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Open and Closed Syllables: Memorization and Analogy versus Phonological Rule-Based Spelling

By D.J. de Roon


Spelling can be taught by several strategies, which can be offered and used in an explicit\ud or implicit form. In Dutch education, the explicit phonological rule-based strategy is used to\ud teach children to spell words with open and closed syllables. A repeated dictation was used to\ud collect data from 180 second-grade pupils (mean age = 7 years and 6 months, SD = 5 months),\ud which was analyzed by using a repeated measures ANOVA. Results showed that practicing\ud words with open and closed syllables, improved spelling of practiced and unpracticed words\ud (p < .001) for both spelling strategies. Participants who practiced with an explicit phonological\ud rule-based strategy were better in spelling new words in the posttest than those who practiced\ud with a combined implicit memorization and analogical strategy (p = .05). There is no difference\ud in effect of spelling strategies for spelling ability. Results also showed that practicing words with\ud open and closed syllables improved spelling of unpracticed words (p < .001) for both word sets.\ud No effect of variability in practice (i.e., condensed or expanded word set) on transfer to the\ud spelling of new words was found. Concluded is that the traditional phonological rule-based\ud strategy should not be replaced with a combined implicit memorization and analogical strategy.\ud However, phoneme awareness should be trained as early as possible to help children in using the\ud phonological rule-based strategy

Topics: MERM, Migration, ethnic Relations and Multiculturalism, Analogy, Memorization, Phonemic awareness, Phonology, Spelling, Spelling\ud strategies
Year: 2008
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