Instructor-Generated Orthographic Assessments in Intensive English Classes

Instructor-Generated Orthographic Assessments in Intensive English Classes

Abdulsamad Y. Humaidan (Southern Illinois University, USA) and Katherine I. Martin (Southern Illinois University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6986-2.ch011


Orthographic knowledge, or knowledge of spellings, word forms, and conventions of print, is a crucial skill underpinning a range of literacy skills. Despite its importance, orthographic knowledge receives relatively little attention in second language contexts, including in adult English as a second language (ESL) programs. This chapter provides an overview of orthographic knowledge, its development in first language (L1), and what is understood about orthography in second language (L2). The chapter then reports detailed results of a qualitative interview study in which current and former ESL instructors shared their experiences, practices, and perspectives on orthographic instruction and assessment, including the development and use of instructor-generated assessments. The chapter concludes with a summary of results and suggestions for ESL orthographic instruction and assessment.
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Orthographic Knowledge And Its Developent In L1

Orthographic knowledge is “information that is stored in memory that tells us how to represent spoken language in written form” (Apel, 2011, p. 592). It consists of mentally-stored word forms or visual images of words, plus the rules that govern how speech is represented in writing (Apel, 2011; Berninger, 1994; Koda, 1997). It includes knowledge of both feed-forward (letter to sound, or reading) and feedback (sound to letter, or spelling) correspondences (see Birch, 2015; Cronnell, 1978; Ehri, 1997; Ziegler, Stone, & Jacobs, 1997), not only for simple letter-sound mappings, but also larger spelling patterns (e.g., Birch, 2015; Ehri, 1997; Goswami, 1998; Treiman, Mullennix, Bijeljac-Babic, & Richmond-Welty, 1995). It also includes print conventions such as the direction of text, spacing, punctuation, and capitalization (e.g., Flanigan, 2007; Invernizzi, 2002; Morris, Bloodgood, Lomax, & Perney, 2003).

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