Date of Graduation

Spring 2008


Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Committee Chair

Julie Masterson


reading, spelling, Test of Written Spelling-4, Woodcock Diagnostic Reading Battery-Revised

Subject Categories

Communication Sciences and Disorders


The Test of Written Spelling-4 (TWS-4) is commonly used to measure spelling performance. It is scored as correct or incorrect, which provides little information regarding contributions to the spelling errors. A new metric, the Spelling Sensitivity Score, was developed to provide additional detail regarding the relationship between spellings and the intended words. This study was designed to see if the new metric would be more sensitive to student differences and more closely related to reading than the typical scores derived from the TWS-4. Spelling data from 169 students in Grades 1-6 were collected. I compared scores from the (TWS-4) to Spelling Sensitivity Scores (SSS) calculated from the same words where words are scored at the segment (SSS-S) and word (SSS-W) levels and are awarded 0-3 points depending on the type of error. A descriptive analysis of standard scores and SSS scores for each student confirmed that students with similar standard scores on the TWS-4 had different SSS scores. A correlation analysis was calculated between the SSS scores and the raw scores from the Word Attack (WA) and Letter-Word Identification (LWI) subtests of the Woodcock Diagnostic Reading Battery-Revised (WDRB-R) and TWS-4. The correlations between the TWS-4 scores and the reading tests were higher than the correlations involving the SSS scores; however correlations involving the SSS scores were moderately strong. Linear regression analysis on all data indicated that the SSS-W score was the strongest predictor of raw scores on the WA subtest. The TWS-4 was the strongest predictor of raw scores on the LWI; however, both SSS scores also contributed significantly.


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