Structured literacy teaches oral and written language skills in an explicit, systematic manner. Structured literacy includes:
Phoneme awareness. Students learn to be aware of the individual speech sounds (phonemes) that make up words This is a critical foundation for learning to read and spell. A phoneme is the smallest unit of speech that can change the meaning of a word. For example, the different vowel phonemes in big, bag, bug, beg, bog create different words. Although linguists do not agree on the list of phonemes in English, it has approximately 43 phonemes: 25 consonants and 18 vowels.
Sound-Symbol. Students learn that phonemes are represented with graphemes. Graphemes are letters (a, s, t, etc.) and letter combinations (th, ng, oa, ew, igh, etc.) that represent phonemes in print. This system is often referred to as the phonics code, the alphabetic code, or the written symbol system.
Orthography. Students learn through explicit instruction and practice to understand and remember patterns and conventions of letter use in the writing system. For example, some spellings for consonant sounds, such as –ck, –tch, and –dge, are used only after short vowels. Some letters, like v and j, cannot be used at the ends of words. Only some letters are doubled. These conventions can all be taught as part of the print system or orthography.
Students learn the six basic types of syllables. It is a convention that almost every written syllable in English has a vowel grapheme. Structured Literacy programs teach six basic types of written syllables: closed (com, mand), open (me, no), vowel-consonant-e (take, plete), vowel team (vow, mean), vowel-r combinations (car, port), and the final consonant-le pattern (lit-tle, hum-ble). Recognizing written syllable patterns helps students divide longer words into readable chunks and helps in understanding spelling conventions such as doubling of consonant letters (little vs. title).
Morphology. Students learn that a morpheme is the smallest unit of meaning in language. Morphemes include prefixes, roots, base words, and suffixes. Recognizing morphemes helps students figure out and remember the meanings of new words.
Syntax. Students learn about syntax. Syntax is the system for ordering words in sentences so that meaning can be communicated. The study of syntax includes understanding parts of speech and conventions of grammar and word use in sentences. Lessons teach the formulation of simple, compound, and complex sentences, and work with both phrases and clauses in sentence construction.
Semantics. Semantics is the aspect of language concerned with meaning. Meaning is conveyed both by single words and by phrases and sentences.
Fisher Hill’s Structured Literacy Program has six levels: Each level has four workbooks to help Spanish-speaking teens and adults learn to read and write in English. The four workbooks for each level are:
Reading and Spelling
The first book to use at each level is the Reading and Spelling workbook. The program uses a very systematic, explicit approach in teaching the 43 speech sounds used in the English language. After completing the Reading and Spelling workbook, students are ready to practice reading by using the Reading Comprehesnion workbook. They can also practice writing by using the Writing Composition workbook. The Vocabulary workbook reviews the vocabulary at each level. After completing the six levels, students will have an excellent foundation in English literacy.
On our website at www.Fisher-Hill.com under Teacher Resources there are placement tests to determine on which level a student should begin. After clicking on Teacher Resources, click on Reading and Spelling and scroll down until you reach the Placement Tests. There are instructions on how to use the placement tests.
Students like our workbooks because the pace is reasonable, print is large, directions are in Spanish, and there are lots of pictures, but the content is for adults. Teachers like our books because everything is ready to go! There’s an answer key at the the end of each lesson and an English translation of the Spanish directions at the end of each book. This structured literacy program can be used with any student who wants to learn how to read and spell in English.
Fisher Hill’s Structured Literacy Program is 24 workbooks.
Visit our website at www.Fisher-Hill.com to learn more about our Structured Literacy Program. If you have any questions about our workbooks or how to navigate our website, please email us at [email protected] or call us at 1-888-407-1187.