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Identifying Reliable Generalizations for Spelling Words: The Importance of Multilevel Analysis

Mary Abbott
The Elementary School Journal
Vol. 101, No. 2 (Nov., 2000), pp. 233-245
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1002344
Page Count: 13
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Identifying Reliable Generalizations for Spelling Words: The Importance of Multilevel Analysis
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Abstract

Phonics generalizations are often viewed through simple letter-sound correspondence. In this investigation, I examined 45 generalizations written from a spelling perspective. 43 of the 45 met a 75% or greater reliability usage level with analysis at 3 levels of letter-sound correspondences: simple phoneme-grapheme (sound-letter) correspondence, positional effects (syllable or orthographic structures), and effects of syllable stress. Topics discussed in the article include a suggested rationale for results that differed from past usage studies; instructional implications of the analysis; the movement toward "word study" in place of traditional phonics methods; a review of generalization concepts within a student's developmental level; and the importance of teacher knowledge about the structure of English.

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