Regarding writing development (specifically on spelling), quite a few studies have addressed issues relating to the notion of ‘stage’ and ‘phase’ development. A number of researchers believe there is limited evidence that children’s spelling development follows a sequential progression.
A little over a decade ago, Kohnen et al. (2009, p. 116) proposed that ‘there is no evidence that children move from one stage to the next by shifting from the signature strategy of one stage to the strategy that is characteristic of the next stage’. I believe this is still the case. The nature of a progression (in spelling skills) is largely influenced by the nature of the instruction that the child receives.
Some studies that come to my mind that discuss this point include:
Varnhagen, C., McCallum, M., & Burstow, M. (1997). Is children's spelling naturally stage-like? Reading and Writing, 9, 451-481. doi:10.1023/A:1007903330463
Treiman, R. (2017). Learning to spell words: Findings, theories, and issues. Scientific Studies of Reading, 21(4), 1-12. doi:10.1080/10888438.2017.1296449
Treiman, R. (2017). Learning to spell: Phonology and beyond. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 1-11. doi:10.1080/02643294.2017.1337630
Bahr, R. (2015). Spelling strategies and word formation processes. In R. Bahr & E. Silliman (Eds.), Routledge handbook of communication disorders (pp. 193-203). London: Routledge.
Richards, T., Aylward, E., Field, K., Grimme, A., Raskind, W., Richards, A., . . . Berninger, V. (2006). Converging evidence for triple word form theory in children with dyslexia. Developmental Neuropsychology, 30(1), 547-589. doi:10.1207/s15326942dn3001_3
Kohnen, S., Nickels, L., & Castles, A. (2009). Assessing spelling skills and strategies: A critique of available resources. Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties, 14(1), 113-150. doi:10.1080/19404150902783450
Sharp, A. C., Sinatra, G. M., & Reynolds, R. E. (2008). The development of children's orthographic knowledge: A microgenetic perspective. Reading Research Quarterly, 43(3), 206-226.
Daffern, T. (2017). Linguistic skills involved in learning to spell: An Australian study. Language and Education, 31(1), 307-329. doi:10.1080/09500782.2017.1296855
Downloads and links to relevant research and articles, along with book recommendations.
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A discussion via the DDOLL network regarding Ehri's 'phases' of development with regard to the alphabetic code led to this contribution featuring children's spelling development:
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