Explicit versus implicit spelling strategy instruction and its effects on grade one children's invented spellings
Kernaghan, Kelly C.
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The intent of this study was to investigate .the effectiveness of teaching thirty-five Grade One children a variety of effective spelling strategies in comparison to tradit~onal spelling instruction. Strategy instruction included training in phonology, imagery and analogy. In addition, the type of instruction pro~ided (implicit versus explicit) was also examined. Children were seen in small groups of four or five, for four, twenty-five minute sessions. All children were tested prior and immediately following the training sessions, as well as at 14-day follow-ups. Pretest and posttest measures included a dictated spelling test (based on words used in training), a developmental spelling test and a sample of each child's writing. In addition, children completed a metacognitive spelling test as a measure of their strategy awareness. Performance scores on the pretest and posttest measures were compared to determine if any differences existed between the three spelling instruction groups using the Dunn-Bonferroni and Dunnett procedures. Findings revealed that explicit strategy instruction was the most effective spelling program for improving Grade One children's invented spellings. Children who received this instruction were able to spell targeted words more accurately, even after a 14-day follow-up, and were able to recall more effective spelling strategies than children who received either implicit strategy instruction or traditional strategy instruction.