Structured Word Inquiry (SWI): Introductory Workshop
back to all events
Structured Word Inquiry (SWI): Introductory Workshop
Presented by: Peter Bowers
Located at: Executive Royal Hotel
2828-23 Street NE, Calgary, AB
About the Session


Structured Word Inquiry (SWI) is an approach to literacy instruction in which teachers and students investigate English spelling system by looking at the interrelationship of morphology (bases and affixes), etymology (history), and phonology (grapheme-phoneme correspondences). In SWI explicit instruction of how phonology works in English spelling is essential. However, embedding that instruction in the context of words related in structure, meaning and history allows students and teachers to make sense of the suprising logic of English spelling. In SWI, words typically thought of as irregular like (does), (one), (love), (business), (rough) and countless others are not only understandable, but targeted to make sense of the system. The spelling-meaning focus also means that SWI instruction is used to build understanding of vocabulary and understanding of content area for students of any age or ability.

This session includes an introduction to:

  • basic underlying principles of how the structure of English spelling system (interrelation of morphology, etymology and phonology)
  • the "4 Questions of Structured Word Inquiry" to guide spelling investigations at any grade level and to understand the interrelation of morphology, etymology and phonology that drives English spelling
  • introduction to the basic tools of SWI including matrices, word sums, etymological reference etc.


About the Presenter(s)

Peter Bowers , Ph.D., is a teacher, researcher, author, and founder of WordWorks Literacy Centre. He taught Grades 3-6 for 10 years before earning his Ph.D. from the Faculty of Education at Queen's University. His research and practical work with schools and educational groups has been pivotal in transforming how teachers, tutors, and students around the world understand and study English spelling. Instead of putting up with a frustrating system full of exceptions,the structured word inquiry (SWI) community understands that investigating the spelling-meaning connections in words is not only rich literacy instruction - it is a rich context for leveraging learning about any subject. His teacher resource book, Teaching How the Written Word Works expands on the lessons of his vocabulary intervention (Bowers & Kirby, 2010) which found generative vocabulary learning for the experimental group, and introduced the term "structured word inquiry". His workshops have taken him to Europe, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and North America.



Fee: $60.00

Includes: lunch

Pete Bowers 1
Pete Bowers 2