Implications from Morphology for Teaching Reading and L2

Implications from Morphology
for Teaching Reading and L2
[[[un] [do]V]V [able]]ADJ
Able to be reversed
[[un] [[do]V [able]]ADJ]ADJ
Not able to be done
Reading and morphology
• Word recognition view of reading
– Structural analysis to learn new words
• Sociopsycholinguistic view of reading
– Structural analysis to learn about
– Learning new words may be an end
Structural analysis: Knowledge of
word parts and categories
• Not all words have multiple parts (mosquito)
• Some morphemes are no longer recognizable (chauvinist)
• Where to divide the word is not always clear (cog-nate 
co+gnatus; cog-ni-tion  co+gnoscere); i.e.
morphology, phonology and orthography don’t coincide
• Morphemes may have multiple meanings/functions
(un+do vs. un+happy; also ad-, re-, in-)
• Phonological & orthographic changes (co+habit; col+late;
• Words have different historical backgrounds (cohune 
• Parts to whole is more difficult than whole to parts
Vocabulary – learned or
• Learning view: Preteaching vocabulary
– Content predetermined by teacher
– Out of context (Why can’t you say condolences?)
– Decoding: X = Y
• Acquisition view: Building background
– Build concepts, not just definition/label; “language
and reality are dynamically interconnected” (p. 197);
– Build common knowledge – “frontloading”
– Build “word consciousness” (Miss Alaineus)
• Vocabulary size studies suggest children acquire
vocabulary at the rate of about 5000 words per year.
What about older L2 learners?
Academic language
• Cognitively demanding/unfamiliar topics
• Less contextual support (visual, gestures,
background knowledge)
• Learners have less exposure; exclusive to school
• Not i+1, so acquisition doesn’t occur
• Academic language register comes from different
historical sources than conversational register
• Content-specific (protagonist) vs. general
academic (therefore)
Developing academic language
• Make input comprehensible
– Adapt text
– Build background knowledge
– Graphic organizers to represent key concepts
• Build on background
– Language – identify cognates; patterns
• pre+dict
– Content
• Linguistic [text analysis]