[Spelling Progress Bulletin, Summer 1983, p1]
[Also on this page: Book revews, Reading: Orthography and Word Perception; Word Perception is More Than Phonics.

Announcement of Meeting.

Special Interest Group, Reading: Orthography and Word Perception International Reading Assoc., 28th An. Convention, May 3rd 1983, at Anaheim, Ca, Marriott Hotel, 1:00 P.M. to 3:45 P.M.

Program Organizer Dr. Emmett, A. Betts, Prof. Emeritus, Univ. of Miami, Winter Haven, Fla.
Chair Person Dr. Lou Burmeister, The Univ. of Texas at El Person Paso.
Topic: Word Perception: Orthographic and Psychological Bases (Demonstration with children).
Panel: Dr. Walter B. Barbe, Editor-in-Chief, Zaner-Bloser, Inc.
Dr. Emmett. A. Betts, Univ. of Miami.
Dr. Katherine P. Betts, Florida Southern College.
Dr. Richard Culyer, Coker College.
Dr. Patrick Groff, San Diego State Univ.
Dr. Betty Roe, Tennessee Tech. Univ.
Dr. Robert Trammell, Florida Atlantic Univ.
Topic:Visual and Auditory Readiness for Reading: Informal Assessment and Training Techniques (Demonstration with children).
Participants:  All participants are Vision Specialists from the State of California.
Beth Ballinger, O.D, Newport Beach, Calif.
G. N. Getman, O.D., Irvine, CA.
Homer Hendrickson, O.D., Temple City, CA.
Richard Hopping, O.D., Pres. So. Calif College of Optometry, Fullerton, CA.
Philip Mishenko, O.D., La Habra Heights, CA.
Charles W. McQuarrie, O.D., Lancaster, CA.
Richard Skay, O.D., Pomay, CA.


[Spelling Progress Bulletin, Summer 1983, p1]
[Newell Tune: see Newsletters, Anthology, Bulletins.]

Book Review by Newell W. Tune.

Morrison, Marvin, Editor. Word City - a new language tool. Pub. by Pilot Light, P.O. Box 305, Stone Mountain, GA. 30086. $4.95, pp. 353. 1981-2

Teachers often say, "Look it up in the dictionary," but how can you look it up if you don't have any idea of how to start its spelling? Quite a few words start with a silent letter or a vowel (which may be unreliable) but the pupil has heard the pronunciation, so that is an important clue for finding the word. This dictionary is based on the principle that the consonant letters in words are generally reliable as to pronunciation. Hence this dictionary lists words according to their consonant sounds. A pronunciation key is provided at the bottom of each page covering the consonant sounds on that page. By reading the key to consonant symbols and paying close attention to how sounds relate to their symbols, you will quickly learn the knack of finding a word's address - the name for these consonant abbreviations. This idea was borrowed from the Phoenician syllabary and modified to our use.

The author, while studying phonetics at Tocca Falls College and Dallas Theological Seminary, saw the need for this type of student aid.


[Spelling Progress Bulletin, Summer 1983, p20]
[Newell Tune: see Newsletters, Anthology, Bulletins.]

Book Review, by Newell W. Tune.

Haas, Wm. Editor. Standard Languages - Spoken and Written, 1982, Barnes & Noble, Totowa, N.J. 07511, 200 pp. 18.50.

This book consists of a series of lectures delivered at Manchester Univ. by different professors between 1968 and 1977, under the auspices of the Mont Follick Trust Fund. They are all about similar subjects: Linguistic Standards and the Process of Standardization. The editor - author of the introduction, presents the topic which is the very root of the nature of languages - the varying degrees of vernaculars, dialects, and a standard of pronunciation for each language.

Daniel Jones, whose book on pronunciation went thru many editions, disclaimed that his book showed how people should pronounce words, but rather the ways they do pronounce English words. He called the speech of Southern British people Received Pronunciation, and recorded it because he found it to be easily understood in English-speaking countries. He did not say RP was a standard of English pronunciation but evidently he had made a significant contribution to the evaluation of a standard English speech.

Vachek tells of a functionalist approach to English orthography. Allerton tells of how dialects can be accomodated to orthography. Mitchell says that it is "more than a matter of 'writing with the learned, pronouncing with the vulgar'."


[Spelling Progress Bulletin, Summer 1983, p2]
[Katherine Betts: see Bulletins.]

Reading: Orthography and Word Perception,

by Katherine P. Betts, Ph.D.

A Report of this Special Interest Group of the International Reading Assoc. at Chicago, April, 1982.

During the 27th Annual Convention of the IRA in Chicago, April 29, 1982, the second meeting of the Special Interest Group "Reading: Orthography and Word Perception" was held to continue the activities of previously co-sponsored sessions by the Phonemic Spelling Council. The theme - "Reading Levels, Word Perception, Comprehension" was highlighted by a demonstration with children conducted by Dr. Emmett A. Betts, organizer of this group. The children's participation was coordinated by Dr. Josephine Wolfe and supported by their teachers. The panelists - Dr. Paul Berg, Joseph Frown, Dr. Lou Burmeister, Dr. Walter Barbe, Dr. Earl Cheek, Dr. H. Ward Ewalt, Jr., Dr. George Mason, Dr. Betty Roe, Dr. Robert Trammel - served as resource persons to respond to questions addressed by the confrees during and after the demonstration.

