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Artifact #1 is part of a research paper completed for SPED 637. It is a table that summarizes the
many different areas of research that need to be considered when troubleshooting aspects of

Table of Researched Interventions for Spelling
(excerpt from Topical Investigation for Spelling (SPED 637)

Researched interventions to consider for spelling*

BOTH reading & spelling interventions are included because reading interventions also promote growth in spelling
(Wanzek et al., 2015). Also, at the first-grade level, we are working on emergent spelling and difficulties with this
have close roots with emergent phonological skills---understanding/intervening for decoding is very applicable towards
improving spelling.

To address encoding:

Strattman & Hodson (2005) explain why we need to attend to encoding: Phonemic manipulation
accounts for greatest amount of variance for both decoding and spelling.

Weiser & Mathes (2011) agree that instruction on encoding improves both reading and spelling.
They claim the following intervention methods have resulted in robust Cohen d-effect sizes for
phonemic awareness, spelling, decoding, fluency, comprehension, and writing:
1) First use manipulatives (e.g. letter tiles, plastic letters) to learn phoneme-grapheme
relationships and words.

2) Then write the phoneme-grapheme relationships and words made from these

3) To practice phonologic orthographic connection:

a. intro & review of letter-sound
b. manipulating and building words using sound boards, tiles, and letter cards
c. fluency exercises of reading the words that were build on flash cards and in connected text
d. writing of practiced sounds and words in dictation activities

4) Description of a Tier3 intervention

a. first-phase:
-Phono-Graphix intervention (credited to McGuiniess, McGuiness, & McGuiness, 1996)
-using 75% of instructional time on encoding instruction

b. second phase:
-Fluency intervention (e.g., Read Naturally, credited to Ihnot, Mastoff, Gavin, & Hendrickson
-focuses on improving oral reading fluency with a model

c. instructional encoding techniques:

group 1 received: direct, explicit encoding instruction involving learning and writing
phoneme-grapheme correspondences and guided practice in encoding words with these
correspondences to enhance phonemic awareness and alphabetic understanding.
group 2 received: second group got onset-rime.

results: group1 did better, effect sizes= 1.33 reading & 1.53 comprehension

d. all students also provided with supplemental encoding instruction on the spelling and reading
-supplemental lessons on syllable pattern skills, grapheme-phoneme correspondences, word
sorting, word building, and word dictation actitivies
-all still received normal lang arts program

e. explicit phonics and encoding (separate lesson) vs embedded in literature

-explicit phonics/encoding did significantly better

Amtmann et al., (2008) focused on a set of 48 taught words and applied different ways to address
1. phoneme-grapheme
2. onset-rime
3. lexical (all letters in the word)
4. each combination of two of the precding
5. a combination of all three strategies

Their study included transfer of spelling and results were that phoneme-to-grapheme strategy
was most successful. This method included the following review of phoneme-to-grapheme
correspondences just prior to practicing independent composing:
using cue card with pictures of words containing phonemes positioned alongside one
or two letter units
teachers model naming a pictures word, providing key phoneme in the spoken owrd
that corresponded to a letter or letters in the grapheme unit on the card, and naming
those letters
students imitated the naming of the word and phoneme and letter or letters in the
grapheme unit
The act of naming enhances phonological and orthographic awareness
naming orthographic and phonological units close in time should make the
correspondences more automatic

To address morphology:
Goodwin & Soyeon (2010) explains why it is important to address morphology:
1) Morphological awareness correlates more highly with spelling and reading, though it has
received less attention by researchers and educators.

2) The goal of morphological awareness is to improve students conscious awareness of the

morphemic structure of words, and the ability to reflect on and manipulate that structure.

3) Morphemes range in sophistication:

-influectional (jump + s, jump + ing, changes tense or number or gender)
-derivational (dis+respect+ful, suffixes/prefixes, changes grammatical category or meaning)
-compounding (jump+ball)

4) Morphemes range in transparency. Here are some examples:

-very transparent means very clear
example: grow to growth changes the root words grammatical category and meaning
without changing the pronunciation or spelling of the morphemes

-heal to health involves both morphological and phonological changes

-the most opaque relationship involve morphological, phonological, and orthographic


5) Morphological instruction can be easier to understand because the smaller morpheme parts still
can carry meaning, whereas a phoneme may not be meaningful in and of itself.

Richards, Berninger, Nagy, Parsons, Field, & Richards (2005) describes this morphological
spelling treatment.
1) Combine high-frequency morphemes to generate morphologically complex words.
-Teacher provides a selection of word parts and students build whole words from the parts.
-Students spell the words in writing on a response sheet.
2) Analyze whole words and decompose these into smallest meaning-parts (morphemes).
-Teacher asks students to break down words into smallest parts which convey meaning or
provide grammar signals, and write each word part on a worksheet leaving spaces
between the word parts.
3) Other word-building, word-dissecting, word-contracting and spelling-rule activities designed to
develop morphological awareness in spelling.

