Perspectives of School Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) and Principals on the Role of SLPs in Spelling Acquisition
Knueppel, Kayla N.
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For several decades, SLPs have engaged discussions regarding whether or not their scope of practice included the acquisition of spelling skills. Based on the connection between language and spelling, SLPs should have a role in supporting the acquisition of spelling skills with the students on their caseloads. Current research investigating whether school SLPs have a role in spelling instruction and what this role entails is limited. Investigation of their perspectives is important in order to determine if SLPs play a role and what influences the extent of their involvement. One possible influence is the education and background knowledge of SLPs and principals. An additional potential influence is the school environment and collaboration between professionals as established by the principal. It is possible that SLPs could serve as support staff if collaboration is emphasized in the schools. The aims of the current study were: 1) to examine the relationships between the content and theoretical knowledge students were exposed to in undergraduate and/or graduate school, their participation in professional continuing education, and the SLPs' and principals' views on spelling, 2) to determine the role school SLPs play in supporting the acquisition of spelling skills by the students on their caseloads, and 3) to determine the perspectives of public school principals in regards to SLPs' role(s) in spelling and literacy instruction, including collaboration between professionals. Results of the current study showed that most Wisconsin school-based SLPs are not providing spelling intervention. SLPs reported an overall lack of confidence in their education and training related to spelling, when compared to other literacy skills such as phonological awareness. In addition, SLPs and principals reported time constraints for implementation of spelling. The school environments and collaboration between professionals reported by the principals in this study appear to support SLP involvement in spelling intervention.
English language--Orthography and spelling--Study and teaching (elementary)