Newell W. Tune, Editor, Spelling Progress Bulletin, contributed to the wealth of materials for the conferees by publishing a special issue, Summer 1982, containing Position Papers and articles by group members and panelists available to subscribers. He also provided reprints of questions to stimulate discussion. Conferees were given copies of the informal reading inventory used in the demonstration and reports for the previous year.

Dr. Katherine P. Betts was the general chairperson for the session. Dr. Jack Haynes chaired the business meeting, and Dr. Earl Cheek was the chairperson for the nominating committee. Officers elected for the 1982-83 academic year are: Dr. Katherine P. Betts, president; Dr. Walter Barbe, 1st vice-president; Dr. Betty Roe, 2nd vice-president; Dr. Jack Haynes, secretary/treasurer.

Five children - four girls, one boy (three, 4th grade; one, 5th grade; one, 6th grade) - participated in Dr. Emmett Betts' demonstration, facilitating the illustrating and development of several points:

1. Children at any age or grade level represent a substantial range of reading achievement. For example, in the intermediate grades, they include those with word perception needs at preprimer levels and those able to read encyclopedias (approximately 12th grade levels) about a topic that interests them. All children, including superior readers, have instructional needs.

2. Orthography, word perception, comprehension, and motivation are inextricably related. To begin with, we must recognize what motivates children, what does and can interest them. We do not motivate them, but we can capture their motivations. Next, word-perception needs interfere with comprehension. Having one mind, the reader cannot attend both to analyzing the words and to understanding what he reads; word perception skills are used automatically, freeing the mind for cognitive processing (meaning). Orthographic factors (e.g., consistently spelled vs. irregularly spelled words, sat-ran-cat vs. you-of-one) must be considered in assessing and teaching word-perception skills.

3. Although the IRI (informal reading inventory) has been used for several decades, much confusion and controversy regarding criteria for reading levels and their validity remain. The rationale for the IRI springs from that of mastery learning - that word-perception and other learning needs at lower-reading levels compound difficulties for the child at higher-reading levels. In other words, symptoms of reading difficulties (behaviors) override statistical criteria. Next, the instructional-reading level is temporary. The purpose of each directed-reading activity is to raise pupil achievement from the instructional (teaching) reading level to the independent (free) reading level. Thus, the pupil progresses at each succeeding readability level.

Dr. Betts did not have time for a comprehensive assessment of all children. He did, however, demonstrate with all of them informal techniques for assessment of visual efficiency - convergence, rotation, phorias. This facet of the demonstration elicited many questions from the conferees for our consultant on vision, Dr. H. Ward Ewalt, Jr.

Dr. Betts explored in some depth word-perception needs revealed by the children and demonstrated techniques for teaching both word-perception and comprehension. He illustrated a concept-formation task with a superior student (with no apparent word-perception problems) who then became engrossed in reading the World Book Encyclopedia for more information about the subject.

Children's word-perception errors were preceded by a loss of syntactic cues; e.g., meaningless intonation. Errors were classified into three types:
1. Irregularly spelled words (e.g., one)
2. Function words (i.e., words having a syntactic rather than referential meanings)
3. Polysyllables.
Questions from the conferees, in addition to the assessment of visual efficiency, were addressed to visual training, English phonemes, techniques for instructing pupils with learning disabilities, and the requests for another demonstration at the next convention in Anaheim, May 2-6, 1983.

Five chairpersons of committees have been appointed to date:
Dr. H. Ward Ewalt, Jr., Vision.
Dr. Robert Trammell, Linguistics; Editor the ROWP Newsletter.
Newell W. Tune, Editor, Spelling Progress Bulletin.
Dr. Betty Roe, Research.
Dr. Josephine Wolfe, Organization.

[Spelling Progress Bulletin, Summer 1983, pp2,3]
[Emmett Betts: see Anthology, Bulletins.]

Word Perception is More Than Phonics,

by Emmett A. Betts. Ph.D.*

* Winter Haven, FL.

The teacher who helps a pupil discover the relationship between the sounds of speech and the letters and punctuation used to represent that speech is developing phonics skills.

When you help a pupil discover how words function in a sentence (grammatical meaning), you bring phonics to a higher level of effectiveness.

When pupils are helped to relate words to relevant dictionary meanings, phonics is elevated to word perception skills.

Word-perception skills, one hallmark of today's reading instruction, need to be developed at all grade levels.

Reading: A Thinking Process.

Basically, reading is a thinking process resulting in comprehension and formation of concepts. Word perception is a constellation of skills that serve this ultimate purpose.

Word-perception skills need to be developed so that pupils can practice these skills automatically during the reading act. This automatic use of skills frees the pupil's mind for thinking about what he reads.

Primacy of Speech.

Speech is basic to both word perception and comprehension. When you base reading instruction on the primacy of the spoken word, you consider how a word or phrase is said before you teach the letter groupings representing that word.

The intonation or melody of speech is also important in word perception and in comprehension. For example, the spoken word can is stressed in a can of apples, but it is unstressed (and shortened to /kən/) in I can do it.

In reading, the process (word perception and interpretation of intonation) and product (comprehension) can't be separated.

Phonics is One Part of Word Perception.

Achievement in reading has come to be more than the use of phonics skills alone. In the past, phonics was taught during a separate period. Today, the development of word-perception skills in all reading-study activities is replacing isolated phonics instruction.

Phonics skills still have a very important place in reading instruction. Viewed in proper perspective as part of word perception, phonics becomes an integral part of the total act of teaching reading.

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