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Dialectal and developmental influences on real word and non-word spelling tasks

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Title:
Dialectal and developmental influences on real word and non-word spelling tasks
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English
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Dickerson, Stephanie Joy
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University of South Florida
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Subjects / Keywords:
Spelling errors
Linguistic features
African American English
Spelling development
Spelling assessment
Dissertations, Academic -- Communication Sciences and Disorders -- Masters -- USF   ( lcsh )
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non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Summary:
ABSTRACT: Spelling development is a linguistic process which involves the interaction of phonological, orthographic, and morphological knowledge (Bahr, Silliman, & Berninger, in press). It is also clear these linguistic factors are influenced by a person's dialect. Previous research has indicated that use of African American English (AAE) does influence spelling performance (Kohler, Bahr, Silliman, Bryant, Apel, & Wilkinson, 2007); however, few studies have considered how dialect use influences spelling as a function of spelling task (i.e., real vs. non-word tasks), error category (phonological, orthographic, or morphological) or grade. A secondary goal was to note if dialectal or developmental errors predominated in the noted misspellings.The Phonological, Orthographic, and Morphological Assessment of Spelling (POMAS, Silliman, Bahr, & Peters, 2006) was used to provide a fine-grained analysis of the spelling errors of 80 typically developing African American children in grades 1 (n = 39) and 3 (n = 41). These children were screened for language ability and they were determined to be AAE speakers by observing their use of phonological and/or morphosyntactic dialect features when retelling a story. Age-appropriate real word and non-word spelling tasks were developed which incorporated common features of AAE. A three-way ANOVA revealed that differences in error frequency were dependent upon word type, error type and grade. On the real word spelling task, children in both grades made more orthographic errors than phonological or morphological errors.On the non-word spelling task, students in both grades made fewer orthographic errors and students in grade 3 made significantly more phonological errors, while the number of phonological errors noted remained fairly constant across tasks for the children in grade 1. Common misspelling patterns revealed developmental errors, as well as errors attributed to AAE. A closer look at the occurrence of AAE features revealed that first graders were more likely to reflect dialectal patterns in their spelling than the third graders. This is possibly due to differences in exposure to the academic register and experience in code-switching. Finally, the real words elicited more AAE features than non-words suggesting that phonetic and linguistic contexts might influence the occurrence and use of AAE.
Thesis:
Thesis (M.S.)--University of South Florida, 2009.
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Includes bibliographical references.
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by Stephanie Joy Dickerson.
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Title from PDF of title page.
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Document formatted into pages; contains 103 pages.

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oclc - 436930999
usfldc doi - E14-SFE0002913
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Dialectal and Developmental Infl uences on Real Word and Non-Word Spelling Tasks by Stephanie Joy Dickerson A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement s for the degree of Master of Science Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders College of Behavioral and Community Sciences University of South Florida Major Professor: Ruth Huntley Bahr, Ph.D. Elaine R. Silliman, Ph.D. Kelly Lamar Crain, Ph.D. Date of Approval: April 6, 2009 Keywords: spelling errors, linguistic feat ures, African Americ an English, spelling development, spelling assessment Copyright 2009, Stephanie Joy Dickerson

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i Table of Contents List of Tables iii List of Figures iv Abstract v Chapter 1: Literature Review 1 Introduction 1 Perspectives on Spelling 4 Linear Theories 5 Stage theory 5 Layer theory 7 Non-Linear Theories 8 Interaction of linguistic com ponents 9 Evidence base 10 Summary 11 Scoring Systems 11 Constrained and Unconstrained 12 Visual Accuracy and Orthographic Legality 13 Visual accuracy 13 Orthographic legality 13 Treiman-Bourassa Early Spelling Test (T-BEST) 14 Analysis methods 14 Limitations 16 The Phonological Orthogr aphic, and Morphological Assessment System (POMAS) 16 Developmental Spelling Errors 18 Phonological Misspellings 18 Orthographic Misspellings 19 Inflectional Morphology Misspe llings 20 Dialect 21 SAE vs AAE 21 Comparison of the two dial ects 21 AAE features 22 Research on the Use of Dialect in Spelling 24 Summary 26 Statement of the Problem 27 Chapter 2: Method 30 Participants 30

