This study investigates possible developmental trends in children's invented spelling (or spelling errors) in Chinese elementary schools. The entire study consists of two substudies, Study A and Study B. Study A analyzes over 7000 invented spellings collected from the writing samples of 1200 children. Study B analyzes 3995 invented spellings that were collected from the spelling tests of 300 children. These invented spellings are sorted initially according to emerging patterns according to the way the invented spellings deviate from standard spellings; they are then further subsumed into three general categories according to the linguistic principles of Chinese characters - phonologically based spelling errors, graphemic spelling errors, and semantic spelling errors. Qualitative analysis of the invented spellings of these three categories indicates that children's spelling errors are not random; rather they reflect the development of children's orthographic knowledge. Regression analysis for linear trend shows that a developmental trend in the use of spelling strategies exists: at the lower elementary level, phonological strategies predominate; as grade level advances, the use of graphemic and semantic strategies increases.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 7, 2004
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