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Title: Structure, logic and meaning : A route to reading and spelling
Author: Devonshire, Victoria
ISNI:       0000 0004 2682 0736
Awarding Body: University of Portsmouth
Current Institution: University of Portsmouth
Date of Award: 2009
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The English writing system consists of four elements: phonology, morphology, etymology and form rules. Little research, however, has examined the link between explicitly teaching children all four elements and their success in spelling and reading. Four intervention studies, involving over 400 children, compared the results of teaching children explicitly about morphology, etymology, phonology, and rules about form, with traditional phonic-based methods. The interventions were shown to be effective; it was found that children, even as young as 5 years, are able to appreciate the complex nature of their own writing system and that this understanding leads to improved reading and spelling. The results suggest that explicit teaching of how the English writing system really works has advantages over teaching by more traditional phonic methods as prescribed by the current UK Government (DfCSF, 2008). The findings are interpreted within the following theoretical frameworks: the dual-route model (Barry, 1994; Cook, 2004); the morphological deficit hypothesis (Carlisle, 1988); stage-models (Frith, 1985, Ehri, 1993); and Siegler'S (2005a) overlapping waves model. It is proposed that stage-like theories of spelling development have been translated into flawed teaching practice and that future research should employ methods that account for the impact of instruction. If future intervention studies yield results consistent with those presented here, then the positive impact on English literacy learning could be far reaching.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available