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How Children Learn to Write Words$
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Rebecca Treiman and Brett Kessler

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199907977

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199907977.001.0001

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Early Spelling in Phonographic Writing Systems

Early Spelling in Phonographic Writing Systems

Chapter:
(p.216) Chapter 10 Early Spelling in Phonographic Writing Systems
Source:
How Children Learn to Write Words
Author(s):

Rebecca Treiman

Brett Kessler

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199907977.003.0010

This chapter reviews experimental and naturalistic research on early invented spelling (sometimes called creative spelling). The research does not support the constructivist idea that children go through a syllabic stage during which they hypothesize that each syllable of a word should be spelled with one letter. Children who are familiar with the names of letters use this knowledge when spelling. Limitations in children’s phonological analysis ability can lead to spelling errors, as shown, for example, by the fact that children sometimes omit one of the consonants in a cluster onset when trying to spell it. In addition, children may not classify sounds in the way assumed by their writing system. For example, U.S. children may substitute <d> for <t> in <water> because they classify the tap as /d/. Young children learn about the spellings of certain specific words, including their own names, showing that early spelling is not based only on phonology.

Keywords:   invented spelling, creative spelling, letter name, cluster, onset, phonological analysis, spelling errors, syllabic stage, omission, substitution

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