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Spelling Development Students’ spellings are not just random mistakes. There is an underlying logic to students’ errors that change over time, moving from.

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Presentation on theme: "Spelling Development Students’ spellings are not just random mistakes. There is an underlying logic to students’ errors that change over time, moving from."— Presentation transcript:

1 Spelling Development Students’ spellings are not just random mistakes. There is an underlying logic to students’ errors that change over time, moving from using but confusing elements of sound to using but confusing elements of pattern and meaning.

2 Word study is developmental. Learners differ in the level of their word knowledge. Teachers must differentiate instruction for different levels of word knowledge and “teach where the child is at” (p. 8). Teachers need to identify the instructional level of the child-- what the child already knows. An easy way to identify a child’s instructional level is to look at the way s/he spells words.

3 Determining Orthographic Knowledge: 1. What students do correctly—an independent or easy level 2. What students use but confuse—an instructional level where instruction is most helpful 3. What is absent in students’ spelling—a frustration level where spelling concepts are too difficult


5 Emergent Stage (0-5 years) Large scribbles that are basically drawings. The movements may be circular, and children may tell a story while drawing. At first, there are usually no designs that look like letters, and the writing is undecipherable from the drawing. Towards the middle of this stage, students place “pretend writing” next to the pictures although there is still no relationship between letters and sound, but shapes that are “letter- like” will become evident. Writing may occur in any direction but is generally linear and some letters will become known. Spelling may range from random marks to legitimate letters that bear a relationship to sound.

6 Emergent Stage Children who are exposed to literacy activities begin to learn elements of print literacy. Children begin to learn letters, particularly letters in their own names. Children begin to pay attention to the sounds in words. Toward the end of this stage, their writing starts to include the most salient sounds in a word. The movement to the next stage, Letter Name-Alphabetic Spelling Stage, hinges on learning the alphabetic principle: Letters represent sounds in a systematic way, and words can be segmented into sequences of sound from left to right. Toward the end of this stage, students start to memorize some words and write them repeatedly, such as cat, Mom, love, and Dad.


8 Letter Name-Alphabetic Stage Students learn to segment the sounds (i.e., phonemes) within words and to match the appropriate letters or letter pairs to those sounds. Students in this stage use the names of the letters as cues to the sound they want to represent. Early letter name-alphabetic spellers find matches between letters and the spoken word by how the sound is made or articulated in the mouth. Early letter name-alphabetic writing often lacks spacing between words. In the beginning of this stage, students apply the alphabetic principle primarily to consonants--at first the beginning consonant and then beginning and ending consonants, omitting the vowel. Typically only the first sound of a two-letter consonant blend is represented, as in FT for float. Once the beginning and ending sounds are in place and students develop a concept of word, they will begin to notice the middle of the word--the vowel. Often at first the vowel phoneme is represented by random vowel letters in their writing.

9 Letter Name-Alphabetic Stage Gradually, letter name-alphabetic spellers start to segment both sounds in a consonant blend and begin to represent the blends correctly, as in GRAT for great. Towards the end of this stage, students start to use vowels consistently. Long vowels, which “say their name,” appear in tim for time and hop for hope, but silent letters are not represented. Short vowels are used but confused as in miss spelled as mes and much as moch. By the end of this stage, students are able to consistently represent most regular short-vowel sounds, digraphs, and consonant blends because they have full phonemic segmentation. The letters n and m as in bunk or lump are referred to as preconsonantal nasals (nasals that come before a consonant) and are generally omitted by students throughout this stage when they spell them as BUK or LUP. The correct spelling of the preconsonantal nasal is a reliable sign that the student is moving into the next stage of spelling development: the Within Word Pattern Stage.


11 Within Word Pattern Stage Students can correctly spell most single- syllable, short-vowel words as well as consonant blends, digraphs, and preconsonantal nasals. They move away from the linear, sound-by- sound approach of the letter name- alphabetic spellers and begin to include patterns or chunks of letter sequences. Students at this stage study words by sound and pattern simultaneously. They are transitioning from the alphabetic layer to the meaning layer of English orthography through patterns. Homophones force students to consider the meaning layer of English orthography when they spell words like bear and bare, deer and dear, hire and higher


13 Syllables and Affixes Spelling Stage (9-14 years) Students are expected to spell many words of more than one syllable as they progress through learning English orthography. Students must consider spelling patterns where syllables meet and meaning units such as affixes (prefixes and suffixes) are combined with roots. Operations such as doubling and silent e drop become evident in this stage. Early in this stage, most students spell most one-syllable short- and long- vowel words correctly (went, west, drove, hike). Many of their errors are in two- and three-syllable words and fall at the place where syllables and affixes meet. Unstressed final syllables give students difficulty, as in spellings of LITTEL for little and MOUNTIN for mountain. Students will gradually learn the basic operations and patterns that define this stage before they transition into more meaning-based spelling operations in the next stage: derivational relations.


15 Derivational Relations Spelling Eventually in learning English orthography, students must examine how words share common derivations and related base words and word roots. They must spell words based on the visual properties of the words, rather than simply relying on the sounds of phonemes in syllables. In this stage, the meaning and spelling of parts of words remain constant across different but derivationally related words. Words that share common morphemes are written so that the morphemes are intact and traceable: The pronunciations will change, but the spelling will remain the same, as in photo, photograph, photography, photographic. At first in this stage, errors reflect a lack of knowledge about derivations. For example, favorite is spelled FAVERITE and does not show its relationship to favor, and different is spelled DIFFRENT and lacks a connection to differ. As students learn more about word meanings and related spelling, these errors disappear. Frequent errors have to do with the reduced vowel in derivationally related pairs. For example, the word compete has a long e sound in the second syllable, yet the vowel sound in the second syllable of the word competition is reduced to a schwa sound, as in com-puh- ti-tion. Students in the earlier part of the derivational relations stage might spell competition as COMPUTITION or COMPOTITION or even COMPITITION. These students must learn to move away from spelling purely by sound to spelling by meaning: word study becomes vocabulary study.

16 Developmental continuum of word knowledge

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