Principles and Methods of Spelling Instruction: Applications for Poor Spellers

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Three methods of teaching spelling in classrooms are reviewed and critiqued from the standpoint of the poor speller. Memorization of word lists and word analysis methods are direct methods that focus on individual words. Spelling can also be taught indirectly as part of authentic reading and writing activities. Newer methods of teaching spelling attempt to engage the child as a problem solver by highlighting the regularities and system in spelling. Some authors recommend a balance between direct (explicit) and indirect methods. Activities reviewed in this article vary in the extent to which they draw children's attention to phonological, orthographic, and meaning patterns inherent in English spelling. Within this framework, activities and modifications shown to enhance the performance of poor spellers are presented.

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