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ii Materials 31 Informed Consent 31 Wordless Videos 31 Oral Language Measure 32 Spelling Assessment 32 Real Word Selection 32 Non-Word Selection 33 Procedures 35 Narrative Retelling Task 36 CELF-3 37 Spelling Assessment Administration 40 Data Analysis 41 POMAS Scoring 41 Data Reduction 43 Coding Agreement 44 Statistical Analysis 44 Qualitative Analyses 45 Chapter 3: Results 46 Inter-Examiner Agreement 46 Quantitative Analysis Across Error Type, Grade and Word Type 48 Qualitative Analysis 52 Frequency of Misspelled Real Words 53 Frequency of Misspelled Non-Words 54 Frequent Patterns of Misspelled Real Wo rds 56 Frequent Patterns of Misspelled Non-Wo rds 59 Frequency of AAE Features in Real Word Spellings 63 Frequency of AAE Features in Non-Word Spellings 64 Comparison of AAE Feature Use Across Grade and Word Type 66 Summary of Results 68 Chapter 4: Discussion 70 Linguistic Category Patterns by Word Type and Grade 71 Developmental and Dialectal Spelling Patterns Observed 73 Percent of AAE Errors 75 Strengths and Limitations of t he Study 79 Implications of the Study 83 Areas for Future Research 85 References 87 Appendices 96 Appendix A. POMAS Scoring S ystem 97 Appendix B. Real Word and Non-word Spelling Lists 100

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iii List of Tables Table 1. Occurrence of Frequently Scor ed Errors from All Writing Samples 17 Table 2. Fourteen Phonological Features Characteristic of AAE Child Speakers 38 Table 3. Fourteen Morphosyntact ic Features that More Often Identified Children, Ages 4 to 6 Years as Speakers of AAE 39 Table 4. Percent Correct S pelling Performance on Real and Non-Word Tasks 52 Table 5. Common Spelling Patte rns Found Among AAE-Speaking Children in Real Words 56 Table 6. Common Spelling Patte rns Found Among AAE-Speaking Children in Non-Words 60 Table 7. Occurrence of the Expected Spelling and AAE Features for First Graders and Thir d Graders on the Real Word Spelling Task 64 Table 8. Occurrence of the Expected Spelling and AAE Features for First Graders and Thir d Graders on the Non-Word Spelling Task 65 Table 9. Real and Non-Word Comparisons of AAE Feature Frequency Patterns 67

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iv List of Figures Figure 1. Differences in Error Types Across Word Types in Grade 1 49 Figure 2. Differences in Error Types Across Word Types in Grade 3 49 Figure 3. Differences in Real Word Erro r Types by Grade 51 Figure 4. Differences in Non-Word Erro r Types by Grade 52 Figure 5. A Histogram Depict ing the Error Response Rate of Children in Grades 1 and 3 on the Real Word Spelling Task 53 Figure 6. A Histogram Depicti ng the Error Response Rate of Children in Grades 1 and 3 on the Non-Word Spelling Task 55 Figure 7. Percentage of AAE Errors in Real Word and Non-Word Spelling Ta sks 68

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v Dialectal and Developmental Infl uences on Real Word and Non-Word Spelling Tasks Stephanie Joy Dickerson ABSTRACT Spelling development is a linguistic pr ocess which involves the interaction of phonological, orthographic, and morphol ogical knowledge (Bahr, Silliman, & Berninger, in press). It is also clear these linguistic factors are influenced by a persons dialect. Previous research has i ndicated that use of African American English (AAE) does influence spelling performance (Kohler, Bahr, Silliman, Bryant, Apel, & Wilkinson, 2007); howev er, few studies have considered how dialect use influences spelling as a functi on of spelling task (i.e., real vs. nonword tasks), error category (phonological orthographic, or morphological) or grade. A secondary goal was to note if dialectal or developmental errors predominated in the noted misspellings. The Phonological, Orthographic, a nd Morphological Assessment of Spelling (POMAS, Silliman, Bahr, & Peters, 2006) was used to provide a finegrained analysis of the spelling errors of 80 typically developing African American children in grades 1 (n = 39) and 3 (n = 41). These children were screened for language ability and they were determined to be AAE speakers by observing their use of phonological and/or morphosyntactic dialect features when retelling a

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vi story. Age-appropriate real word and non-word spelling tasks were developed which incorporated common features of AAE. A three-way ANOVA revealed that di fferences in error frequency were dependent upon word type, error type and grade. On the real word spelling task, children in both grades made more ort hographic errors than phonological or morphological errors. On the non-word spelling task, students in both grades made fewer orthographic errors and students in grade 3 made significantly more phonological errors, while the number of phonological errors noted remained fairly constant across tasks for the ch ildren in grade 1. Common misspelling patterns revealed developmental errors, as well as errors attributed to AAE. A closer look at the occurrence of AAE features revealed that first graders were more likely to reflect dialectal patterns in their spelling than the third graders. This is possibly due to differences in exposure to the academic register and experience in code-switching. Finally, the real words elicited more AAE features than non-words suggesting that phonetic and linguistic contexts might influence the occurrence and use of AAE.

