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ERIC Number: EJ1203869
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0040-0599
Structured Literacy and Typical Literacy Practices: Understanding Differences to Create Instructional Opportunities
Spear-Swerling, Louise
TEACHING Exceptional Children, v51 n3 p201-211 Jan-Feb 2019
Structured Literacy (SL) approaches are often recommended for students with dyslexia and other poor decoders (e.g., International Dyslexia Association, 2017). Examples of SL approaches include the Wilson Reading System (Wilson, 1988), Orton-Gillingham (Gillingham & Stillman, 2014), the Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing Program (Lindamood & Lindamood, 1998), and Direct Instruction (e.g., Carnine, Silbert, Kame'enui, & Tarver, 2009). Although these programs vary in some ways, they all share several key features. Key features of SL approaches include (1) explicit, systematic; and sequential teaching of literacy at multiple levels -- phonemes, letter-sound relationships, syllable patterns, morphemes, vocabulary, sentence structure, paragraph structure, and text structure; (2) cumulative practice and ongoing review; (3) a high level of student-teacher interaction; (4) the use of carefully chosen examples and nonexamples; (5) decodable text; and (6) prompt, corrective feedback. SL is especially well suited to students with dyslexia because it directly addresses their core weaknesses in phonological skills, decoding, and spelling (Moats, 2017). Although most students with dyslexia do not have core weaknesses in higher levels of literacy, such as vocabulary, text comprehension, and broad language an intrinsic learning problem in those areas. Just as the SL approaches described previously vary from each other in some ways, so, too, does the Typical Literacy Practices (TLP) commonly used in schools. TLP do not include most of the key features of SL. In TLP, beginning readers would usually read predictable or leveled texts that do not control for different phonics word patterns and therefore are challenging to decode. Do some students learn to read and write well with TLP? Of course. However, TLP, such as the practices described, are a poor fit for the needs of many students, particularly those with dyslexia. In addition, some of the core principles of TLP may affect not only literacy instruction and intervention but also assessment and early identification of at-risk readers. In sum, SL offers a promising approach for educators interested in more effective ways to teach students with dyslexia. If implemented in Tier 1 instruction and tiered interventions, SL practices may also prevent or ameliorate a wide range of other reading difficulties.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A