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Research Report

Teaching Children to Read Irregular Words: A Comparison of Three Instructional Methods

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Children learning to read in English must learn to read words with varying degrees of grapheme-phoneme correspondence regularity, but there is very little research comparing methods of instruction for words with less predictable or irregular spellings. In this study, the researchers compared three methods of instruction for beginning readers in kindergarten — Look and Say (LSay), Look and Spell (LSpell), and mispronunciation correction (MPC). Findings indicate that active processing of a word’s orthography is crucial for learning irregular words. These results have implications for initial reading instruction. Further research is required to determine whether differences between LSpell and MPC conditions emerge after longer periods of training.


Colenbrander, D., Kohnen, S., Beyersmann, E., Robidoux, S., Wegener, S., Arrow, T., Nation, K., & Castles, A. (2022). Teaching children to read irregular words: A comparison of three instructional methods. Scientific Studies of Reading,

Related topics

Phonics and Decoding