To target orthology:
Richards et al., (2005) describes an orthological approach for developing precise representation of
all the letters in a written word in memory, including BOTH letters that could and could not be
phonemically recoded:

1) Students look carefully at and name each letter in the word from left to right, then close their
eyes and look at the snapshot in their minds eye. Teacher asks them to identify letters in specific
positions. Following this, they then completed visual search and anagram activities to improve
attention to the orthographic patterns in writing.

2) Students were then asked to say the letters in reverse order, then check spelling of the target
word from a model set in front of them. Following this, they also completed visual search activities.

Weiser & Mathes (2011) Phonologic orthographic connection:

a. intro & review of letter-sound
b. manipulating and building words using sound boards, tiles, and letter cards
c. fluency exercises of reading the words that were build on flash cards and in connected text
d. writing of practiced sounds and words in dictation activities

Amtmann, Abbott, & Berninger (2008) mentioned Looking Games by Beringer & Traweek (1991)
and Beringer & Hidi (2006). Children are taught to look carefully at briefly displayed written words,
which are then covered, and then the children have to describe what they recall.

To address RAN (rapid automatic naming):

Strattman & Hodson, (2005) explains that RAN is important because 1st & 2nd graders are most
influenced by letter knowledge and phonological sensitivity. In later grades, once alphabetic code
is mastered, then conceptual and vocabulary skills become more important
Amtmann et al., (2008) point out three kinds of supplementary instruction that can help to develop
RAN. These are intended to start PRIOR to beginning spelling interventions AND throughout their
1) Time the spelling (oral or written) to show improvement in automatic encoding
-during the learning phase (phoneme-to-grapheme) or retrieval phase (from grapheme-to-
-and for spelling Jabberwocky words (pseudo-words) that cannot be spelled from memory

2) Instead of testing children on Friday on all the spelling words given on Monday, Children might
be tested daily only on the words they continue to misspell. This is selective reminding technique
(only misspelled words on the prior teaching trail are practiced until all words are spelled correctly
within a learning session).

3) At-risk spellers may need to practice spelling a word in sentence dictation a minimum of 24times
before they reach short-term mastery

4) Computer games may improve rate of spelling words at keyboard.

-best when paired with words being taught in reading and spelling

To address fluency:
Louisa Moats (Reading Rockets, Spelling, 2014) explains why we need to achieve fluency in
spelling: Students who have the ability to accurately spell high-frequency and pattern based words
are more likely to write longer compositions with more detail and more narrative / expository

Ehri & Rosenthal (2007) suggest practicing to read 3 types of words:

1) single & multisyllable pseudo-word spelling that are unfamiliar to readers
example set one: rume, rane, taik, gote, yung, pilgrim, kartune, selafain

2) irregularly spelled real words

example set two: said, was, one, tongue, sugar, ocean, iron, yacht

3) common, regularly spelled words

example set three: faster step, grass, hunger, elbow, interesting, excellent, contribution

Ehri & Rosenthal (2007) go on to explain there are 4ways to read words. The first three are useful
for mainly reading unfamiliar words. Words that have been practiced are read the fourth way (from
1) Apply knowledge of grapheme-phoneme relations or larger syllabic units to convert spellings to
pronunciations whose identities are then recognized by accessing their meanings in memory
-this would work for example set one (above)

2) Form an analogy to words whose spellings are already known

-e.g. reading rane in analogy to plane

3) Make a prediction using context cues, partial letters, or a combination

-e.g. reading doctors and n. . . . .

4) Words that have been read previously are processed by memory or by sight
-sight of the word activates their pronunciations and meanings in memory
-when read from memory, they are accessed as whole units without prior decoding,
analogizing, or prediction

To address transfer of spelling:

Moats emphasizes that it is important to deliberately find a balanced approach, where there is
structured instruction on individual sounds/words as well as on application of the newly learned
spelling skills to a written piece (Reading Rockets, Spelling, 2014). Application of spelling to a
written piece is transfer of spelling.

Amtmann et al., (2008) emphasize it is important to provide instruction for two distinct steps:
1) Explicit spelling instruction for individual (or sets of) words.
2) Explicit instruction for the transfer of spelling single words in isolation to spelling words during
independent composition.

They also explain that when transfer of spelling is taught:

phoneme-grapheme treatment show significantly greater growth than the control
group in length of composition and number of correctly spelled words.
rime and lexical interventions ONLY showed significant gains in combination with
transfer of spelling.

And they emphasize that response time will vary because:

There are different classes of spellers:
1) Class 1: low initial & slow growth
2) Class 2: high initial & fast growth
3) Class 3: high initial & slow growth

THE TRANSFER IS NOT INSTANTANEOUS. It takes time to consolidate learning

and make necessary progress within and across school years in the journey toward
skilled writing.

