As a condition for using the Lexercise teletherapy platform, clinicians (e.g., clinical educators, speech-language pathologists, psychologist) must pass one of the Lexercise qualifying exams.
Our interest is to be sure all Lexercise Clinicians have a common understanding of structured literacy terms, concepts and methodologies employed in the Lexercise platform so that they can both use the software efficiently as well as provide smooth and effective direct instruction. (See the International Dyslexia Association's (IDA) Knowledge & Practice Standards.) There are two paths to Lexercise Clinician qualification:
1) Take the Lexercise Qualification Test with a score of 80% or higher. The test has 72 multiple choice questions and a time limit of 45 minutes. If you don't get at least 80% you can take the online courses and pass the final exam in Course 2.
2) Take the online Lexercise professional development courses and pass the end-of-course final exam in Course 2 with a score of 80 or higher. (Note that Course 1 or its test-out exam is a prerequisite for taking Course 2.)
In both the Lexercise Qualification Exam and the final exams for the two Lexercise online courses, the focus is on language concepts (especially word-structure concepts) that are essential knowledge for using any structured literacy methodology and that have been proven to be most difficult to master (Moats, 2014):
- the distinction between speech sounds (phonemes) and the letters or graphemes that represent them;
- the ability to detect the identity of phonemes in words;
- knowledge of orthographic patterns in English (e.g., explaining the functions of word-final <e> or why certain words are spelled as they are);
- the identification of specific spelling units such as digraphs, blends, vowel teams, and silent-letter spellings;
- the conventions of syllable division and syllable spelling;
- the meaning units of words (e.g., bases and affixes);
- the differentiation of phrases and clauses, as well as the basic parts of speech (noun, verb, adjective, etc.).
Below is a study guide for clinicians who want to take the Lexercise Qualification Test (option 1).
STUDY GUIDE FOR THE LEXERCISE QUALIFICATION TEST
The questions on this exam are multiple choice, drawn from the following topics:
- phonemic awareness
- orthography (spelling patterns)
- syntax (parts of speech & clauses vs. phrases)
- semantics (word meaning)
- basic principles of clinical intervention with struggling readers and writers
- The Simple View of Reading (This is the theoretical basis for the Lexercise approach)
- a multi-component, connectionist approach to intervention (and how it relates to what has historically been referred to as Orton-Gillingham methodology)
The questions are focused mainly on terminology and definitions. If you can define, differentiate and apply the terms below you should pass the exam with flying colors! Links to resources are included if you need to refresh your understanding of any concepts or terms.
Note that you can use your computer's "find" function (Ctrl +F) to search for specific terms in the Glossary, like "consonant blend" or "consonant digraph".
- phonemic awareness
- What is a phoneme? How is a phoneme different from a phone?
- Differentiate the two categories of human speech sounds:
- Isolate and sequence phones (abstract speech sounds) in specific words.
- Phonetic descriptions of specific phones (See Glossary for each term below)
- morphology (for Structured Word Inquiry)
- Prefix- .... See Glossary
- Base (or root)
- Suffix-..... See Glossary
- Inflectional morpheme (aka grammatical morpheme)
- There are only a limited number in English (usually specified as 8).
- Derivational morpheme
- There are a huge and indeterminate number of derivational morphemes in English. Derivational morphemes function differently than inflectional morphemes, and it's important to understand how.
- orthography (spelling patterns)
- Vowel graphemes
- The Six Syllable Types in English (Identify the "rime" segment of a syllable and name its type as an aid to spelling the syllable's vowel.)
- The Vowel Team Syllable Type (This syllable type requires particular attention!)
- Consonant graphemes
- Issues and "slippery spots" in English orthographic phonology:
- <-x> as in <tax> is associated with 2 phones: /k/ + /s/
- <qu-> as in <queen> is associated with 2 phones: /k/ + /w/
- Contrast <qu-> as in <queen>with <-que> as in <unique>.
- Consider the <u> = /w/ in words like <penguin>.
- <-ng> as in <sang> is associated with 1 phone: /ŋ/
- <-n> as in <sank> is associated with 1 phone: /ŋ/
- Explain the various patterns relating to double consonants (e.g., Explain the double consonants in <saddle>, <matted>, <muff>)
- The letter <e> has a number of orthographic functions in English
- Tell how spelling of homophones can be explained, like:
- <ruff> and <rough>
- to, two, too
- syntax (The focus is identifying the "parts-of-speech" and clauses vs. phrases.)
- Syntax Tutorial
- English Syntax
- Basic Sentence Patterns
- Major Syntactic Forms
- English Verbs: Brief Tutorial
- basic principles of evaluation and intervention with struggling readers and writers
- The Simple View of Reading (and why it's important)
- What is a connectionist approach to reading science (and why is that important?)
- What is an Orton-Gillingham (aka structured literacy) approach?
- The National Reading Panel (NRP) meta analysis (2000)
- Five Components of Reading Instruction identified in the NRP meta analysis
- National Institutes of Health summary of the NRP's findings
Justice, L.M. and Ezell, H.K. (2016). The Syntax Handbook: Everything You Learned About Syntax But Forgot, 2nd Edition. Austin: Pro-Ed.
Moats, L. (2000). Speech to Print: Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading & Spelling, Ed. 1. Baltimore: Brookes Publishing Co.
Moats, L. (2010). Speech to Print: Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading & Spelling, Ed. 2. Baltimore: Brookes Publishing Co.
Moats, L. (2014). What teachers don't know and why they aren't learning it: addressing the need for content and pedagogy in teacher education. Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties, Vol. 19 (2), 75-91.
Seidenberg, M. (2017). Language at the Speed of Sight. New York: Basic Books.