Tutorial  |   October 2011
What Is Orthographic Knowledge?
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Kenn Apel
    Florida State University, Tallahassee
  • Correspondence to Kenn Apel: kenn.apel@cci.fsu.edu
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: Stacy Wagovich
    Associate Editor: Stacy Wagovich×
Development / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Normal Language Processing / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Tutorial
Tutorial   |   October 2011
What Is Orthographic Knowledge?
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools October 2011, Vol.42, 592-603. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2011/10-0085)
History: Accepted 18 Feb 2011 , Received 08 Oct 2010
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools October 2011, Vol.42, 592-603. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2011/10-0085)
History: Accepted 18 Feb 2011 , Received 08 Oct 2010

Purpose: Orthographic knowledge refers to the information that is stored in memory that tells us how to represent spoken language in written form. Unfortunately, terms used to talk about orthographic knowledge and the two individual components that contribute to it have varied widely in the literature. Thus, consensus on the term, its meaning, and the tasks used to assess orthographic knowledge is needed.

Method: In this tutorial, the problems and inconsistencies in terms and tasks used to define and measure orthographic knowledge are reviewed, and suggestions for using specific terms are offered. Additionally, orthographic knowledge development, considerations of its role in literacy development, and its independence from other factors that contribute to literacy development are discussed. Finally, ideas for overcoming current obstacles in discussions of orthographic knowledge and suggestions for future research endeavors are offered.

Conclusion: With consensus on what orthographic knowledge is and how it should be measured, practitioners should be better prepared for assessing orthographic knowledge and implementing instructional practices accordingly.

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