Structural Analysis: Pre-K–5

Download PDF

What is Structural Analysis?

Structural analysis enhances the ability to identify words and build vocabulary through analysis of the morphological and syllable structure of words. Morphological structure refers to the study of meaningful units of language or morphemes (e.g., prefixes, roots, and suffixes) and how they are combined to create words. In Lexia® Core5® Reading, structural analysis activities focus on recognizing and understanding meaningful parts of multisyllabic words, particularly those 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, multisyllabic 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 academic vocabulary words made up of Latin and Greek derived forms. The spelling of multisyllabic 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 Core5 Reading?

The goal of the structural analysis strand of Lexia Core5 Reading is to develop skills to read, spell, and understand 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. Initial activities expose students to simple suffixes, such as -ed and -ing, and Latin prefixes, such as un-and pre-. The goal is to improve word identification by increasing their awareness of the morphological structure of words. Students identify 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., the doubling rule and the drop-e rule). As students move through the program, additional emphasis is placed on the meanings of word parts, prefixes, suffixes, and roots to build vocabulary, as well as advanced word identification and spelling strategies. Students use word-learning strategies in conjunction with their knowledge of word parts to infer the meaning of academic vocabulary at the word, sentence, and passage level while continuing to strengthen their automatic reading and spelling of complex, multisyllabic 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.