Word Study: 6–12

What is word study?

Word study is the knowledge and recognition of the reliable and recurring patterns in spoken and written words. These patterns include letter-sound correspondences, syllable types, syllable division patterns, and spelling generalizations and rules, as well as prefixes, roots, combining forms, and suffixes. Words that do not follow reliable patterns (e.g., enough, thought, through) can be learned and practiced through repeated exposures. 


How do word study skills impact reading proficiency?

Word study skills help students develop accuracy and automaticity, so that they can focus their cognitive resources on deriving meaning from what they read. By practicing and memorizing recurring letter patterns, students learn to automatically recognize words containing those patterns on the first encounter. This instant word recognition, also called automaticity, leads to fluent reading. Word study skills that further support comprehension include knowledge of word parts (prefixes, roots, combining forms, and suffixes) that derive from Latin and Greek and occur in many of the literacy and domain-specific vocabulary words found in literary and academic texts (e.g. protagonist, photosynthesis). Lastly, word study skills foster the enjoyment of reading. When reading is automatic, students read more, acquire new vocabulary, expand their background and world knowledge, and further develop their comprehension skills, all of which positively impact reading proficiency.


How does Lexia® PowerUp Literacy® develop word study skills?

The goal of word study is to develop accuracy, automaticity, and fluency in reading by focusing on the reliable and recurring patterns in spoken and written words. Lexia PowerUp Literacy systematically advances students’ knowledge about patterns in English through spiraled instruction. Timed and untimed word-, sentence-, and passage-level activities in the Word Study strand focus students’ attention on sound (phonological) and letter (orthographic) patterns and on the meaning of words. Students practice letter-sound patterns in the context of multisyllabic words similar to the ones they encounter in grade-level texts in multiple content areas. Through activities and instruction on syllable types, syllable division patterns, spelling generalizations and rules, and the meanings of word parts, Lexia PowerUp Literacy teaches students to accurately and automatically read multisyllabic words.