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ERIC Number: ED352853
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992
Pages: 7
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Writing Dear Abby: An Interim Report to Teachers of Spelling.
Allen, Virginia French
New spellers, adults just beginning to learn to read and write, face daunting problems with English vocabulary. Teachers use varying approaches to help these students, including published lists of Words Most Frequently Used. This paper provides an inventory of words used in letters to syndicated columnist "Dear Abby" as published in a Colorado newspaper. It was assumed that those letters touch on perennial concerns such as family relations, health problems, finances, legal difficulties, social conventions, and sex. The letters sampled contained 3,000 running words; only 66 (under 8 percent) were used 10 times or more in the sample. They illustrate usages of the "little" words that teachers report being so difficult for new reader/spellers, including prepositions, conjunctions, pronouns, articles, auxiliaries. It is concluded that this word inventory is useful because it offers perspective on word frequency, draws attention to the need for visual perception, and highlights specific nouns, verbs, and adjectives that an adult may need while writing about life concerns. Examples from the inventory are listed. (LB) (Adjunct ERIC Clearinghouse on Literacy Education)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A