Spelling performance of third grade students : a comparison of whole-language-plus-strategy instruction, strategy instruction only, and the whole language approach
Thomas, Jean S. Butyniec.
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This study investigated three methods for teaching children how to spell. Third grade students were divided into three conditions for a one-week training period consisting of 15- to 20-minute lessons. One of the two experimental conditions used a whole language approach along with explicit strategy instruction. The second condition used strategy instruction within a traditional setting. The control used strictly a whole language approach to le~ing hO\\l to spell. The spelling perfonnance of all three conditions improved after the one-week training period. However, students in the strategy instruction groups did significantly better on the study "'7ords than the whole language only group. The students in whole-Ianguage-plusstrateg)! instruction outperformed both other groups. Significantly better spelling perfonnance was observed even at the nine-week posttest. This study frrst supported the hypothesis that children can make significantly greater improven1ents in their spelling when explicitly taught how to use spelling strategies. Secondl)', this study indicated that whole language provided a relevant context for the study words, clearly giving the students in the whole-Ianguage-plus-strategy condition an additional advantage.