The goal of the present study was to explore the errors made by Dutch first graders in spelling syllable-initial and syllable-final consonants clusters in CCVCC pseudowords, to look for error types that discriminate poorer spellers from better spellers, and to relate these error types to the errors made when segmenting the same words. Such a correspondence across tasks would point to problems with the phonemic conceptualization of the spoken word as a source of spelling difficulty. The most prominent spelling error among poor spellers was omission of the consonant immediately following the vowel. This error seemed to be reflected in segmentation by omission of that consonant, but even more by the consonant being left unsegmented from the preceding vowel. The spelling and segmentation errors that we observed in Dutch are similar to those previously observed in English. The finding that such errors are made with a disproportionate frequency by poor spellers is new and suggests a basic problem in developing a phonemic conceptualization of spoken words (and of postvocalic consonant clusters in particular) that is adequate for spelling.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 29, 2004
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