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1 Chapter 1 Literature Review Introduction Spelling is an important component of literacy. According to Templeton (2004), the process of r eading and writing words uses the same lexical representations. Analysis of a childs spellings, therefore, can provide information on the linguistic foundations of their liter acy knowledge, which in turn can give insight into the quality of a students engagement with texts (T empleton, 2004). Spelling is more than just a convention of writing; it is an indication of a childs word knowledge which involves the integr ation of phonological, orthographic, and morphological knowledge of language. These knowledge bases will be described below. Phonological knowledge is knowl edge about the sound structure of a language (Schuele & Bourdreau, 2008). Mo re specifically, phonological knowledge deals with the rules that gover n the sequencing and distribution of the speech sounds of a language (Bernthal & Bankson, 2004). These rules, which govern the permissible and impermissible sequencing of phonemes, as well as dialectal variations, are st ored in the mental lexicon as phonological regularities (Masterson & Apel, 2000).

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2 Orthography deals with the written sym bols or graphemic representations of a language. Orthographic knowledge incl udes awareness of the graphemes used to represent the sounds of a l anguage and the rules that govern their permissible positions and sequences (A pel, Masterson & Hart, 2004). Children must first learn the intricate and system atic nature of t he representation of speech sounds in print (Schuele & B ourdreau, 2008, p.6). Then, orthographic knowledge moves past simple sound-symbol correspondences to the identification of orthographic patterns in spelling, such as, letter doubling after a short vowel Morphology is the study of word meaning and its st ructure. The smallest meaningful elements of a word are morphemes. Morphological knowledge pertains to the understanding and apprec iation of morphological units in constructing words, whether spoken or wr itten (Templeton, 2004). Knowledge of base morphemes (or root words) and how they are modified through use of inflectional and derivationa l morphemes is important to becoming a proficient speller due to the fact that many word s cannot be spelled using only phonological or orthographic knowledge (Templeton, 2004). Templeton (2004) asserts that the ma jority of students that struggle with reading and/or writing also struggle with spelling. Th is phenomenon could be due to the fact that spelling and reading/writing employ the same lexical representations (Templeton, 2004). T herefore, spelling may be the purest indicator of the quality of an individuals lexical representations. Moreover, spelling provides insight into which lingu istic features (phonolog ical, orthographic,

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3 or morphological) children are attending to or utilizing when engaged in reading, writing, and spelli ng (Templeton, 2004). With that in mind, Washington (2001) described poor reading achievement in African American children and the possible variables that many be influencing this observed trend. Of these variables, dialectal variation was named in addition to socioeconomic status, general or al language skills and home literacy practices. The U.S. Depar tment of Education (2008) reported that African American children are conti nuing to perform more poorly than Caucasian children in reading. It has been suggested that the mismatch between the language forms used in the home environment of children who speak African American English (AAE) and those used in the classroom may be influencing the academic performance of these children (Craig, & Washington, 2004; Washington, 2001). Dialectal variations, expressly phonol ogical variations, may be an underlying factor contributing to this observed di fficulty with reading. While most of the research that has been conducted in this area has focused on oral reading and phonological awareness (Craig & Wash ington, 2004; Washington, 2001; Washington & Craig, 2001), few studies have focused on spelling (Capen, 2001; Kohler, Bahr, Silliman, Bryant, Apel, & Wilkinson, 2007; Terry, 2006; Treiman, 2004). In light of the fact that spelli ng and reading draw on the same linguistic knowledge, analysis of the spelling pa tterns of children who speak AAE may shed some light into how dialect use may be impacting the acquisition of underlying linguistic knowledge needed for lit eracy tasks. However, the type of spelling analysis that is done is important to the information that can be gathered.

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4 Many quantitative scoring systems have been developed over the years to analyze spelling performance (Bahr, Silliman & Berninger, in press). These systems assess spelling through attributing val ues to the errors made in an effort to calculate how far a miss pelling is from the target word. Yet, these systems do not typically target all thr ee areas of linguistic knowledge. Therefore, a qualitative scoring system which describes errors should be considered to provide more flexibility and allow for the identification of error pattern s across its three linguistic components. This literature review will address different perspectives of spelling development, the different systems used to analyze misspellings, as well as a description of common developmental spelli ng errors. In addition, the dialectal differences between Standard American English (SAE) and AAE will be defined followed by a discussion of dialectal research on spelling. Perspectives on Spelling Early in the twentieth century, Eng lish spelling was widely viewed, by researchers and teachers alike, as a proc ess of memorizing and practicing the use of frequently used words (Bahr, Sillim an & Berninger, in press). Emphasis was placed on spelling as a visual memory activity with little attention given to the linguistic nature of the spelling task. During the second half of the twentieth century, individuals shifted their focu s to identifying patterns in the English spelling system, which revealed that E nglish has a greater degree of regularity than commonly assumed (Templeton & Morri s, 2001). Additionally, researchers

