Word Study, Leveled Reading and Vocabulary

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Word Study

In the 1970s, Charles Read (appropriately named) discovered that the invented spelling of very young children was not at all random. He recognized that early spellers followed fairly predictable patterns in their guesses about how to represent words on paper. His research was followed in the 1970s and ‘80s by a number of reading scientists in Virginia (notably, Ed Henderson, James Beers, Richard Gentry and others at the University of Virginia) who studied student spelling development over time, noticing important patterns. Their breakthrough work has become what is called “word study”. It is a way of differentiating spelling and phonics instruction to respect the learner’s developmental stages.