Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

Event Details

Can I Help You Read and Write? Scaffolding Strategies to Improve Decoding and Spelling Skills

Date: February 21, 2014

Time: 7:30AM to 2:30PM

Location: Room 241, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center/One Magnolia Circle Building

Registration Closed

It's All About Language Expert Workshop Series

Can I Help You Read and Write? Scaffolding Strategies to Improve Decoding and Spelling Skills

Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Location: Room 241 Vanderbilt Kennedy Center/One Magnolia Circle Building

For location and maps, click here.

Sponsored by the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center, with support from the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and the Leadership in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Training Program

Workshop Info:

A critical initial step in learning to read and write involves learning to decode printed words and to generate spellings of words. Without these abilities, it is not possible for early elementary school children to achieve initial reading and writing fluency. For children who struggle in learning to read and for those who are identified as reading disabled, decoding and spelling are areas of great weakness. The goal of this workshop is to enhance educators’ knowledge and skills in addressing these areas of weakness. The workshop content includes opportunities to enhance content knowledge (intimately understanding the links across phonemes, morphemes, and graphemes) and teaching strategies (carefully aligning scaffolding to child successes and failures so as to advance child reading and writing proficiency). Workshop activities include lecture, hands-on activities, and careful exploration of child case examples.

The workshop will be held in Room 241 of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center/One Magnolia Circle Building (110 Magnolia Circle).

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Describe how approximately 40 phonemes in the English language map to approximately 240 graphemes
  • Describe five strategies to facilitate children’s decoding and spelling
  • Use a developmental spelling measure with real and nonsense words to draw conclusions about a child’s phonemic awareness
  • Use an individual reading inventory to summarize a child’s knowledge of phoneme-grapheme and morpheme-grapheme correspondences for word decoding
  • Use a spelling inventory to summarize a child’s knowledge of phoneme-grapheme and morpheme-grapheme correspondences for spelling

Speaker Info:

C. Melanie Schuele, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is an Associate Professor of Hearing & Speech Sciences at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. She obtained her master’s degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Texas at Austin, her Ph.D. from the University of Kansas’s Child Language Doctoral Program, and postdoctoral training at Arizona State University. Prior to her Ph.D., Dr. Schuele provided speech-language services in public schools and early intervention. Currently, she is the project director for two U.S. Department of Education personnel preparation grants, preparing Ph.D. students to conduct language and literacy research and preparing master’s students for careers as school speech-language pathologists with specialization in language and literacy. She conducts research in complex syntax and early literacy acquisition. Along with Naomi D. Murphy, Dr. Schuele is the co-author of Intensive Phonological Awareness program, to be published by Brookes Publishing Company. She is the editor for Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in School and was elected ASHA Fellow 2007.

G. Nicole Davis, Ph.D., is a Research Assistant Professor of Radiology & Radiological Sciences and Special Education at Vanderbilt University. She earned her master’s degree in Speech Sciences and doctorates in Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences and Neuroscience from the University of Colorado at Boulder. After earning her doctorates, Dr. Davis received a postdoctoral fellow position in the Biobehavioral Intervention Training Program (BITP) at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center. This was a unique multidisciplinary program, in which trainees were provided with cross-disciplinary experiences in research laboratories and clinical settings. She is a past Associate Director of the Education and Brain Research Laboratory. Dr. Davis is an affiliated faculty member of the Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Sciences and a member of the John F. Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development at Vanderbilt University. Her primary role is as Educational Consultant to the Vanderbilt Accelerated Academic Achievement Research Center, which is studying instructional programs in reading comprehension for students with the most severe learning disabilities in grades 3 to 5.

CE Disclosure:


Melanie Schuele is the co-owner of Intensive Phonological Awareness Program and is/will be compensated with profits from sales and royalties.


Melanie Schuele serves as editor of Language, Speech, and Hearing Services and serves on ASHA’s Publications Board. She receives grant funding in the form of salary support received from the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Educational Sciences, Maternal Child Health Bureau, and NIH/NICHD. Nikki Davis serves on the board of the Tennessee International Dyslexia Association.


  • 7:30-8:00 a.m.: Registration
  • 8:00-9:15 a.m.: Building Blocks: Phonemes, Morphemes, and Graphemes
  • 9:15-9:45 a.m.: Case Examples: A Quick Look at Assessment
  • 9:45-10:00 a.m.: Break
  • 10:00-11:45 a.m. Decoding and Spelling Strategies
  • 11:45-a.m.-12:00 p.m.: Break
  • 12:00-1:00 p.m.: Small Group Discussion over lunch: Case study
  • 1:00-2:30 p.m.: Decoding and Spelling Strategies

Purpose of Course:

This workshop is part of the All About Language Expert Workshops funded in part by the U.S. Department of Education Personnel Preparation Grant (H325K090304). The purpose of these workshops is to (a) provide the training grant students with professional development in language and literacy and (b) build community capacity in language and literacy among professional educators.

Continuing Education Credits:

Workshop participants are eligible to receive 5.5 clock CE hours for participation. All participants will receive a certificate of full attendance.


$80 for professionals
$30 for students
Free for Personnel Prep and LEND training grant students (Note: if you are in this category please select pay later to skip credit card entry.)

Registration fees will cover lunch and breakfast and conference materials. The Vanderbilt LEND Program will co-sponsor and provide teleconference support so that previous grant trainees can attend.


Parking will be at Central Garage or Villages of Vanderbilt with parking pass mailed to you along with a map of campus.

Here is a link to a parking map.
The building indicating the Star - Free Valet Parking
The building indicating the #1 - Vanderbilt Kennedy Center/One Magnolia Circle Building.
For other information about maps and parking information, visit the VKC Web site.


This workshop is sponsored by the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center, with support from the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and the Leadership in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Training Program.

For more information, contact the Language Lab or call (615) 936-5256.