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ERIC Number: EJ923596
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-1053-4512
W or d / m a p / p i ng: How Understanding Spellings Improves Spelling Power
Murray, Bruce A.; Steinen, Nancy
Intervention in School and Clinic, v46 n5 p299-304 May 2011
Spelling is a subject that often opens a chasm between "haves" and "have-nots". Students with spelling power, the haves, pick up new spellings almost effortlessly, acing their spelling tests after a few minutes of review. In contrast, the have-nots may painstakingly copy out each word 10 times the night before the test and still fail the test the next day. Spelling and word recognition are closely related cognitive processes. If a reader has a well spelled representation of a word in memory, recognizing the spelling in print triggers automatic access to the word in memory, including its pronunciation, syntactic usage, and meaning. Observations of struggling spellers at a school for teaching students with reading disabilities suggested that students with learning disabilities need to analyze the phonological structures of words before they see the spellings (Gaskins et al., 1996-1997). Teachers noticed that students with learning disabilities were drawing on their intelligence to use rote strategies to learn words. However, memorization strategies are inefficient and unreliable for retaining spellings permanently. To circumvent a memorization strategy, teachers developed techniques that required phonological analysis before revealing standard spellings to help students with learning disabilities understand and remember spellings. Wordmapping streamlines the techniques pioneered by Gaskins et al. for a wider population of developing spellers. The success of wordmapping shows how spelling instruction can include engaging activities that help students consolidate their learning of spelling correspondences, rules, and patterns in age-appropriate and enjoyable ways. Wordmapping can be a useful technique for directing spelling study across a wide range of grade levels in general classrooms, in instruction with readers with learning disabilities, and in remedial work with small groups or in tutorials. Because wordmapping relies on explicit content and strategy instruction, it is well suited for special education students who thrive on direct teaching and close guidance. (Contains 3 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A