Dymock, S., & Nicholson, T. (2017). By rule or by rote? To what extent does children’s spelling improve as a result of learning words with the LOOK, SAY, COVER, WRITE, CHECK, FIX strategy, compared with phonological spelling strategies? Presented at the New Zealand Association for Research Conference, 20-22 November 2017, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11658
The present study was a randomised controlled trial designed to compare the effects of two spelling interventions on spelling of taught words and transfer words. The sample consisted of 55 seven-year-olds, including proficient and less proficient spellers, in two Year 3 classrooms. The spelling interventions were for three lessons per week, 20-minutes per lesson, over 10 weeks. In the first intervention we taught eight spelling strategies that showed children how to stretch out the sounds in words and how to use different phonological spelling strategies, including how to spell short and long vowel sounds and phonics strategies, such as use of the silent e marker, how to break long words into syllables, and the doubling rule. In the second intervention students learned the LOOK, SAY, COVER, WRITE, CHECK, FIX strategy along with putting words to be learned into alphabetical order and writing each word in a sentence. They were not taught any strategies or rules. The control group completed comprehension, vocabulary, and punctuation activities. In order to see if the control group might implicitly learn the words, all groups in all lessons were exposed to the same words by reading a story to them that contained the words. Results for taught words showed that both intervention conditions increased participants’ spelling at an equivalent rate, greater than that of the control condition. For transfer words not taught but that followed similar patterns to the taught words, the strategy intervention showed greater transfer to spelling new words with similar patterns compared with the LOOK, SAY, COVER, WRITE, CHECK, FIX condition and the control condition. For this reason we conclude that although both intervention approaches had strong local effects in terms of learning to spell specific words, teaching rule-based spelling strategies had more global effects in terms of transfer to new words than the LOOK, SAY, COVER, WRITE, CHECK, FIX for both proficient and less proficient spellers.
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