. Morphological awareness helps the student think about how words are related to other words that share the same base word or root and also to think about prefixes and suffixes. Semantic awareness helps the student to consider whether a word is conveying the correct meaning. Both skills are important for students as they read and spell.

4. Mental Graphemic Representations

Mental graphemic representations (MGRs) are the fifth block of word study. MGRs are the stored mental representations (pictures in one's head) of written words. With strong MGRs, students can read and spell relatively effortlessly and fluently.

5. Word Study Development

To be able to assess and instruct or intervene in either spelling or word-level reading, one must understand how those two literacy skills develop. Spelling and word-level reading follow similar paths of development. At each phase, the five blocks of word study contribute to growing levels of abilities.

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