This anaylsis will include invented spelling, describe developmental stages, and suggest implication for classroom instruction, all on the basis of a writing sample collected from a young student.
The writing sample subject is a 5 year old female kindergarten student. I asked her to write me a story, I told her it could be about anything she wanted. She followed these instructions, and wrote me 50 words. The problem was she wrote 50 words that she knew how to spell, so I was unable to collect enough spelling errors for the analysis. In order to obtain enough errors, I read off some words and asked her to spell them to the best of her ability.
Precommunicative Semiphonetic Phonetic Transitional Correct Wens 1% Graes 15%
Fayrey brde Lite 1%
During the semiphonetic stage, the child begins to understand letter-sound correspondence that sounds are assigned to letters. At this stage, the child often employs rudimentary logic, using single letters, for example, to represent words, sounds, and syllables (Lutz, E. 1986). The only word in the semiphonetic stage from the writing sample was wens, which was suppose to be “wings”. The subject used n to abbreviate the ng in wings.
In the phonetic stage the child uses a letter or group of letters to represent every speech sound that they hear in a word. Although some of their choices do not conform to conventional English spelling, they are systematic and easily understood (Gentry, J.R. 1984). Examples from the sample include graes for “grass”, sweng for “swing”, teey for “tea”, kandle for “candle”, fayrey for “fairy”, and brde for “birdie”.
The transitional stage is when the speller begins to assimilate the conventional alternative for representing sounds, moving from a dependence on phonology (sound) for representing words to a reliance on visual representation and an understanding of the structure of words (Lutz, E. 1986). Examples from the writing sample include; lite for “light”, and babe for “baby”.
This particular writing sample had a high percentage of correct spelling. Elaine Lutz explains correct spelling in her article Invented Spelling and Spelling Development as; The speller knows the English orthographic system and its basic rules. The correct speller fundamentally understands how to deal with such things as prefixes and suffixes, silent consonants, alternative spellings, and irregular spellings. A large number of learned words are accumulated, and the speller recognizes incorrect forms. The child's generalizations about spelling and knowledge of exceptions are usually correct. The handwriting in this writing sample is sufficient for a child aged 5-6 years. The sample includes some inconsistencies in upper and lower case, irregular sized letters, and unique slanting of some letters. The subject doesn’t spell the same word differently, which is a positive. The subject shows legibility components expected for a child her age.