Encyclopedia of Language and Literacy Development
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Glossary (A - Z)
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White matter
Located in the inner part of the brain; one of the two major tissue components of the brain which contains the axons (i.e., wiring) that brain signals use to travel on between distant, but connected, brain regions.
Whole language
An approach to reading instruction in which children are encouraged to learn to read words through multiple exposures to certain words and their reflection upon the texts that they have read (e.g., Smith, 2004). Direct instruction of phonics is not a primary focus of this approach.
Williams syndrome
A rare genetic disorder characterized by developmental delay, learning disorders, unusual appearance of the face, a sociable personality, and delayed speech.
Word decoding
The ability to translate written words into speech sounds (i.e., sounding out a word).
Word identification accuracy
The ability to correctly recognize and label words.
Working memory
Refers to the memory system used to store and actively manipulate temporary information for use; can also be called short-term memory.
Written language skills
Includes knowledge of letter names and sounds and orthographic processing.