Term of Art: Orthographic Awareness

orthographic awareness: An individual’s command of the sound-letter relationship,. As children learn to write, their approaches to spelling change as they become more aware of sounds and letters. In the beginning, children often spell very simply (such as ‘bt’ for ‘boat’). As they get older they may apply conventions of spelling but still misspell (‘bote’ for ‘boat’).

With more exposure to written language, as they become more proficient readers and learn specific spelling patterns, young writers begin to apply more sophisticated spelling patterns (‘boat’ for ‘boat’). Individuals with learning disabilities who have underdeveloped orthographic awareness often have problems with spelling.”

Excerpted from: Turkington, Carol, and Joseph R. Harris, PhD. The Encyclopedia of Learning Disabilities. New York: Facts on File, 2006.

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