Encyclopedia of Language and Literacy Development
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A random selection of people to one group or another.
In grammar, another term for auxiliary; a helping verb to further specify meaning or tense (e.g., in English, the type of movement in the verb and the path in the satellites is stated as in "she runs into the kitchen").
Refers to the support that is given to students in order to facilitate learning. This support may occur as immediate, specific feedback that a teacher offers during student practice (e.g., giving encouragement or cues, breaking the problem down into smaller steps, using a graphic organizer, or providing an example). Scaffolding may be embedded in the features of the instructional design (starting with simpler skills and building progressively to more difficult skills). 
Refers to an organized outline or knowledge structure that interrelates all of one's knowledge on a specific topic. Prior knowledge and experiences are organized into schemas, and this knowledge influences how the reader comprehends written text.
An informal measurement tool designed to identify those students who are prepared for grade level reading instruction and those who may need extra help in reading.
Computer based speech recognition technology used for dictation. 
Second person
The grammatical form of "you", singular or plural; reference to a participant in an event.
Second-order factor
A product of factor analysis, which is a statistical method used to describe variability.
Secondary articulation
Refers to two co-articulated consonants which are not of the same manner (e.g., if you feel your lips while saying the words 'kite' and 'quite' you will find that although the initial sounds in the words are the same, in the second word the first sound has lip rounding in anticipation of the next sound in the word).

Separating the individual phonemes, or sounds, of a word into discrete units (e.g., 'cat' can be segmented into k-a-t).
This is a meta-cognitive process in which students actively think about how they are learning or understanding the material, activities, or reading.
Self-regulation functions
Involves complex behaviour involving self-generated plans and flexible adaptation to the changing demands of a task.
Self-selected participants
Consists of participants becoming part of a study because they volunteer when asked or in response to an advertisement.†
Semantic processing
The method by which word meaning is processed.
Semantic-phonetic compounds
A character that consists of a semantic radical and a phonetic radical. The semantic radical is a pictograph which provides information about the meaning of the character, and the phonetic radical provides information about the pronunciation (e.g., Chinese has many characters that are semantic-phonetic compounds).
Refers to an individual's knowledge of word meanings.
Refers to a group of languages of Middle Eastern origin (e.g., Hebrew and Arabic); may also be used to describe cultures of Middle Eastern origin.
A secondary consequence or result to an initial disorder.
The ability to order objects; may refer to appropriate ordering of sounds or letters.
Sequential processing
An ability to take in, store, process and use information in an orderly way.
Serial learning
Learning to make a series of responses in exact order.
Shared reading
An instructional approach in which a teacher reads a story aloud to either a whole class or a small group of students, explicitly teaching them proficient reading behaviours and allowing each student visual access to the text.
Short-term memory
A system for temporarily storing and managing information.
Sight word efficiency
The ability to recognize previously unseen words quickly.
Sight words
Words that are recognized immediately and automatically. These words may be phonetically regular (e.g., "if", "this", "and") or irregular (e.g., "would", "said", "from", "have").
Signal-to-noise ratio
The measured difference between a signal (e.g., speech) and noise (e.g., classroom noise) in the environment.
Situated cognition
A learning theory referring to the understanding that knowledge is learned within the context of how the skill would be used in real life. 
Social cognition
Refers to the brain's ability to code and store information regarding interactions with other humans. Frequently used to refer to differing social abilities that are found in social processing disorders such as autism.
Social constructivist theory
A theory which argues that people gain knowledge and meaning through their experiences and interactions with others.
Sociocultural influences
A combination of social and cultural factors.
Sociodemographic factors
Relates to a person's socio-economic status, sex, gender, race, occupation, educational achievement, income, employment or location.
Socioeconomic status
Relates a person’s status to others based on their income, education and occupation.
Socioeconomic strata
A means of dividing people from a certain population (e.g., a city) into groups based on social and economic standing.
A person who studies the way an aspect of society effects language and the way it is used.
Sound deviation
Sounds which are different from typically produced sounds, sometimes referred to as an error in production (e.g., producing a sound such as /p/ using the back of the mouth instead of the front so 'pup' becomes 'kuk').
Spatial reasoning
Refers to the ability to specify the location of an object and its relative position to another object, and to use and interpret spatial representations (e.g., maps; Ginsburg, Cannon, Eisenband, & Pappas, 2006).
Spatial sense
An intuitive feel for shape and space. It involves the concepts of traditional geometry, including an ability to recognize, visualize, represent, and transform geometric shapes.
Specific language impairment (SLI)
A disorder in which both language that is expressed and understood is impaired. It is unrelated to other disorders and often stands alone, meaning that only the individual's capacity for language is affected.
A method of visually representing voiced speech sounds, using time, frequency and energy.
Spectrographic analysis
Displays visual information about the acoustic characteristics of speech.
Speech perception
The process by which sounds are perceived, processed, analysed and interpreted.
Speech perception analysis
The process by which speech sounds are interpreted to represent meaningful information.
Speech perception intervention
When children are taught how to listen to a new speech sound and how to say the new sound.
