This session has been completed.

Using Structured Word Inquiry (SWI) Matrices to Support Classroom Instruction

Registration Closed
Facilitator(s): Amber Cahill
Date:October 20, 2020
Time:4:00 pm – 6:00 pm MDT
$25.00 (CAD)
Location: Virtual
Course code: 21-LI-026

Target Audience

Teachers Grades K-9; Instructional Coaches; District Leaders/Consultants

Also Recommended For

School-based Administrators

About this learning opportunity

Please note: the webinar information (link and how to access the webinar) will be emailed to you 2 hours prior to the webinar start time. If you have not received the webinar link by then, please email 

Structured Word Inquiry (SWI) is a term coined by Dr. Peter Bowers, and defined as a process of scientifically investigating the writing system by considering a word's history and structure. There are 4 guiding questions that can help us to better understand English spelling, and see that it is not as weird, or difficult as we are often led to believe. In fact, English spelling is perfectly ordered and logical. Once we understand the features of our writing system, words that are usually thought of as "exceptions" begin to make sense. SWI is gaining traction as more research becomes available, but sometimes teachers are left wondering how best to implement this learning with their students. In these sessions, Amber Cahill  aims to help teachers discover how SWI is appropriate to be used with a wide variety of students, from the  youngest learners to more advanced students, and in a wide variety of contexts. All of Amber’s SWI sessions are appropriate for teachers who are just beginning their journey into SWI, and those who already have some experience with SWI.

Would you like to deepen your students' conceptual understanding of democracy, or fractions, or solutes? Structured Word Inquiry (SWI) isn't just for Language Arts teachers. Tools like the word matrix are great for supporting the content areas of your curriculum. Learn how to make a matrix that can support your vocabulary instruction in Social Studies, Math, and Science (and Language Arts, too).

You Might Also Be Interested In:

Oct 06, 2020: Bringing Structured Word Inquiry (SWI) into the Classroom
Nov 03, 2020: Using Structured Word Inquiry (SWI) for Intervention, Early Learning, and English Language Learners
Nov 24, 2020: A Deeper Understanding of Structured Word Inquiry (SWI)


This session addresses the LQS competencies

  • #2: Modeling Commitment to Professional Learning
  • #4: Leading a Learning Community

This session addresses the TQS competencies

  • #2: Engaging in Career-Long Learning
  • #3: Demonstrating a Professional Body of Knowledge

This learning opportunity is being subsidized through funding from Alberta Education.

About the facilitator(s)

Amber Cahill is a teacher with the Edmonton Public School Board. She has 15 years experience as a classroom teacher and has completed a Master's Degree in Special Education with a focus on oral, reading and written language disabilities.  She has been incorporating Structured Word Inquiry (SWI) into her teaching practice for the past 4 years. Amber is excited to have the opportunity to share SWI with teachers who are looking for ways to help struggling readers and writers.