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Investigating literacy teachers' linguistic knowledge


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Paper presented at the BDA International Conference 2014, Guildford.

Published in: Education
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Investigating literacy teachers' linguistic knowledge

  1. 1. Investigating literacy teachers' linguistic knowledge Dominik Lukes, Dyslexia Action Daniel Gooch, IoE
  2. 2. Outline
  3. 3. Linguistic underpinnings of literacy Teacher knowledge Phonics vs phonology ILearnRW needs
  4. 4. “Why do teachers need to know about the Structure of Language?” Townend and Walker, 2006
  5. 5. “those who were most comfortable with the course content were those who already had some knowledge of language structure.”
  6. 6. “Good teachers should be made uncomfortable by their first encounter with the social and structural complexity of language.“ Lukes, 2010
  7. 7. Which reading skills do you teach most often?
  8. 8. “Syllable division” “Vowels” “Understanding unfamiliar words from context” “Finding patterns in words” “Dividing words into base and suffixes”
  9. 9. How do you teach syllables?
  10. 10. “Wooden letters” “Cards - physically move things around” “Highlight things with pens” “Marking consonants and vowels in the text” “How many beats are there in that word”
  11. 11. “Cumulative small steps building on each other” “Play games, particularly when a child is starting to struggle/get bored”
  12. 12. What’s missing?
  13. 13. Pronunciation dictionary Phonics vs linguistics Corpus Dialect variation
  14. 14. Syllable division knowledge
  15. 15. hospital SWW hospitable WSWW Phonics hos / pit / al hos / pit / a / ble CEPD hos / pi / tal hos / pit / a / ble LDP hosp / it / al ho / spit / ab / le Onset maximization before phonotatic constraints ho / spi / tal ho / spi / ta / ble Phonic vs. phonological needs for syllable division
  16. 16. Phonic vs. phonological needs for syllable division kitten SW spelling SW Phonics kit / ten spel / ling CEPD kitt / en spell / ing LDP kitt / en spell / ing Onset maximization before phonotatic constraints ki / tten spe / lling
  17. 17. MRC Psycholinguistic Database
  18. 18. Teacher knowledge of syllable division does not match linguistic analysis or needs of machine readable representation
  19. 19. How do you tell the game where the boundary is?
  20. 20. How do you tell a reader which syllables are open?
  21. 21. How do you analyze text and find instances of < ay > = / eɪ / as in day, way
  22. 22. balloon 2 syllables: bal[short, closed] loon [long, closed] adding rule noun, verb b & l oo n 5 phonemes, 7 letters stress loon possible misspellings: baloon, balun, balloonning possible confusions: inflectional forms: balloons [noun, verb], ballooning [verb, noun], ballooned [verb] derivational forms: balloonist example sentences ways of teaching difficulties Pedagogic knowledge: relative position in a learning programme Linguistic awareness: frequency (typicality) and relevance to individual student
  23. 23. iLearnRW Internal Dictionary
  24. 24. Teacher decision tree
  25. 25. Conclusion
  26. 26. Much of teachers’ knowledge is implicit and cannot be directly relied on for expert advice outside the classroom.
  27. 27. Teachers’ linguistic knowledge has to be represented through proxies and interaction patterns rather than algorithmically.
  28. 28. Teachers and non-teachers would benefit from tools that would support their access to the analysis of language.