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ERIC Number: ED252854
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Pages: 19
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
A Perspective on Evaluating Spelling Programs.
Stetson, Elton G.
While the look-say versus the phonics controversy has existed for years in reading instruction, a similar debate regarding spelling instruction is only now emerging out of the literature and into the hands of the classroom teacher. "Subskill" spelling, most frequently found in current spelling programs, presumes that good spelling is achieved by learning the 200 or more rules governing the 500 or more different ways of writing the 44 speech sounds using 26 letters. "Holistic" spelling, analogous to reading's look-say method and rarely found in commercial materials, basically rejects the rules approach. It views spelling as a visual processing task: each word has its own unique feature to be learned, and rules governing the spelling of one sound may not apply to other words with identical sounds. Students in holistic spelling programs initially complete a pretest to identify words already known, then employ a look, say, write, and self-correct procedure on words they need to learn--a process repeated until mastery is achieved. Research literature projects great support for holistic spelling instruction, yet an evaluation of 11 widely used elementary commercial programs showed that only one was holistic, and five involved a mixture of holistic and subskill strategies. It is predicted that disenchantment with current spelling programs, declining achievement scores, and the trend toward holistic reading instruction will provide new impetus for a resurgence in holistic spelling instruction. (Author/HTH)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A