Making students “word conscious”: does teaching morphology improve reading age for disadvantaged students?


Students will struggle to succeed academically, socially or financially if they do not become proficient readers. Hirsch estimates students need 80,000 words to be fully functioning readers at 16. How will disadvantaged students develop this vocabulary if they aren’t getting it from their home environments or reading habits? Is there even enough curriculum time to achieve this? In this session I will reflect on 30 years of research literature on reading interventions and my findings from a small scale intervention at a London comprehensive; I will argue that explicitly teaching morphology can help close the attainment gap for disadvantaged students.

Across two days, over 250 sessions will take place at the Festival. A full timetable of sessions will be available from late May 2019. Until this point we will only be announcing the day(s) sessions will be taking place.