The effects on the spelling of Year two, six-year-old children when SRA spelling mastery is added to the whole-language process writing approach to written language.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Teaching and Learning
This thesis defines spelling, describes the models of spelling development, and the research into the teaching of spelling. In New Zealand, the teaching of spelling is embedded in the whole-language classroom programme. Evidence suggests that the level of achievement in spelling in children's writing is of current concern (Flockton & Crooks, 1999). The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of the addition of daily ten to fifteen minute SRA Spelling Mastery lessons had on the spelling of six-year-old children, in their daily process writing. In addition, the extent of generalisation of both the phonological skills and the specific spellings of high frequency irregular words taught to the children's writing were analysed. A single-case, combined multiple-baseline and reversal design was used to compare differences in spelling performance during baseline conditions and treatment (SRA Spelling Mastery) conditions. During baseline, the children continued participating in the whole language classroom programme. In the treatment phase, the children participated in a daily SRA Spelling Mastery lesson as an addition to the baseline procedures. Seven, six-year-old Year Two children, from a regular classroom, four boys and three girls who met the criteria for teaching at SRA Spelling Mastery Level A (based on the SRA Spelling Mastery Level A Placement Test) and who had no identified difficulties or special needs nor were receiving programmes additional to the classroom programme, participated in the study. Gentry's (1981, 1982) stages were used to determine the children's spelling development. The results showed that the children's phonetic spelling accuracy increased during SRA Spelling Mastery, indicating a treatment effect; however, minimal change occurred in the level of orthographic spelling accuracy. When the number of different words written without a prompt, and ortho graphic and phonetic spelling accuracy were compared, a possible treatment effect occurred. The high frequency irregular words taught generalised to the children's writing. There was a possible gender effect during the SRA Spelling Mastery conditions favouring girls. The children rated SRA Spelling Mastery as more preferred than process writing.