Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development


Forty-seven first grade students from an urban school district participated in a study on the use of invented spelling. The program was designed to determine if invented spelling was effective in teaching a list of grade level spelling words and whether it would impact their reading achievement. Eighteen students served as the control group.

Materials included the California Achievement Test Level 10 Form E for the pretest in reading and Level 11 for the posttest. A Core Competency Spelling List for grade one was used in measuring spelling progress.

The study took place for one school year . Twenty- nine students in the treatment group were given daily writing assignments allowing them to use invented spelling. A weekly spelling test included those words from the list that were emphasized in writing and reading tasks during the week. The control group was given formal spelling instruction for five words each week, also from the grade list, but chosen at random by the researcher. The Durrell Pre-Reading Phonics Ability Test and the Wepman Auditory Discrimination Test was given to the control group.

Results from a series of t tests indicated that giving children the opportunity to use invented spelling had a positive effect on spelling and reading achievement.

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