Structural Analysis

Download pdf

What is Structural Analysis?

Structural analysis enhances the ability to identify words as well as build vocabulary through analyzing the morphological structure of words in conjunction with the syllable structure. Morphological structure refers to the study of meaningful units of language or morphemes (e.g., prefix, root and suffix) and how they are combined to create words. In Lexia Reading Core5®, structural analysis activities include work on recognizing meaningful parts of multisyllabic words derived from Latin and Greek.

What is the role of Structural Analysis in learning to read and spell?

Research indicates that awareness of the morphological structure of language is correlated with the acquisition of reading skills. At first, students learn to decode words by applying phonic word attack strategies based on knowledge of sound-symbol correspondence and syllable types. Once they have learned to apply this knowledge to one and two syllable words, they can begin to think about meaningful word parts, including prefixes, roots and suffixes, which make up the majority of longer, multi-syllabic words. This type of word analysis, focusing on meaningful word parts rather than syllables, is often referred to as structural analysis.

Knowledge of meaningful word parts is helpful both for word identification as well as for understanding the meaning of less familiar words made up of Latin and Greek derived forms. Spelling of multi-syllabic words is also enhanced through knowledge of word parts as many spelling rules are based in morphological structure.

What is the approach to developing Structural Analysis in Lexia Reading Core5?

The goal of the structural analysis strand of Lexia Reading Core5 is to develop skills to read and spell multisyllabic words often found in literature as well as in the domains of math, history and science. Activities aim to strengthen reading and spelling by focusing on the recurring morphemes or meaningful word parts that make up these words. Once automatic recognition of the common affixes is in place, Lexia Reading Core5 Morphological structure refers to the study of meaningful units of language or morphemes (e.g., prefix, root and suffix) and how they are combined to create words. Initial activities expose students to simple suffixes, such as –ed and –ing, and Latin prefixes, such as unand pre-. The goal is to improve word identification by increasing their awareness of the morphological structure of words. Students identify these affixes through listening, reading and constructing words containing these word parts. Later activities focus on Latin suffixes and common spelling rules based on the morphological structure of words (e.g., doubling rule and drop-e rule).

As students move through the program, additional emphasis is placed on the meanings of prefixes and roots to build vocabulary as well as advanced word identification and spelling strategies. Students use their knowledge of word parts to infer the meaning of academic vocabulary at the word and sentence level while continuing to strengthen their automatic reading and spelling of complex, multi-syllabic words. Ultimately, students are introduced to Greek combining forms and accent placement rules which allow them to read and comprehend vocabulary, particularly for science and the arts.