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Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite

Monday, October 10, 2011

Developmental Spelling Test

Why Use Developmental Spelling Tests?
• Developmental spelling helps us understand what students are hearing in a word
• Research across languages, ability groups, and SES groups supports the concept that spelling is developmental
• This is relatively easy to test, using tests of 10 - 12 well-selected words
• Developmental Spelling Tests are especially useful for students who are nonspeaking, because we can get a window into their understanding

Where Can I Find A Developmental Spelling Test?
One test available online is the 'Monster Test' by Richard Gentry. This 10-word test includes words such as 'monster', 'united', and 'hiked.' A scoring guide is included, showing how to analyze spellings, to determine the developmental level (from precommunicative to conventional. The link to that test is below:

Musselwhite & Hanser (2011, Write to Talk CD) suggest additional strategies for analysis such as:
• % onsets phonetically correct
• % vowels represented

Using Developmental Spelling Test Results
Results of the developmental spelling tests are great for:
• progress monitoring
• pre-post to determine success of an intervention
In addition to administering a development spelling test, teachers and therapists can analyze student writing in context, using these strategies, and use results to guide instruction. For example, if the student has 83% vowels represented, but only 17% vowels correct, it is clear that s/he is beginning to 'get the vowel rule' (every word has a vowel), but needs instruction on how to determine the correct vowel.

1 comment:

  1. I really like using developmental spelling tests for quick, yet meaningful assessment of phonics and writing skills. Thanks for the links.


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