The Role of Technology in Supporting the Learning and Teaching of Word Study Skills

By Kara-Soteriou, Julia | New England Reading Association Journal, January 1, 2008 | Go to article overview

The Role of Technology in Supporting the Learning and Teaching of Word Study Skills


Kara-Soteriou, Julia, New England Reading Association Journal


The number of websites and computer software programs has increased dramatically over the last two decades, with hundreds of software titles and new websites being developed and released every year. As of July 2006, for example, there were more than 439 million web hosts (Zakon, 2006) ready to share information with Internet users. Among the new titles of computer software and websites are many that are developed specifically for educational purposes, targeting teachers of different grade levels and subject areas. Fortunately, many teachers have recognized the potential of Internet and other computer technologies to enrich classroom instruction and advance student learning and have integrated them in their instruction (Karchmer, Mallette, Kara-Soteriou, &. Leu, 2005).

Word study is one of the areas of literacy instruction that, I believe, has benefited tremendously with the introduction of computer technologies in the classroom and at home. Many software titles are available to parents, for example, whose objective is to offer early literacy experiences to their young children and familiarize them with letters, sounds, and the spelling of short words. These same software titles, as well as others that are offered as supplementary materials to a school's published reading program, are also marketed to teachers of students in the primary grades or older students with poor word study skills. Likewise, parents and teachers have access to a substantial number of websites that provide a wealth of information, resources, and activities for word study instruction and learning. From phonological awareness, to word identification, spelling, and vocabulary, these websites offer their users a lot of options, which, if used wisely, have the potential to enhance instruction and foster learning.

In my teaching of college level literacy classes, I aim to familiarize my preservice teachers with computer technologies that could support the development of word study skills, if teachers use these technologies within their instructional frameworks. That is why when I introduce my preservice teachers to certain websites on word study, I do so within Internet-based instructional frameworks, such as the Internet Workshop (Leu, 2002) which includes specific directions on how to navigate the website and what links to explore more than others. I follow a similar approach when I ask my college students to investigate the advantages and disadvantages of software that claim to promote word study skills. I do so because I believe that it is more likely for Internet and computer software to support the development of word study skills if teachers use these technologies as part of student instruction that addresses specific learning needs with the use of specific learning activities.

In this column I share information about websites and computer software that can be used to enhance instruction and learning in word study. While I find all these word study resources to be useful to a classroom teacher, I do not claim that these resources are the best a teacher can use. How useful a technology resource is should be judged by the extent it helps a teacher meet her instructional objectives and address her students' learning needs. I conclude this column with five questions/guidelines teachers could find handy in the process of deciding what word study software and/or Internet resource to choose among the so many that are available to them.

How to Choose Technology Resources for Word Study

As mentioned earlier, the number of Internet and other computer technologies has grown exponentially. As a result, it is a laborious and time-consuming task for teachers to choose websites and software that will best support their instruction. Below are some guidelines that, I believe, will make the teachers' task easier. I present the guidelines in the form of questions that encourage teachers to reflect on the integration of technology with word study instruction. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Role of Technology in Supporting the Learning and Teaching of Word Study Skills
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.