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Chapter 7: Irregular Word Reading

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1 Chapter 7: Irregular Word Reading
DO SAID OF do was to said of WAS By Cheryl Fuller

IRREGULAR WORDS: Not all words can be read by sounding them out. Students have to learn to identify these words as wholes, or automatically by sight. Permanently irregular words contain one or more sound/spellings that are not pronounced conventionally and are unique to that word or a few words. Temporarily irregular words become decodable words as students are taught and learn all the sound/spellings in a word.

3 HIGH-FREQUENCY WORDS: Only 100 words account for approximately 50% of words in text used in schools and colleges. 25% are permanently irregular *They appear often in printed text. *They are crucial for comprehension. *They include function words (articles, prepositions, pronouns, conjunctions) and are the glue that holds sentences together.

4 CONNECTING TO THEORY From the following list of most frequent words in school and college text, identify five words that could be considered permanently irregular. the of and to a in for you he on as are is that it was from had I they with be his at or

5 ANSWER KEY Depending on the program’s phonics scope &
sequence, the words in orange could be considered permanently irregular. the of and to a in for you he on as are is that it was from had I they with be his at or

Select irregular words for instruction from upcoming stories, passages, or other connected texts that students will be reading. SEQUENCE OF INTRODUCTION (Carnine et al. (2006): -Word Frequency – Introduce high-frequency irregular words before low-frequency irregular words. -Word Similarity – Pairs of words such as of-off, there- their, were-where should be introduced at different times allowing the needed time for a student to master the first word of the pair. -Word Relationship – When irregular words belong to the same word family (containing similar letter patterns, or phonograms) they should be introduced in sets.

RESEARCH FINDINGS: O’Connor, 2007 – The rewards for learning (high-frequency) words thoroughly and reliably are smoother, less effortful reading and perhaps a greater inclination to read independently (which in turn may also increase a student’s store of instantly recognized words). Pikulski, …if developing readers cannot instantly identify (high-frequency) words, they are unlikely to become fluent because of the widespread presence of these words. Blevins, …children don’t learn “irregular” words as easily or quickly as they do “regular “ words … Therefore, children need to be taught “irregular” high-frequency words with explicit instruction.

Introduce irregular words after students can read regular CVC words at a rate of about one word every 3 seconds. -This strengthens students’ reliance on identifying a word by sounding it out rather than by identifying it as a whole. (Carnine et al. 2006) Student performance should determine the right number of irregular words to introduce at one time. -It is important not to overwhelm children with too rapid an introduction of irregular words. (Carnine et al. 2006)

9 When to Assess Irregular Words?
Teachers should frequently assess students’ mastery of high-frequency regular and irregular words to inform classroom instruction. Each type of word should be monitored separately. Simply ask students to read aloud from a set of previously introduced irregular words. Also keep a record of any irregular words students have problems with while reading connected text.

SOUND-OUT STRATEGY: Students examine all the letters in a word and then point out the irregularity in one or more of the word’s sound/spelling patterns. -Introduce Irregular Words - Display the word. Point to the word. Say the word. Ask what the word is. Sound out the word using each letter’s most common sound. “That is how we sound out the word, but this is the way we say it.” Pronounce the word correctly. -Practice Irregular Words - Using magnetic letters and dry- erase boards with markers, have students practice spelling the word many different ways. Students should identify and read the word, touching each letter in the word while spelling it outloud. Students should write the word big, small, in uppercase letters, in lowercase letters, and finally by memory.

11 -Word Reading Practice for Automaticity - Using a word recognition grid, have students practice reading irregular words sweeping across each row and then down each column. was do said

12 -Apply to Decodable Text - Provide students with connected reading materials in which most of the words are wholly decodable and the majority of the remaining words are previously taught irregular words. -Corrective Feedback – For an incorrect pronunciation of a word, stop immediately and model the correct pronunciation. For errors, such as saying “wăăăsss” for “wuz”, point to the ear and say, “We actually say /wuz/.

13 SPELL-OUT STRATEGY: Explain that irregular words cannot be sounded out in the regular way. -Introduce Irregular Words – The teacher displays the word, reads the word, and uses the word in a sentence. Then the students read, spell, read, spell, read the word. Quickly sweep your finger under the whole word when asking the student to read the word and point to each letter as the student spells the word. -Practice Irregular Words – Use same procedure as Sound- Out Strategy -Word Reading Practice for Automaticity – Use same procedure as Sound-Out Strategy. -Apply to Decodable Text – Use the same procedure as Sound-Out Strategy. -Corrective Feedback – If a student pronounces a word incorrectly, simply tell them the correct pronunciation.

14 Conclusion Decoding is a highly reliable strategy for identifying regular words, but not all words are regular, or can be read by sounding them out. Beginning readers do not learn irregular words as quickly or accurately as regular words. Irregular words need to be systematically introduced in a reasonable order, practiced, and then cumulatively reviewed. Information provided in this presentation is referenced from Chapter 7 of the Teaching Reading Sourcebook by Honig, Diamond, & Gutlohn.

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