Why is Morphological Knowledge and Instruction Important for Adult Education Learners?

Winter 2024


Basic Literacy & Numeracy

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Author(s): Elizabeth L. Tighe and Gal Kaldes, Georgia State University

Morphological knowledge refers to an individual’s understanding of the structure and meaning of words based on their familiarity with morphemes (i.e., word parts, including prefixes, suffixes, and bases). This knowledge is crucial to developing various aspects of language and literacy to successfully function in 21st century education and workplace settings, including vocabulary, spelling, phonological awareness, word reading, and reading comprehension. This research digest provides a brief review on why morphological knowledge is important to literacy for adult education learners. Next, it briefly describes the literature on adult morphological and etymological instruction and provide examples for how to integrate them in the classroom with adult education learners. It concludes with future directions and resources for research and educational practice.

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