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Morphemic Analysis as a Vocabulary Approach: Science or Art?

On 10/3/2014, my colleague Phil Sloan and I had the honor of co-presenting to The 2014 TYCA Midwest conference in Grand Rapids, MI. Our presentation was entitled Reconsidering Our Pedagogical Foundations: Sonic Literacy and Morphemic Analysis.

My half of the presentation was a cross-disciplinary work entitled Morphemic Analysis as a Vocabulary Approach: Science or Art? In the presentation, I drew on research from formal linguistics to argue that applying morphemic analysis to authentic texts is as much art as science. I also analyzed whether textbooks for developmental reading suggest to students that morphemic analysis should be applied artfully, or whether it is applied with a scientific precision.

I’ve posted the eight-page handout for that here:

Handout for Morphemic Analysis as a Vocabulary Approach: Science or Art? (PDF Document)

If you want to know even more about using morphemic analysis in your reading classroom, I see my literature review and annotated bibliography on the topic.

Morphological Analysis as a Vocabulary Strategy in Post-Secondary Reading: Literature Review and Annotated Bibliography

Just as a grammar governs the ordering of words in sentences and phrases, another sort of grammar governs the ways in which morphemes combine to form words.

How helpful is this morphological grammar to reading teachers? Developmental reading textbooks often teach students to infer word meaning from the parts of words, but what’s the pedagogical grounding for this? I recently wrote a literature review and annotated bibliography on exactly that topic:

Click here to see Morphological Analysis as a Vocabulary Strategy in Post-Secondary Reading: Literature Review and Annotated Bibliography (PDF Document)