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ERIC Number: EJ1013110
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Apr
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1081-3004
Putting Two and Two Together: Middle School Students' Morphological Problem-Solving Strategies for Unknown Words
Pacheco, Mark B.; Goodwin, Amanda P.
Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, v56 n7 p541-553 Apr 2013
Adolescents often use root word and affix knowledge to figure out unknown words. Anglin (1993) found that younger readers favor the Part-to-Whole strategy, and Tyler and Nagy (1989) confirmed the importance of root-word knowledge for middle school students. This study seeks to understand the different strategies middle school readers use so that teachers can leverage these approaches in future morphological instruction. The authors interviewed 20 seventh- and eighth-grade students from two middle schools in the Southeastern United States. Males and females were represented evenly across sites. They chose these two schools because each served populations of either proficient or struggling readers and could showcase the problem-solving strategies used by these different groups of readers. Study data were collected through 20-minute interviews led by the authors of this article. Students were asked to problem solve 12 morphologically complex words, with follow-up questions about their problem-solving processes. Because they focused on how students might use morphology beyond orthography and phonology, when students mispronounced a word, the interviewer gave them the correct pronunciation. Based on their findings, the authors discuss strategies and make instructional recommendations to support students in determining word meanings. The article concludes that although only part of comprehensive vocabulary instruction, morphological problem-solving strategies can be powerful tools in a student's literacy tool belt. Their analysis suggests students use sophisticated strategies when trying to figure out the meanings of morphologically complex words. (Contains 6 figures and 3 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Grade 7; Grade 8
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A