To address error correction:

Wanzek et al., (2015) recommend incorporating error imitation modeling. This is when the teacher
reproduces a students error before presenting the correct response.

Nies & Belfiore (2006) found that cover-copy-compare to be more effective that copy-only.

Apel & Masterson (2001) explain that teachers should not simply check whether a word is spelled
correctly or not. Teachers need to use spelling errors as a means of determining which strategies
the student is / isnt using. They recommend:
self-discovery approaches
-students conduct careful and close word study
-sort by specific phoneme-grapheme patterns or spelling rules

integrated approaches
-simultaneous attention to spelling AND reading
-by spelling words they are reading and reading words they are spelling
-mixing targets amongst phonemic, morphologic, and orthographic rules

attend to boosting self-regulation and self-esteem

-any intervention program targeting literacy skills should include a meta-cognitive
component emphasizing self-regulation and self-esteem
They also explain a method of measuring improvement in misspelled words, bi-gram analysis:
-A bi-gram represents two letters in correct sequence within a word (credited to White & Haring
-one point is awarded for every letter pair in correct sequence
-one point is awarded for correct initial and final grapheme

example: to spell royal, roal = 4points

1pt for r, 1 pt for ro, 0pt for oa, 1pt for al, and one point for l = 4 in all

To address self-advocacy, self-esteem

All those with dyslexia can be taught to self-advocate about their reading/writing needs. This is
important so they can let others know how they best learn. This is very important life skill they
will always need as employers, institutions of higher-education, co-workers, future in-laws, and
others may not understand what accommodations are needed.

While students are in school, teachers need to develop students self-awareness of their issues, of
their smarts, of strategies that help them. Most important is to prove to the student that he/she is
making progress---NO matter how many times you say to student you are so smart, they need to
see their own progress before they will believe it (The Understood Team, 2015).

The Understood Team (2015) advise that it is important to be careful that the assistive tech is NOT
just an accommodation and the ONLY thing being done for the child. The student still needs to
learn to read, and assistive tech by itself will not impart literacy.
-need to know your child, the need varies & the response to intervention varies
-ALSO, itsboth the student & the coach who need to connect
-DOESNT need to be a fast rate of change, but needs to be headed in right direction

Apel & Masterson (2001) echo this need for boosting self-regulation and self-esteem, . . .any
intervention program targeting literacy skills should include a meta-cognitive component
emphasizing self-regulation and self-esteem.

To address MSL (multisensory structured language)

MSL refers to a body of instructional practices that teaches the student the structure of language in
a very systematic way. The method covers understanding the sound system, syllable system,
sentence structure, and text structure. The goal is mastery (i.e. fluency) at each step, so to
achieve application & automaticity. MSL is diagnostic in nature and identifies what each student
needs to focus on (The Understood Team, 2015).

MSL is not one identical program, but there are a number of highly successful private
organizations that have developed their own brand of MSL. It is usually touted to as the thing to
do for intervening for dyslexia, though one study by Wanzek, et al. (2015) reports mixed results
from the use of this method. However, proper delivery of MSL takes persistent training---it is not
something that can be taught in one workshop. Practicum based training, under the tutelage of a
certified instructor and with direct instructional contact with student/s receiving the intervention, is a
necessity with this intervention method (The Understood Team, 2015).
To address systematic study and word practice procedures:
Wanzek et al., (2015) have some pointers about setting up systematic procedures for spelling
1) use of constant time delay: begins with 0second-delay; a constant delay is added when student
demonstrates progress.

2) For practicing words, the effect rate was1.01 for the following procedure:
1) say the word
2) write and say the word
3) check spelling
4) trace and say the word
5) write the word from memory

3) Reciprocal peer tutoring was tried in the method of alternating roles:

1) provide a different set of words for each student to learn
2) first tutor teaches partner using constant time delay methods
3) when partners switch roles, they use the other word list.

the effect rate and word retention is lowest for individual practice:
students who studied alone using self-correct after each word had moderate success
on spelling tests, and did not maintain the words 1week later.
the best results came from peer coaches:
students who worked with peers to study words had increases in spelling near 100%
and showed gains in learning their peers words.

To address the need for tech:

Wanzek et al., (2015) recommend computer-assisted instruction (CAI) because:
-constant time delay instructional technique used in combination with a computer
outperformed reg peers participating in typical classroom writing instruction
-use of keyboarding to practice spelling

The Understood Team (2015) advise that it is important to be careful that the assistive tech is NOT
just an accommodation and the ONLY thing being done for the child. The student still needs to
learn to read, and assistive tech by itself will not impart literacy. Most assistive tech will simply
help the student access grade level content while he/she is catching up reading/writing skills.