The Effects of Tailored Word Study on Spelling Performance in Children in Grade 2 in a Title 1 School

Date of Graduation

Spring 2006


Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Committee Chair

Julie Masterson


The current study explored whether tailored spelling instruction in a Title 1 second grade classroom would improve spelling performance. Word study instructional activities were based on students' specific needs in phonological awareness, orthographic knowledge, morphological knowledge and the ability to store mental orthographic images. The class was placed into three groups based on the resuls from SPELL (Masterson, Apel, & Wasowicz, 2002), and word study lessons from SPELL-Links (Wasowicz, Apel, Masterson, & Whitney, 2004) were administered from September to February. Overall group changes in pre- to post-instruction means were associated with a moderate effect size on mean raw score from the Test of Written Spelling-4 (d=0.73), large effect sizes on short (d=0.85) and long (d=0.86) vowels and moderate effect sizes on consonant and consonant digraphs correct (d=0.51, d=0.58, respectively) from SPELL. Subcategories of orthographic patterns that were targeted in instruction were generally associated with moderate to large effect sizes, whereas subcategories of orthographic patterns that were not treated were associated with small to trivial effect sizes. These findings suggest that SPELL-Links could feasibly be implemented in a classroom setting and resulted in imiproved spelling scores.


spelling, low-Socioeconomic Status (SES), word-level reading, tailored instruction, phonological awareness, amorphological knowledge, orthographic knowledge, mental orthographic images (MOIs)

Subject Categories

Communication Sciences and Disorders


© Jennifer Coffman


Open Access