Speaker Series

Building the Brain for Reading & Writing: Using Speech to Print, Connectionist Word Study Instruction by Jan Wasowicz, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Thursday, September 28, 2017, 6:00 - 9:30 p.m.
Casa Loma Room, University of Redlands Campus
Event is open to the public, free of charge.
0.3 ASHA CEUs (introductory level, professional area) are available for $50.00 (check only, paid on site. Completion certificates will be given out at the end of the event; automatic recording of CEUs will go to participants who are enrolled in the ASHA CE Registry).

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Word study instruction gets students thinking about, talking about, and using knowledge and skill with the sounds, letters, and meanings of words to read and write. When done properly, word study instruction has proven to increase students’ decoding, reading fluency, reading comprehension, vocabulary, spelling, and writing performance. In this workshop, you’ll increase your understanding of spelling and word-level reading as language-based skills that draw upon phonological awareness, orthographic knowledge, vocabulary knowledge and semantic awareness, morphological awareness and knowledge, and long-term storage and retrieval of words. You’ll become familiar with key differences in brain activity during reading in normal vs. impaired readers. You’ll also understand the differences between traditional phonics/print to speech, developmental stage models of instruction vs. current speech to print, connectionist models of word study. With this knowledge, you’ll understand the importance of using a speech-to-print connectionist and meta-cognitive approach to word study to improve students’ written language skills. Through demonstrations and hands-on practice, you’ll explore and hone your skill in the core areas of word study that must be explicitly taught to your students. In the end, you’ll have specific methods and activities that you can immediately use with your students.

Participants in this course will learn to:

  1. Identify fundamental principles of speech to print word study instruction and connectionist models of word study and contrast these with print to speech, developmental stage models.
  2. Cite examples of current behavioral and brain-imaging research that support speech to print, connectionist models of word study instruction.
  3. Describe examples of multi-linguistic, speech to print word study methods and activities; describe examples of meta-linguistic word study methods and activities.

Dr. Jan Wasowicz has more than 35 years of experience as a language, literacy, and learning specialist. She has worked with students who have languagebased reading, writing, and spelling problems in a variety of educational settings, including public schools, Head Start programs, and private practice. Dr. Wasowicz is frequently invited to speak about best practices in literacy assessment and instruction and has conducted countless professional development workshops in addition to teaching graduate and undergraduate courses while holding faculty positions at Northwestern University, Elmhurst College, Rush–Presbyterian–St. Luke’s Medical Center, and Governors State University. She has authored publications appearing in scholarly journals, is the inventor of the original Earobics® software, is co-author of SPELL-2 and SPELL-Links to Reading & Writing, and is lead moderator of the SPELLTalk professional listserv. Dr. Wasowicz is a certified speech-language pathologist and holds elementary and secondary classroom-teaching certificates with speech-language endorsement in Illinois. She is the founder of Learning By Design, Inc., publisher of the SPELL-2 assessment software and the SPELLLinks to Reading & Writing word study curriculum, and she maintains a private practice in Evanston, IL.

Contact: Barbara T. Conboy, Ph.D., Dept. of Communication Sciences & Disorders; barbara_conboy@redlands.edu