Improving spelling ability among speakers of African American vernacular English: an intervention based on phonological, morphological, and orthographic principles

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Title: Improving spelling ability among speakers of African American vernacular English: an intervention based on phonological, morphological, and orthographic principles
Author: Pittman, Ramona Trinette
Abstract: Given the importance of the role of spelling in literacy , it is important to have knowledge of the linguistic features that allow students to be successful spellers . Having phonological , morphological , and orthographic knowledge is essentially important to spell conventionally . In the United States , the standard language is Academic English (AE ) . African American Vernacular English (AAVE ) is considered a deviation from AE , with its own sound system . AAVE is the most widely used form of dialect in the United States . Many students who speak AAVE may have difficulties in producing the correct spelling of AE words . The overall purpose of this study was to provide sixth -grade students , who are speakers of AAVE , with an eight -week intervention in the principles of phonology , morphology , and orthography that would assist them in improving their spelling performance . Students had similar scores on all spelling and dialect pretest measures before the intervention began . The research design was a pretest /posttest /posttest design using waitlist - control . This study included 142 students divided into 14 class sections taught by two teachers . The two teachers provided the intervention to the students . The experimental group consisted of seven classes , and the control group consisted of seven classes . After the first implementation of the intervention , the study was replicated with the control group of students . MANOVA was utilized to determine the effect of the intervention . The intervention produced large effects for the students who received the spelling instruction . The results from the criterion -referenced spelling assessments and a sentence writing task revealed that students who received explicit instruction from the intervention made gains in their spelling performance from pretest /posttest 1 /posttest 2 and maintained these gains after being tested eight weeks later . Practical and theoretical recommendations are provided for teachers and researchers . Suggested recommendations include : providing teacher training that will enable teachers to be more linguistically aware of AAVE and its features , making students aware of the difference in the AAVE and the AE sound system , and conducting more research -based studies that will assist speakers of AAVE in literacy and spelling .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -1483
Date: 2009-05-15

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Improving spelling ability among speakers of African American vernacular English: an intervention based on phonological, morphological, and orthographic principles. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -1483 .

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