Morphological Awareness and Second Language Learners

By Gloria Ramírez Last updated 2024/05/27
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In this International Dyslexia Association Perspectives article, Gloria Ramírez discusses the significance of morphological awareness in second language learners’ vocabulary learning and reading comprehension, providing valuable insights for educators. The article emphasizes that explicit and systematic instruction on morphological awareness can greatly benefit language learners, especially those facing reading difficulties. Educators can use the principles presented in the article to effectively teach students to identify smaller meaning units in complex words, enhancing their word reading accuracy, fluency, and comprehension. Additionally, the article highlights the transferability of morphological awareness skills from the learners’ first to their second language, enabling educators to capitalize on their existing language skills to improve their vocabulary and reading comprehension in the target language. Educators can better support second language learners developing strong language and literacy skills by incorporating these principles into their instruction.

Curriculum Connection

B2. Language Foundations for Reading and Writing
Morphological knowledge and vocabulary play a crucial role in achieving Overall Expectation B2 in the Ontario Language Curriculum across various grades. As students progress, their comprehension of morphemes, including bases, prefixes, and suffixes, empowers them to cultivate a diverse vocabulary and read and spell words accurately and automatically. The article underscores the importance of incorporating morphology in vocabulary instruction, focusing on word parts like prefixes, suffixes, and roots to convey meaning and foster vocabulary growth. This valuable resource provides educators with insights into the significance of morphological instruction and offers practical strategies for effective teaching. By prioritizing morphological awareness and vocabulary development, educators can fortify students' language foundations for reading and writing, enabling them to excel in various contexts as outlined in the curriculum's language expectations.
Grade(s): K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Topic(s): Applying MorphologyApplying OrthographyApplying PhonicsMultilingual LearnersWord-Level Reading and Spelling

1 Comment

  1. I like that this article addressed multilingual learners. There is much to unpack here and discover more about reasons for reading challenges. For instance, are reading challenges due to a lack of language proficiency, lack of background knowledge, or a learning disability. I hope to see more articles and resources like this in the future to best support all students!

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