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Does word work really work? Investigating the effects of word work vs. traditional spelling instruction during guided reading

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Radke, Jessica
Pollack, Hilary
MSE, Reading
Dec 17, 2011
English language--Orthography and spelling--Study and teaching; Reading; Spelling; Word study instruction; Reading ability; Language arts
The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of word study instruction as opposed to traditional spelling instruction on students' reading abilities during guided reading. The participants consisted of three-second grade students who received word study instruction along with their guided reading for 30 minutes, 2 times per week. Prior to instruction, each student took a spelling inventory pre-test in order to determine his or her instructional needs. Each student was also assessed using the BAS (Benchmark Assessment System) in order to determine his/her instructional reading level as determined by their miscues, fluency, and comprehension. After six weeks of word study instruction students were post-tested using the spelling inventory and BAS. Students were also given a survey on their perceptions of the effects of word study instruction. The results revealed that word study instruction had positive effects on student's reading abilities; more specifically in the areas of fluency, comprehension and word accuracy. Each student's instructional level of reading increased as well as his or her spelling inventory scores. As reported in the post survey, students gained knowledge of the short and long /o/ sound as well as the digraphs /sh/ and /ch/. They also self-reported a preference for word study over traditional spelling instruction. These results were shared with the students, their parents, and their homeroom teachers in hopes to increase awareness of the importance of word study instruction on students' reading abilities.
Plan B Paper. 2011. Master of Science in Education-Reading--University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Teacher Education Department. 24 leaves. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 23-24).
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