Module 2 Lesson 2

A Second Look at Orthography in the Classroom – Research and Implications

Research and Data

In this section, you will be able to:

  • Identify specific grapheme/morpheme groups that are most troublesome for heritage learners
  • Identify orthographic issues where heritage students need support

Please have the following two documents with you as you progress through this lesson.

In the previous section, we explored how orthographic issues we see in our classroom are a reflection of these same issues in society. We also viewed the multi-dimensionality of orthography as a social, cultural, and literary component. These are elements that must be considered in order to inform our understanding of such issues.

What does the research say about these issues regarding our heritage and monolingual students? In the following video, Dr. Bermejo explores this question.

Video: Research on Core Issues in Spanish Orthography

There is more research concerning monolingual students and orthography. In the relation to our heritage students, we can consider the orthographic epidemic we see in society as well as their exposure to literacy.

In the following video segment, Dr. Bermejo presents the results of the research where orthographic issues can be categorized into a manageable number of phonemes/graphemes.

Video: Research Data

Video: Research Conclusions

We can work in these critical areas where our students need more support.

Implications for Teaching

In this section you will be able to:

  • Identify domain-specific competencies that are activated in orthographic processing
  • Discuss the need for student agency in orthographic issues

In the previous section, we discussed how orthographic issues can be categorized and understood into specific groups. We know what our students bring and we have identified specific issues, now how do we translate this into our teaching? In this section, we will explore the different areas or domains of teaching that must be considered with orthography.

Video: Implication for Instruction

In the following video segment, Dr. Bermejo discusses some ways to foster engagement and agency in our students when it comes to orthographic issues.

Video: Agency in Students

There is a need for our students to know that in order to further develop their writing skills and especially in their orthography, they need to take ownership of their growth. Ultimately, we desire for our students to gain the ability to continue to evaluate their progress outside of the classroom. The intentionality as well as opportunities for reflection will be critical so that students will begin to actively notice these issues.

Video: Resources

Link to Cuadernillo.

Review Questions:

Module 2 Conclusions

Heritage speakers of Spanish are prone to struggle with orthographic issues which consist of accurate use of accents, correct identification of grapheme/morphemes, as well as other issues. Lesson 1 explored the greater scope of these orthographic issues that are ingrained into public society. As an example, issues with spelling is an issue that is evident across many cultures. Orthographic issues serve as a social component as it can directly affect social reputation, as well as a form of identity and literacy.

There is more research concerning orthography in the area of second language acquisition but heritage language research is gradually emerging. Critical areas in orthographic issues can be reduced to a number of grapheme and morpheme inconsistencies. There continues to be issues in accentuation as many educators predicted. Students are to be encouraged to be actively noticing spelling and structures to aid in visualization.

We then explored the teaching implications based on the research which include the activation of various domain-specific competencies in learning. When it comes to learning, we are to foster student agency in relation to awareness, reflection, and visualization of orthographic issues.

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