Glossary


Alphabetic Principle

A writing system design principle that associates units from the limited set of phonemes of oral language with units from the limited set of letters of the alphabet, yielding a highly productive alphabetic writing system. Knowledge of the alphabetic principle is awareness that written words are composed of letters that are intentionally and conventionally related to phonemic segments of the words of oral language.


Big Books

Oversized books that the offer opportunity to share the print and illustrations with a group of children in ways that one might share a standard sized book with just a few.


Comprehension

Understanding: listening comprehension refers to spoken language, reading comprehension refers to written language.

Comprehensive Curricula

Courses of study that include all the necessary content for achieving specific teaching and learning goals.

Curriculum Casualties

Children whose reading difficulties arise from flaws in the design of regular classroom course of study, or its delivery.


Decoding Skills

Skills in translating symbols (e.g., alphabet letters) into recognizable syllables and words.



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Starting Out Right: A Guide to Promoting Children’s Reading Success Glossary Alphabetic Principle A writing system design principle that associates units from the limited set of phonemes of oral language with units from the limited set of letters of the alphabet, yielding a highly productive alphabetic writing system. Knowledge of the alphabetic principle is awareness that written words are composed of letters that are intentionally and conventionally related to phonemic segments of the words of oral language. Big Books Oversized books that the offer opportunity to share the print and illustrations with a group of children in ways that one might share a standard sized book with just a few. Comprehension Understanding: listening comprehension refers to spoken language, reading comprehension refers to written language. Comprehensive Curricula Courses of study that include all the necessary content for achieving specific teaching and learning goals. Curriculum Casualties Children whose reading difficulties arise from flaws in the design of regular classroom course of study, or its delivery. Decoding Skills Skills in translating symbols (e.g., alphabet letters) into recognizable syllables and words.

OCR for page 147
Starting Out Right: A Guide to Promoting Children’s Reading Success Dialect A regional or social variety of a language distinguished by pronunciation, grammar, or vocabulary, especially a variety of speech differing from the standard literary language or speech pattern of the culture in which it exists. Early Language Impairment A failure to thrive in the development of one’s native language; a significant and prolonged deviation from age related language milestones; a reduced capacity in expressive or receptive language or both. “Specific language impairment” is the preferred term if development thrives in cognitive, affective, and social spheres and is impaired only for language. Emergent Literacy A range of activities and behaviors related to written language including those undertaken by very young children who depend on the cooperation of others and/or on creative play to deal with the material; reading and writing related activities and behaviors that change over time culminating in conventional literacy during middle childhood. Emergent Reading Reading related activities and behaviors, especially those prior to a child’s achieving the capacity to read fluently and conventionally; This includes (a) the attentive presence of a child while another reads for the child’s benefit, (b) the execution of acts with materials related to reading, e.g., page turning, letter naming, and (c) the pretense of processing and/or comprehending written language. Emergent Writing Writing related activities and behaviors, especially those prior to a child’s achieving the capacity to write fluently and conventionally; includes (a) the attentive presence of a child while another writes according to the child’s intentions, (b) the execution of acts with materials related to writing, e.g., scribbling letter-like forms, inventive spelling, and (c) the pretense of producing text to be read. Expressive Language Capacity Accuracy, fluency, and appropriateness in producing language. Fluency Achieving speed and accuracy in recognizing words and comprehending connected text, and coordinating the two. Frustration Level/Reading Level at which a child’s reading skills break down: fluency disappears, errors in word recognition are numerous, comprehension is faulty, recall is sketchy, and signs of emotional tension and discomfort become evident.

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Starting Out Right: A Guide to Promoting Children’s Reading Success Intervention A supplementary program to address an identified or anticipated reading problem. Remedial interventions are aimed at school children who have been identified as achieving below expected levels. Preventive interventions are aimed at (younger) children who are thought to be at risk for developing reading problems. Invented Spelling A child’s spelling system based on letter names and/or sounds. It is also called inventive spelling, creative spelling, estimated spelling. Language Milestones A significant point in language development, such as saying one’s first word or beginning to combine words. Literacy This includes reading, writing, and the creative and analytical acts involved in producing and comprehending texts. Morphology The aspects of language structure related to the ways words are formed from prefixes, roots and suffixes (e.g., “mis-spell-ing”) and are related to each other. Onset The consonant(s) at the start of a syllable; the remainder of the syllable is called its “rime.” In “swift,” “sw” is the onset and “ift” is the rime. Orthographic Awareness Knowing that letters and diacritics represent the spoken language; attending to predictable and frequent spelling patterns. (A diacritic is a mark, such as the cedilla of façade or the acute accents of résumé, added to a letter to indicate a special phonetic value or distinguish words that are otherwise graphically identical.) Orthography A method of representing spoken language by letters and diacritical marks, spelling. Phonemes In oral language, the small units that combine to form syllables and words (e.g., the phonemes in the standard English words “bit” and “hit” are the same except for the first segment and the word “hint” has one more phoneme that the word “hit.”). Phoneme Segmentation To break words into phonemes. Phonemic Awareness A special kind of “phonological awareness” (defined below) involving the smallest units of oral language, phonemes.

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Starting Out Right: A Guide to Promoting Children’s Reading Success Phonics Instructional practices that emphasize how spellings are related to speech sounds in systematic ways; letter-sound correspondences. Phonological Awareness Knowing that oral language has structure that is separate from meaning; attending to the sub-lexical structure (i.e., structure within words) of oral language, e.g., “beg” has one syllable and three phonemes, “egg” has one syllable and two phonemes. Phonology The aspects of language structure related to the distinctive features for the representation, production, and reception of sounds of language. Readiness To be prepared for instruction. Reading Problem Low achievement in reading or some key component of reading. Receptive Language Capacity Accuracy, fluency, and appropriateness in understanding language. Reciprocal Teaching A teaching process in which teachers and students take turns asking and answering questions in order to comprehend text and to learn comprehension strategies. Rime The portion of a syllable that follows the “onset” (see above). Risk Factor A characteristic of a child or of the child’s home, family, or community, such that variation in that characteristic is associated with variation in reading achievement. (These correlations need not be causal, just informative about the early identification of children at risk.) Speech Discrimination Accurate identification of the distinctions in the range and characteristics of sounds used in oral languages. Syllable A unit of spoken language. In English, a syllable can consist of a vowel sound alone or a vowel sound with one or more consonant sounds preceding and following. Syntax The aspects of language structure related to the ways in which words are put together to form phrases, clauses, and sentences. Word Attack An aspect of reading instruction that includes intentional strategies for learning to decode, sight read, and recognize written words.

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Starting Out Right: A Guide to Promoting Children’s Reading Success Word Decoding An aspect of reading that involves deriving a pronunciation for a printed sequence of letters based on knowledge of spelling-sound correspondences. Word Recognition In reading, identifying as known words those that have been decoded or processed as whole words and associating the known words with their meaning and use in language being read.

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