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Suggested Citation:"Glossary." National Research Council. 1999. Starting Out Right: A Guide to Promoting Children's Reading Success. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6014.
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Glossary


Alphabetic Principle

A writing system design principle that associates units from the limited set of phonemes of oral language with units from the limited set of letters of the alphabet, yielding a highly productive alphabetic writing system. Knowledge of the alphabetic principle is awareness that written words are composed of letters that are intentionally and conventionally related to phonemic segments of the words of oral language.


Big Books

Oversized books that the offer opportunity to share the print and illustrations with a group of children in ways that one might share a standard sized book with just a few.


Comprehension

Understanding: listening comprehension refers to spoken language, reading comprehension refers to written language.

Comprehensive Curricula

Courses of study that include all the necessary content for achieving specific teaching and learning goals.

Curriculum Casualties

Children whose reading difficulties arise from flaws in the design of regular classroom course of study, or its delivery.


Decoding Skills

Skills in translating symbols (e.g., alphabet letters) into recognizable syllables and words.

Suggested Citation:"Glossary." National Research Council. 1999. Starting Out Right: A Guide to Promoting Children's Reading Success. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6014.
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Dialect

A regional or social variety of a language distinguished by pronunciation, grammar, or vocabulary, especially a variety of speech differing from the standard literary language or speech pattern of the culture in which it exists.


Early Language Impairment

A failure to thrive in the development of one’s native language; a significant and prolonged deviation from age related language milestones; a reduced capacity in expressive or receptive language or both. “Specific language impairment” is the preferred term if development thrives in cognitive, affective, and social spheres and is impaired only for language.

Emergent Literacy

A range of activities and behaviors related to written language including those undertaken by very young children who depend on the cooperation of others and/or on creative play to deal with the material; reading and writing related activities and behaviors that change over time culminating in conventional literacy during middle childhood.

Emergent Reading

Reading related activities and behaviors, especially those prior to a child’s achieving the capacity to read fluently and conventionally; This includes (a) the attentive presence of a child while another reads for the child’s benefit, (b) the execution of acts with materials related to reading, e.g., page turning, letter naming, and (c) the pretense of processing and/or comprehending written language.

Emergent Writing

Writing related activities and behaviors, especially those prior to a child’s achieving the capacity to write fluently and conventionally; includes (a) the attentive presence of a child while another writes according to the child’s intentions, (b) the execution of acts with materials related to writing, e.g., scribbling letter-like forms, inventive spelling, and (c) the pretense of producing text to be read.

Expressive Language Capacity

Accuracy, fluency, and appropriateness in producing language.


Fluency

Achieving speed and accuracy in recognizing words and comprehending connected text, and coordinating the two.

Frustration Level/Reading

Level at which a child’s reading skills break down: fluency disappears, errors in word recognition are numerous, comprehension is faulty, recall is sketchy, and signs of emotional tension and discomfort become evident.

Suggested Citation:"Glossary." National Research Council. 1999. Starting Out Right: A Guide to Promoting Children's Reading Success. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6014.
×

Intervention

A supplementary program to address an identified or anticipated reading problem. Remedial interventions are aimed at school children who have been identified as achieving below expected levels. Preventive interventions are aimed at (younger) children who are thought to be at risk for developing reading problems.

Invented Spelling

A child’s spelling system based on letter names and/or sounds. It is also called inventive spelling, creative spelling, estimated spelling.


Language Milestones

A significant point in language development, such as saying one’s first word or beginning to combine words.

Literacy

This includes reading, writing, and the creative and analytical acts involved in producing and comprehending texts.


Morphology

The aspects of language structure related to the ways words are formed from prefixes, roots and suffixes (e.g., “mis-spell-ing”) and are related to each other.


Onset

The consonant(s) at the start of a syllable; the remainder of the syllable is called its “rime.” In “swift,” “sw” is the onset and “ift” is the rime.

Orthographic Awareness

Knowing that letters and diacritics represent the spoken language; attending to predictable and frequent spelling patterns. (A diacritic is a mark, such as the cedilla of façade or the acute accents of résumé, added to a letter to indicate a special phonetic value or distinguish words that are otherwise graphically identical.)

Orthography

A method of representing spoken language by letters and diacritical marks, spelling.


Phonemes

In oral language, the small units that combine to form syllables and words (e.g., the phonemes in the standard English words “bit” and “hit” are the same except for the first segment and the word “hint” has one more phoneme that the word “hit.”).

