Term of Art: Substitution

“substitution: A reading error made when an individual replaces the written word with a different word based on structural or semantic cues.

A structural substitution is when the reader guesses a word based on its visual structure. For example, a reader reads the word stipulate as stimulate because they look similar.

A semantic substitution occurs when a reader replaces a word that means the same thing. For example, a reader might add ‘Then they went to her house’ as ‘Then they went to her place,’ replacing house with place.

Substitution is common in the oral reading of all students and by itself should not be considered as evidence of a reading disability. Tracking reading errors through error analysis can help determine reading patterns and problems.”

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

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