Speech sample
A collection of verbal conversation selected as a subset of "regular speech."
Speeded naming
The ability to recall formal titles at a rapid pace.
Spontaneous speech
A sample of speech which has not been planned or does not follow a specified model.
Standard deviation (SD)
A measure of the variability or dispersion of a population, a data set, or a probability distribution. A low standard deviation indicates that the data points tend to be very close to the same value (the mean), while high standard deviation indicates that the data are spread out over a large range of values.
Standard English
The version of English accepted as the norm, including its grammar, spelling and vocabulary, and showing none of the regional or other variations that are considered by some to be ungrammatical, or non-standard English.
Standard error of the measurement
Represents the range of possible performances that a single individual could have on a standardized test (if the test was taken repeatedly); takes into account the variability in performance that could occur on a standardized test.
Standard score
Used to compare a childís performance on a standardized test to other children of the same age or grade level.
A form of measurement that is governed by strict rules of use so that results can be broadly compared.
Standardized tests
Tests designed so that the test items and the administration procedures are the same each time the test is administered. The standardization serves two purposes. It assures that the test and its administration remain consistent, so as to be completed in the manner that has been shown to be effective, and it permits the comparison of the performance of one group of test takers with another.
The ability to produce a target sound following a verbal model of the sound from a speech language pathologist.
A stop sound is created by stopping the airflow through the vocal tract for an instant, with the lips or the tongue (e.g., sounds that stop the airflow /p/, /t/, /k/, /b/, /d/, /g/). Also referred to as plosives.
Stress boundaries
Points at which it is permissible in a language to place accentuated emphasis on a syllable (e.g., saying 'EMphasis' vs. 'emPHAsis').
Characteristic of a language where the stressed syllables are said at approximately regular intervals.
Stressed and unstressed syllables
Syllables perceived to be longer or more emphasized are known as stressed syllables, while unstressed syllables are perceived as shorter or contain less of an emphasis.
Stroke patterns
The rhythm of combined characters which act as a basis for spelling units (e.g., in Chinese).
Structural equation modeling
In statistics, a procedure used to estimate causal relationships.
Subcortical regions
The regions of the brain that are below cortex level; i.e., within the lobes of the brain.
Refers to the ability to judge the number of a small number of objects in a set without actively counting.
Sublexical procedure
A routine used as a reading strategy to determine the pronunciation of words by associating single letters or groups of letters together in a specific sequence.
Subtractive bilingualism
Occurs when children acquire the dominant language of the community in a learning setting in which they often lose or fail to develop proficiency in their home language.
Superior parietal lobe
A region in the brain in the upper part of the parietal lobe.
Superior temporal gyrus (STG)
The ridge in the temporal lobe in which the primary auditory cortex and Wernicke's area (for speech processing) are located.
Superior temporal sulcus (STS)
The groove separating the superior temporal gyrus from the middle temporal gyrus; is involved in gaze perception and recognition of movement.
Supplementary motor region
A region of the brain responsible for the planning and coordination of complex movements such as those requiring two hands.
Supramarginal gyrus
A fold or ridge on the surface of the brain involved in spatial orientation and word representation.
Attributes of phonemes that are unable to be analysed as individual units (e.g., prosody, stress, tone).
A set of written symbols which represent syllables.
In a language, the time spent on each syllable is equal, meaning that there are no stressed or unstressed syllables.
Symbolic communication
Behaviours that involve the use of symbols (e.g., objects, speech, sign language) to communicate a message.
Symbolic number skills
The ability to recognize numerical symbols as holding meaning for mathematical value.
Concerning the rules governing how words are put together to form sentences.
Syntactic awareness
Refers to a personís understanding of grammar and word order in sentences.
Syntactic classes
Also known as a lexical category or part of speech; e.g., noun, verb, adverb.
Syntactic development
The progression during which a child acquires the rules of syntax which are applied to the child's native language.
Syntactic phenotype
Observable characteristics of DNA as they relate to syntactic development, meaning the child's acquisition of syntax and observable application of these rules.
Syntactic processing
The ability of the brain to assign syntactic categories (i.e., nouns, verbs, etc.) and to process this information in order to derive greater meaning for the whole sentence.
Syntactic relationships
The association between words is dependent on syntactic category; meaning for the greater phrase is determined by word order and the existing meanings of the words in relation to one another.
Syntactic structure
The composition of words dependent on conventions and rules of the language employed to create meaningful sentences.
Syntactical (organization)
See syntactic structure.
The conventions and rules for assembling words into meaningful sentences; syntax varies across languages.
Synthetic phonics
Involves teaching students the sounds of individual letters or letter combinations in isolation before they are introduced to reading. Students learn letter sounds and then "synthesize" or blend the sounds together to pronounce words.
Systematic phonics
Involves teaching students direct letter-sound relationships in an organized, logical sequence. This type of instruction allows students to apply their knowledge of letter-sound relationships to reading as they learn it.
Systematic review
A form of review with explicit criteria for the inclusion and exclusion of studies found through exhaustive searches of the databases.