At this May 2010, CRL LEARNS event Linnea Ehri gave a presentation titled, "Helping Students Learn Vocabulary Words: The Contribution of Spelling." Vocabulary learning is central to reading ability and academic achievement. Vocabulary researchers and educators have viewed its essence as a process of associating the pronunciations and meanings of words in memory, and they have paid little attention to the contribution of spelling. Dr. Ehri reviewed theory and evidence showing that once children become literate, they retain the spellings of words bonded to their pronunciations and meanings in memory when they learn to read words. She presented two studies that address whether exposing second- and fifth-graders to the spellings of vocabulary words enhances their memory for pronunciations and meanings of the words and whether those with better spelling ability benefit more. Also, she mentioned a study examining whether having students read new vocabulary words aloud helps them learn the words better than reading the words silently. Implications for enhancing vocabulary learning and instruction were explained.

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