Invented spelling - what is the purpose of it and when should it be left behind? Here's why teachers must encourage the correct spelling of words.
Breaking bad habits caused by over-reliance on making up spelling is difficult and can cause remedial writing issues for the student.
This is a normal stage of development for children, however. Some students may move quickly past this stage with formal instruction, while others will retain aspects of it for a few years.
When a child is using invented spelling, it is that child's attempt to use previously held background knowledge about how to spell.
Most often, children will show specific phonetic characteristics in their "not-so-correct" spelling of words.
These can (and do) give teachers valuable insight as to where a student is developmentally.
Inventive spelling is recognized mostly in the semiphonetic,
phonetic, and transitional stages in varying degrees, but it is also
useful in the correct stage.
In the correct stages of spelling, a child will attempt a word using known rules and exceptions (although it is recognized as being incorrect), then move forward with other strategies for the correct spelling of words.
Does this mean that teachers should attempt to correct spelling or not? Yes to both.
Griffin, and Snow (1999) point out the value of invented spelling in
allowing young children to express their thoughts in writing:
"When children use inventive spelling, they are in fact exercising their
growing knowledge of phonemes, the letters of the alphabet, and their
confidence in the alphabetic principle. A child's 'iz' for the
conventional 'is' can be celebrated as quite a breakthrough!
is the kind of error that shows you that the child is thinking
independently and quite analytically about the sounds of words and the
logic of spelling."
is no strong data that has been experimentally verified to support
this. There is, however, verified evidence that shows a positive
relationship between a child who has learned to spell correctly and the
quality of written work and reading skills.
Not really. If a teacher never teaches the correct spelling of words, then a child will be likely to never learn to spell correctly. He or she will always struggle with hard spelling words.
spelling - not just for hard spelling words - is a structured,
phonetic process that must be taught at the developmental levels the
children are currently in (this is why a whole class list is NEVER a
good idea). If you have a student who is a poor speller, there are
three main reasons why that may be occurring: