Spelling accuracy for secondary students with spelling difficulties: Using phonetic codes and technology
Taylor and Francis Ltd
Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Education
This study investigated the combined use of the phonetic spelling code and an electronic spellchecker as a means by which secondary students with moderate spelling difficulties may write in a more decipherable manner, and spell more words accurately according to the conventional spelling code. Eighteen Year 7 secondary school students with moderate spelling difficulties were taught to use two simple phonetic spelling strategies in conjunction with an electronic phonetic dictionary, the Franklin TMQ 200, under three treatment conditions: whole class, small group and individual tuition. It was hypothesized that the individual treatment would be the most effective, followed by the small group, then whole class conditions. All but one student made gains in correct spelling on the South Australian Spelling Test (Range 1–9), although there were no differences between the instructional conditions and no significant gains in understandable (phonetically regular) attempts to spell, pre‐test to post‐test. It is a significant finding in its own right that many students had mastered and were applying the phonetic code, when the correct spelling of a word was not immediately accessible to them. The potential value of the program for students with severe remedial spelling needs, as well as those with moderate needs, is also discussed.