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ERIC Number: EJ1096241
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-2194
The Influence of Spelling Ability on Vocabulary Choices When Writing for Children with Dyslexia
Sumner, Emma; Connelly, Vincent; Barnett, Anna L.
Journal of Learning Disabilities, v49 n3 p293-304 May-Jun 2016
Spelling is a prerequisite to expressing vocabulary in writing. Research has shown that children with dyslexia are hesitant spellers when composing. This study aimed to determine whether the hesitant spelling of children with dyslexia, evidenced by frequent pausing, affects vocabulary choices when writing. A total of 31 children with dyslexia, mean age 9 years, were compared to typically developing groups of children: the first matched by age, the second by spelling ability. Oral vocabulary was measured and children completed a written and verbal compositional task. Lexical diversity comparisons were made across written and verbal compositions to highlight the constraint of having to select and spell words. A digital writing tablet recorded the writing. Children with dyslexia and the spelling-ability group made a high proportion of spelling errors and within-word pauses, and had a lower lexical diversity within their written compositions compared to their verbal compositions. The age-matched peers demonstrated the opposite pattern. Spelling ability and pausing predicted 53% of the variance in written lexical diversity of children with dyslexia, demonstrating the link between spelling and vocabulary when writing. Oral language skills had no effect. Lexical diversity correlated with written and verbal text quality for all groups. Practical implications are discussed and related to writing models.
SAGE Publications and Hammill Institute on Disabilities. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: British Ability Scales
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A