The Role of Self-Monitoring in Initial Word-Recognition Learning

  • Robert M. Schwartz
  • Patricia A. Gallant


How to teach initial word recognition is one of the most contentious and hotly debated issues in literacy education. The debate has been particularly damaging for children who struggle the most with initial literacy learning. The more complex view of initial word-recognition learning presented in this chapter renders the debate moot and leads to more productive approaches to instruction.


Word Recognition Phonemic Awareness Literacy Learning Oral Reading Emergent Literacy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



see alsoSee information sources.

see alsoSee information sources.

Elkonin boxes

A teaching procedure used to build phonemic awareness, sound-to-letter knowledge and orthographic awareness. .

see alsoClay (2005b) for a description of the procedure and how it changes as the child’s knowledge increases.

Emergent literacy

A theory of literacy learning that recognises the role of children’s early approximations of reading and writing behaviours in the learning and development of conventional reading abilities. This approach is often contrasted with a readiness approach that specifies knowledge a child should have prior to the start of formal literacy instruction.

Information sources

These sources of information include visual information coming from the text and all the information from prior experience stored in the child’s brain. This stored information includes what the child has learned about orthographic and phonological relationships and recently constructed semantic and syntactic information from reading prior portions of the text. These information sources are also referred to as cues or clues in this chapter.

Microgenetic method

A research method used in development psychology to study how learning occurs. Siegler (2006) describes the method, studies using this method and major findings about children’s learning resulting from the application of this method.


A set of strategic activities that a reader engages in to evaluate word-recognition attempts. The information sources a reader uses to evaluate these attempts gradually changes over the transition from emergent to beginning reading. As word-recognition processing becomes more automatic, attention shifts to monitoring comprehension decisions.


A set of strategic activities that a reader engages in to make word-recognition attempts. The information sources a reader uses to generate attempts gradually changes over the transition from emergent to beginning reading. Searching includes processing activity to generate initial attempts as well as to make additional attempts when monitoring processes suggest that the initial attempt may not be correct.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oakland UniversityRochesterUSA
  2. 2.University of Michigan-FlintFlintUSA

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