Beginning to Spell: A Study of First-Grade Children / Edition 1

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This groundbreaking study on the psycholinguistics of spelling presents the author's original empirical research on spelling and supplies the theoretical framework necessary to understand how children's ability to write is related to their ability to speak a language. The author explores areas in a field dominated by work traditionally concerned with the psychodynamics of reading skills and, in so doing, highlights the importance of learning to spell for both psycholinguists and educators, since as they begin to spell, children attempt to represent the phonological, or sound form, of words. The study of children's spelling can shed light on the nature of phonological systems and can illuminate the way sounds are organized into larger units, such as syllables and words. Research on children's spelling leads directly to an understanding of the way phonological knowledge is acquired and how phonological systems change with the development of reading and writing ability. In addition to this insight concerning cognitive processes, the findings presented here have implications for how spelling should be taught and why some writing systems are easier to master than others. The work will interest a wide range of cognitive and developmental psychologists, psycholinguists, and educational psychologists, as well as linguists and educators interested in psycholinguistics.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The author analyzes children's correct spellings as well as their atypical renderings of English words and offers some conclusions and some suggestions for educators. Philosophically, the book is neither at the laissez-faire 'whole language' end of the spectrum not partisan to back-to-basics views." —Science

"Well balanced and informative." —Choice

"This a scholarly and comprehensive study not only of spelling but also of language development that should be welcomed by educators. psycholinguists, language pathologists, and school, cognitive, and developmental psychologists." —Sylvia Sheinkopf, Readings

"Treiman's data are a phonological gold mine, and her analyses of it are systematic and frank. Thoughtful readers will come away with many insights of their own....Newer research indicates that older children do indeed learn to spell by memorization, but only after passing through a phonological stage. Treiman's study proves decisively that such a stage exists, which makes Beginning to Spell an important volume. Anyone interested in phonology, orthography, or child language should read it. Educators may find it enlightening..." American Speech

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195062199
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 10/28/1992
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 1.27 (d)

Meet the Author

Rebecca Treiman is Professor of Psychology at Wayne State University. She received an undergraduate degree in linguistics from Yale University and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on spoken language, written language, and the relationship between them.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Spelling of Words
3. Spelling of Phonemes: Correct Spellings, Legal Substitutions, and Illegal Substitutions
4. Vowels
5. Consonants
6. The Influence of Orthography on Children's Spelling of Vowels and Consonants
7. Vowel Omissions
8. Consonant Omissions
9. Reversals
10. Inflected and Derived Words
11. Conclusions and Implications

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