For individuals to learn to read, the brain must encode and decode incoming visual and auditory information, making use of previously learned procedural information about how to process stimuli. Attention, motivation, emotions, and adequate sleep all play roles in helping the brain learn to read. A sense of print and phonemic and morphemic awareness are necessary to learn to decode words. Children must have an adequate working memory, and an awareness of the sounds, or phonology, of a language. They must map those phonemes onto specific graphemes, which are made up of individual letters or combinations of letters. This matchup between sounds and letters is called a language’s orthography. Some languages—such as Spanish, Greek, and Italian—have regular orthographies and learning to read them takes a few months. Others—such as English—have irregular orthographies and take a few years to learn. Some educators believe that a child who can read a language with a regular orthography does not have a specific learning disability; however, this is not the case. There are differences related to learning to read in languages with different orthographies. This chapter highlights the clinical signs of decoding and word recognition disabilities, as well as appropriate formal and informal measures to use in assessing the reading of English learners. We focus on specific ways to assess reading decoding and word recognition as a part of specific learning disability identification eligibility decisions. The chapter concludes with interventions that can be put into place with English learners who struggle with decoding.
- Word recognition
- Bilingual students
- English learners
- Students with disabilities
- Reading interventions
- School psychology
- Reading assessment
- Phonemic awareness
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Unruh, S., McKellar, N.A. (2017). Word Reading and Decoding. In: Assessment and Intervention for English Language Learners. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-52645-4_5
Publisher Name: Springer, Cham
Print ISBN: 978-3-319-52644-7
Online ISBN: 978-3-319-52645-4