Phoneme Segmentation

To break words into phonemes.

Phonemic Awareness

A special kind of “phonological awareness” (defined below) involving the smallest units of oral language, phonemes.

Suggested Citation:"Glossary." National Research Council. 1999. Starting Out Right: A Guide to Promoting Children's Reading Success. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6014.
×

Phonics

Instructional practices that emphasize how spellings are related to speech sounds in systematic ways; letter-sound correspondences.

Phonological Awareness

Knowing that oral language has structure that is separate from meaning; attending to the sub-lexical structure (i.e., structure within words) of oral language, e.g., “beg” has one syllable and three phonemes, “egg” has one syllable and two phonemes.

Phonology

The aspects of language structure related to the distinctive features for the representation, production, and reception of sounds of language.


Readiness

To be prepared for instruction.

Reading Problem

Low achievement in reading or some key component of reading.

Receptive Language Capacity

Accuracy, fluency, and appropriateness in understanding language.

Reciprocal Teaching

A teaching process in which teachers and students take turns asking and answering questions in order to comprehend text and to learn comprehension strategies.

Rime

The portion of a syllable that follows the “onset” (see above).

Risk Factor

A characteristic of a child or of the child’s home, family, or community, such that variation in that characteristic is associated with variation in reading achievement. (These correlations need not be causal, just informative about the early identification of children at risk.)


Speech Discrimination

Accurate identification of the distinctions in the range and characteristics of sounds used in oral languages.

Syllable

A unit of spoken language. In English, a syllable can consist of a vowel sound alone or a vowel sound with one or more consonant sounds preceding and following.

Syntax

The aspects of language structure related to the ways in which words are put together to form phrases, clauses, and sentences.


Word Attack

An aspect of reading instruction that includes intentional strategies for learning to decode, sight read, and recognize written words.

Suggested Citation:"Glossary." National Research Council. 1999. Starting Out Right: A Guide to Promoting Children's Reading Success. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6014.
×

Word Decoding

An aspect of reading that involves deriving a pronunciation for a printed sequence of letters based on knowledge of spelling-sound correspondences.

Word Recognition

In reading, identifying as known words those that have been decoded or processed as whole words and associating the known words with their meaning and use in language being read.

Suggested Citation:"Glossary." National Research Council. 1999. Starting Out Right: A Guide to Promoting Children's Reading Success. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6014.
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Suggested Citation:"Glossary." National Research Council. 1999. Starting Out Right: A Guide to Promoting Children's Reading Success. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6014.
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Suggested Citation:"Glossary." National Research Council. 1999. Starting Out Right: A Guide to Promoting Children's Reading Success. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6014.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Glossary." National Research Council. 1999. Starting Out Right: A Guide to Promoting Children's Reading Success. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6014.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Glossary." National Research Council. 1999. Starting Out Right: A Guide to Promoting Children's Reading Success. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6014.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Glossary." National Research Council. 1999. Starting Out Right: A Guide to Promoting Children's Reading Success. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6014.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Glossary." National Research Council. 1999. Starting Out Right: A Guide to Promoting Children's Reading Success. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6014.
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A devastatingly large number of people in America cannot read as well as they need for success in life. With literacy problems plaguing as many as four in ten children in America, this book discusses how best to help children succeed in reading. This book identifies the most important questions and explores the authoritative answers on the topic of how children can grow into readers, including:

  • What are the key elements all children need in order to become good readers?
  • What can parents and caregivers provide all children so that they are prepared for reading instruction by the time that they get to school?
  • What concepts about language and literacy should be included in beginning reading instruction?
  • How can we prevent reading difficulties starting with infants and into the early grades?
  • What to ask school boards, principals, elected officials, and other policy makers who make decisions regarding early reading instruction.

You'll find out how to help youngsters build word recognition, avoid comprehension problems, and more--with checklists of specific accomplishments to be expected at different ages: for very young children, for kindergarten students, and for first, second, and third grade students. Included are 55 activities to do with children to help them become successful readers, a list of recommended children's books, and a guide to CD-ROMs and websites.

Great strides have been made recently toward identifying the best ways to teach children to read. Starting Out Right provides a wealth of knowledge based on a summary of extensive research. It is a "must read" for specialists in primary education as well as parents, pediatricians, child care providers, tutors, literacy advocates, policy makers, and teachers.

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