A Spelling Error Analysis of Words with Closed Syllables for At-risk Readers

by Nolan, Susan K.

Abstract (Summary)
Many at-risk readers lack phonemic awareness skills and require explicit systematic instruction to develop these skills (Armbruster, Lehr, & Osborn, 2001; National Reading Panel, 2000). The purpose of this study was to address three questions regarding the spelling error patterns of at-risk readers related to phonemic awareness: 1) Do younger at-risk readers make significantly more phonetically accurate and inaccurate errors than older at-risk readers? 2) Is the proportion of phonetically inaccurate errors greater than proportion of phonetically accurate errors for at-risk readers? and 3) Is the proportion of phonetically inaccurate vowel errors greater than the proportion of phonetically inaccurate consonant errors for at-risk readers? Of particular interest was whether at-risk readers experience significant difficulties processing short vowel information. To address these questions, data was collected on the spelling error patterns of at-risk readers that occurred during a pretest comprised of words with closed syllable patterns. Sixty-nine at-risk readers in grades one through four participated in the study. All of the subjects were enrolled in a Midwestern city school district summer intervention program for at-risk readers. Participants were administered a spelling pretest consisting of 15 words that contained a limited number of beginning level concepts: 1) initial and final consonants, 2) short vowels, 3) blending of two and three speech sounds, 4) consonant digraphs, 5) double consonants ff, ll, and ss plus one irregular orthographic pattern (all), and 6) adding the suffix s. For statistical analyses, grade levels were divided into two groups, younger (grades 1 and 2) and older (grades 3 and 4) at-risk readers. Spelling errors were classified into four main categories: phonetically accurate errors, phonetically inaccurate errors, phonetically inaccurate consonant errors, and phonetically inaccurate vowel errors. Results showed significant differences between means for younger and older at-risk readers on phonetically accurate errors but not for phonetically inaccurate errors. At-risk readers made a significantly greater proportion of phonetically inaccurate errors compared to phonetically accurate errors. In addition, at-risk readers made a significantly greater proportion of phonetically inaccurate vowel errors compared to phonetically inaccurate consonant errors. Implications of these findings and recommendations are discussed.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Ohio University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:at risk readers short vowels spelling error analysis phonemic awareness explicit instruction


Date of Publication:01/01/2007

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