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Spelling Recovery

The pathway to spelling success

Spelling Recovery by Jan Roberts
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In every classroom there are students with different spelling abilities. As an educator, you need to be aware of the causes of spelling problems, and what appropriate action can be taken to help these students become competent spellers. An extra advantage of improving spelling is the flow-on effect to students’ reading and writing skills. Increasing their decoding capacity ‘frees’ students to concentrate on the task of reading comprehension; and knowing how to spell improves quality and speed in writing. Approximately 5-10 per cent of all students experience learning difficulties with language. The severe form of this is called ‘specific learning disability’ in Australia (and ‘dyslexia’ by the Department of Education and Employment in England)1. These students often experience a range of spelling errors that can overwhelm them and their teachers. However, spelling errors and their causes can be analysed and appropriate action designed and implemented by teachers and students. Current research and the author’s personal experience indicate that most students, especially those with learning difficulties, benefit from SISS teaching, that is specific, interesting, structured and strategic.This book addresses the ways you can achieve this and has been designed to be used in two ways. 1 When you identify an occasional error being made by a particular student, or a common error made by several students in your class, you can locate this type of error in the book and implement specific action. 2 To help students with pronounced, multiple spelling problems, an analysis of their spelling is recommended first (see Appendix 1, Spelling Error Analysis Record).Then you decide on a priority of learning outcomes (goals) and select appropriate action to implement. Why teachers need to take action As long as spelling is regarded as important, teachers have a responsibility to take action. Every time a word is written incorrectly, the writing hand practises and learns the error. How often have you seen a student write ‘because’ as ‘becose’? The student may know it is wrong but has learnt the error too thoroughly. Changing a learned pattern is harder than remembering new learning, so a balance must be struck between supporting the creative process through ‘free’ writing and preventing the learning of incorrect spelling.
Australian Council for Educational Research; Read online
Title: Spelling Recovery
Author: Jan Roberts

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