Effect of Modality on Spelling Words Varying in Linguistic Demands

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The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which spelling accuracy is influenced by response modality. A spelling list consisting of 40 words that varied in linguistic complexity was administered to students in Grades 2 through 6. Each student completed three tasks: (a) a words-per-minute measure to determine keyboarding proficiency, (b) spelling a word list via handwriting, and (c) spelling a word list on a computer. Independent variables included response modality, linguistic complexity, and grade level. Dependent measures included the percent words spelled correctly. Keyboarding proficiency was included as a covariate. Modality rarely affected spelling accuracy, regardless of the linguistic complexity of the target words. These findings suggest that spelling knowledge draws on modality-free, lexical representations stored in long-term memory. Further, they suggest that computer-based instruments are a viable option for spelling assessment.

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Masterson, Julie J., and Kenn Apel. "Effect of modality on spelling words varying in linguistic demands." Developmental Neuropsychology 29, no. 1 (2006): 261-277.

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Communication Sciences and Disorders