Teaching Strategies for Word Recognition & Spelling

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  • 0:03 Word Recognition and Spelling
  • 1:15 Word Recognition Strategies
  • 3:13 Spelling Strategies
  • 4:27 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has an Masters of Science in Mathematics and a Masters in Education

Teaching word recognition and spelling skills can be complicated, but don't worry. This lesson gives an overview of techniques teachers can use to teach word recognition and spelling skills and gives a few examples of each.

Word Recognition and Spelling

A student's ability to read and write is central to their academic success. How do teachers help students develop strong reading and writing skills? Central to both reading and writing are word recognition and spelling. Before we get into the ins and outs of teaching strategies, let's make sure we're on the same page about what each of these is.

Word recognition is a student's ability to see and understand a word quickly without sounding it out. The ability to sight read is an early reading skill necessary to all reading success in the future. Think about it - if children continued to rely on early reading methods, like sounding out words, they wouldn't be able to read more complex text, build fluency, and understand higher-level books.

Spelling is a skill used in the writing process that transfers speech to print. Learned in tandem with reading instruction, the ability to recognize and apply what is referred to as the alphabetic system, or a system of reading and writing that relies on the alphabet, is used in both spelling and word recognition.

Now let's take a look at some strategies teachers can use to make sure students are fluent at word recognition and spelling.

Word Recognition Strategies

Students are taught to see and recognize aspects of the alphabetic system - letter identification and sounds - in a sequenced manner. They are typically taught letter names first, then sounds of consonants, vowels, and later blends and digraphs. Eventually, students will learn to recognize words by sight, quickening their pace of reading and allowing them to spend time and energy on understanding what they read instead of decoding.

Teachers can scaffold readers as they build word recognition skills in three main ways:

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