Linguistic skills involved in learning to spell: An Australian study

Tessa DAFFERN

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    3 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Being able to accurately spell in Standard English requires efficient coordination of multiple knowledge sources. Therefore, spelling is a word-formation problem-solving process that can be difficult to learn. The present study uses Triple Word Form Theory as a conceptual framework to analyse Standard English spelling performance levels of Australian primary school students (N = 1198) in Years 3–6. Systematic linguistic error analysis and testing using a factorial multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) revealed significant year-level differences in phonological, orthographic and morphological scores; however, the effects for gender and the interaction of year level and gender were non-significant. The results suggest that learning to spell may not proceed in developmental stages or phases and that explicit instruction in phonological, orthographic and morphological components of the language is needed in the middle and upper primary school years, and potentially beyond. The findings highlight a need for teachers to be informed of the specific linguistic skills that individual students bring to the classroom and to be able to identify instructional priorities among phonology, orthography and morphology.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)307-329
    Number of pages22
    JournalLanguage and Education
    Volume31
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Fingerprint

    primary school
    linguistics
    orthography
    gender
    phonology
    analysis of variance
    multivariate analysis
    learning
    student
    instruction
    classroom
    teacher
    interaction
    language
    knowledge
    performance
    Linguistic Skills
    Primary School
    Standard English
    Orthographic

    Cite this

    DAFFERN, Tessa. / Linguistic skills involved in learning to spell: An Australian study. In: Language and Education. 2017 ; Vol. 31, No. 4. pp. 307-329.
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    abstract = "Being able to accurately spell in Standard English requires efficient coordination of multiple knowledge sources. Therefore, spelling is a word-formation problem-solving process that can be difficult to learn. The present study uses Triple Word Form Theory as a conceptual framework to analyse Standard English spelling performance levels of Australian primary school students (N = 1198) in Years 3–6. Systematic linguistic error analysis and testing using a factorial multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) revealed significant year-level differences in phonological, orthographic and morphological scores; however, the effects for gender and the interaction of year level and gender were non-significant. The results suggest that learning to spell may not proceed in developmental stages or phases and that explicit instruction in phonological, orthographic and morphological components of the language is needed in the middle and upper primary school years, and potentially beyond. The findings highlight a need for teachers to be informed of the specific linguistic skills that individual students bring to the classroom and to be able to identify instructional priorities among phonology, orthography and morphology.",
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    Linguistic skills involved in learning to spell: An Australian study. / DAFFERN, Tessa.

    In: Language and Education, Vol. 31, No. 4, 2017, p. 307-329.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Linguistic skills involved in learning to spell: An Australian study

    AU - DAFFERN, Tessa

    PY - 2017

    Y1 - 2017

    N2 - Being able to accurately spell in Standard English requires efficient coordination of multiple knowledge sources. Therefore, spelling is a word-formation problem-solving process that can be difficult to learn. The present study uses Triple Word Form Theory as a conceptual framework to analyse Standard English spelling performance levels of Australian primary school students (N = 1198) in Years 3–6. Systematic linguistic error analysis and testing using a factorial multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) revealed significant year-level differences in phonological, orthographic and morphological scores; however, the effects for gender and the interaction of year level and gender were non-significant. The results suggest that learning to spell may not proceed in developmental stages or phases and that explicit instruction in phonological, orthographic and morphological components of the language is needed in the middle and upper primary school years, and potentially beyond. The findings highlight a need for teachers to be informed of the specific linguistic skills that individual students bring to the classroom and to be able to identify instructional priorities among phonology, orthography and morphology.

    AB - Being able to accurately spell in Standard English requires efficient coordination of multiple knowledge sources. Therefore, spelling is a word-formation problem-solving process that can be difficult to learn. The present study uses Triple Word Form Theory as a conceptual framework to analyse Standard English spelling performance levels of Australian primary school students (N = 1198) in Years 3–6. Systematic linguistic error analysis and testing using a factorial multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) revealed significant year-level differences in phonological, orthographic and morphological scores; however, the effects for gender and the interaction of year level and gender were non-significant. The results suggest that learning to spell may not proceed in developmental stages or phases and that explicit instruction in phonological, orthographic and morphological components of the language is needed in the middle and upper primary school years, and potentially beyond. The findings highlight a need for teachers to be informed of the specific linguistic skills that individual students bring to the classroom and to be able to identify instructional priorities among phonology, orthography and morphology.

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    KW - spelling sub-skills

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    JO - Language and Education

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