Reading Longer Words: Insights Into Multisyllabic Word Reading Students with persistent reading difficulties are often especially challenged by multisyllabic words; they tend to have neither a systematic approach for reading these words nor the confidence to persevere (Archer, Gleason, & Vachon, 2003; Carlisle & Katz, 2006; Moats, 1998). This challenge is magnified by the fact that the vast ... Article
Article  |   August 01, 2017
Reading Longer Words: Insights Into Multisyllabic Word Reading
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lindsay Heggie
    Faculty of Education, Queen's University at Kingston, Kingston, Ontario Canada
  • Lesly Wade-Woolley
    Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
  • Disclosures
    Disclosures ×
  • Financial: Lindsay Heggie has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Lesly Wade-Woolley has no relevant financial interests to disclose.
    Financial: Lindsay Heggie has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Lesly Wade-Woolley has no relevant financial interests to disclose.×
  • Nonfinancial: Lindsay Heggie has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose. Lesly Wade-Woolley has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose
    Nonfinancial: Lindsay Heggie has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose. Lesly Wade-Woolley has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose×
Article Information
Language Disorders / Reading & Writing Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Part 2
Article   |   August 01, 2017
Reading Longer Words: Insights Into Multisyllabic Word Reading
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, August 2017, Vol. 2, 86-94. doi:10.1044/persp2.SIG1.86
History: Received February 15, 2017 , Revised May 2, 2017 , Accepted May 24, 2017
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, August 2017, Vol. 2, 86-94. doi:10.1044/persp2.SIG1.86
History: Received February 15, 2017; Revised May 2, 2017; Accepted May 24, 2017

Students with persistent reading difficulties are often especially challenged by multisyllabic words; they tend to have neither a systematic approach for reading these words nor the confidence to persevere (Archer, Gleason, & Vachon, 2003; Carlisle & Katz, 2006; Moats, 1998). This challenge is magnified by the fact that the vast majority of English words are multisyllabic and constitute an increasingly large proportion of the words in elementary school texts beginning as early as grade 3 (Hiebert, Martin, & Menon, 2005; Kerns et al., 2016). Multisyllabic words are more difficult to read simply because they are long, posing challenges for working memory capacity. In addition, syllable boundaries, word stress, vowel pronunciation ambiguities, less predictable grapheme-phoneme correspondences, and morphological complexity all contribute to long words' difficulty. Research suggests that explicit instruction in both syllabification and morphological knowledge improve poor readers' multisyllabic word reading accuracy; several examples of instructional programs involving one or both of these elements are provided.

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