Word sum: Inter + est --> interest (The prefix + base gives us the stem <interest> ) <Interest> is a Latin word which was borrowed into English from French.  It literally meant “that which is between” – inter “between” +  est “to be”. It meant ‘to concern, or be of importance’. Word sums: Inter +... Continue Reading →

Writing the ‘sound’ /k/ in English

Before I begin, I would like to explain certain concepts to make it easier to read the post. I use the forward slashes // to enclose pronunciation, while the angle brackets <> enclose spelling. The term 'graphemes' means a spelling units. Graphemes represent distinct pronunciations. I enclose graphemes in angle brackets: <ck>, <c>, <k>, <qu>.... Continue Reading →

Making Sense of ‘t’ in English

English spelling and reading can sometimes present challenges due to some of the complexities of the grapheme-phoneme correspondences.  Several graphemes (spelling units) represent more than one pronunciation and a single pronunciation can be written using different graphemes.  However, the complexities of the grapheme-phoneme correspondences provide us with valuable information about words. How a word is... Continue Reading →

Working with ‘do’

Learning about a simple word like <do> and its various derivatives can teach us a lot about the importance of morphology in reading, spelling, and vocabulary development. The concept of morphemes is not something you wait until children are in junior high or upper elementary before you introduce. You cannot successfully analyze the phonemes (sounds)... Continue Reading →

Sample matrices

A matrix is a linguistic tool which allows one to organize words belonging to a morphological family into a single framework that shows the various morpheme boundaries. It shows the base, the main element that carries the central meaning of the words, and the other affixes - prefixes and suffixes. The elements represented in a... Continue Reading →

English Orthography Favors the Eyes!

"The English spelling system is highly ordered, elegantly consistent, and coherently predictable." Real Spelling "The English writing system has a great deal to recommend it." Carol Chomski, 1970 If you are like most people, you are probably shaking your head in protest to the above statements. You probably believe that the opposite is true; especially... Continue Reading →

What is spelling?

What is spelling? Does this seem like a strange question to ask? Maybe "Yes", or maybe "Not".  According to a prominent researcher, "Spelling is a linguistic task that requires knowledge of sounds and letter patterns".  Before I comment on the above quotation, I want to quote another expert's definition of reading. "Reading is a process of... Continue Reading →

What is orthography?

Many research studies on literacy indicate that students who achieve high standards on text comprehension tasks also achieve high scores on vocabulary, morphology (units of meaning), phonology (pronunciation), syntax (grammar), and orthography.  In short, good readers (those who consistently understand what they read) have a good grasp on different aspects of language.  Many people know... Continue Reading →

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