Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours


School of Education

First Advisor

Ken Willis


The purpose of this study was to discover the strategies being employed by secondary school teachers to assist students with spelling difficulties. Teachers in the English and social studies departments of three Perth high schools were interviewed and asked to indicate the criteria they used to identify students with spelling problems and the teaching methods they employed to help those students overcome their problems. They were also asked to identify the causes of spelling difficulty. Staff at the local district offices and the Ministry of Education were interviewed to establish what support services were available for teachers who wished to improve their skills in this area. The study found that the teachers used performance indicators to assess spelling skills. They listed nineteen different causes of poor spelling and used a variety of different methods to assist students. English teachers had a wider repertoire of methods available to them than did the social studies teachers and were more familiar with support material produced by the Ministry of Education. At ministry and school level the policy was that spelling was an important skill to be developed. It was more difficult to discern a policy at district office level. Finally, there are few support programmes available for high school students with spelling problems and it was not possible to say how great a problem poor spelling may be.