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5 started to consider spelling as a devel opmental process. As a result, the contemporary linear and non-linear theorie s of spelling development emerged. Linear Theories Linear approaches, which include Stage Theory and the later developed Layer Theory, describe spelling development as a sequential process (Gentry, 1982; Henderson, 1985; Ehri, 1986; Temp leton, 2004). Stage Theory purports that one phase of spelling development is acquired prior to the acquisition of another. In contrast, Layer Theory describes spelling as a process which occurs along a continuum where one layer (a lphabetic, pattern, and meaning) is predominate and guides the students spelling strategies (Bear, Templeton, Helman, & Baren, 2003). The Layer Theor y, therefore, acknowledges the possibility of a child reflecting on more than one layer as they learn to spell. Stage theory Stage theory suggests that lingu istic knowledge is acquired in the following order: phonological, orthographic, and then morphological knowledge. This theory arose when re searchers qualitatively analyzed and described the process of spelling devel opment in children. While many investigators supported stage theory, t hey disagreed on the number and scope of the stages that constitut ed the spelling process, as well as the timing of acquisition for each proposed stage. Three of the most well-known stage theories are contrasted below (Ehri, 1986; Gentry, 1982; Henderson,1985). Gentry (1982) proposed five stages of spelling development that are presumed to be completed during early ac ademic instruction. Henderson (1985) described five stages as well, but he distin ctly identified spel ling development as

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6 a life-long process. Ehri (1986), on the other hand, pos tulated three stages with the final stage encompassing the devel opment of both orthographic and morphological skills which led to convent ional spelling. Ehri asserted that conventional spelling skills continued to grow throughout life, a reason why spelling did not conform to strict stage boundaries. A second difference found among t he Stage Theory perspectives deals with how the first stage is defined. Gent ry (1982) proposed that the first stage was characterized by random letter-stri ngs without express understanding of the sound each letter makes. Hendersons (1985) first stage was less stringent in that it included any meaningless mar ks on paper with no understanding of the correlation between writing and speech. Ehri s (1986) first stage was similar to Gentrys in that letter sound knowledge was not present; however, it differed in that only letter use was required and not necessarily letter strings. More recently, Ehri has described development as occurring in four phases which do not necessarily develop in strict sequence (Ehri, 1995; Ehri, 2002; Wright & Ehri, 2007). This theory it stresses the role of orthography in early reading behaviors. Ehri believes that si ght reading involves linking spelling patterns to pronunciations and meaning in me mory. In this way, children learn to read automatically without relying on sounding words out. Four phases have been described: pre-alphabetic, partial alphabetic, full alphabetic, and consolidated alphabetic phases (Ehri, 1995; Ehri, 2002; Wright & Ehri, 2007). The pre-alphabetic phase occurs prior to the acquisition of any alphabetic knowledge such as letter-tosound correspondences. In this phase,

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7 the connection between words and their meaning is visual where salient aspects of words are acknowledged without the utiliz ation of the alphabetic code. Next, in the partial alphabetic phase, children begin to attend to certain letters within the word, usually the first and/or last letters of the word. At this time, letter to sound correspondences start to form. In the fu ll alphabetic phase, children are able to form alphabetic connections to orthographic representations. It is in this stage that irregular orthographic patterns are noted and strategies are adopted to help aid in reading (and spelling) these words. Finally, the consolidated alphabetic stage consists of the use of letter pattern s (orthographic patterns/rules) to aid in the reading/spelling process. An exampl e of support for this model was noted when kindergartners and first graders were better at learning words when double letters occurred in appropriate word pos itions (Jet, Rug) as opposed to inappropriate word positions (Jett, RRug; Wright & Ehri, 2007). These findings supported the idea that orthography infl uences early word reading, forcing the switch from the recognition of stages, which have specific starting and ending points, to the notion of phases, which ar e less precise in their beginnings and endings. Phases still occur in a particula r sequence, but the transition into the next phase can overlap with preceding phase(s). Layer theory. Another broad or lin ear way of viewing the hierarchy of spelling development is the idea that s pelling knowledge is acquired in three layers: alphabetic, pattern, and meaning (Templeton, 2004). In the alphabetic layer, spelling consists of matching sounds to their correspondin g letters from left to right. The pattern layer describes the orthographic and positio nal features that

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8 determine how certain sounds are spelle d using graphemes. In this layer, students move beyond one to one correspondences and develop understanding of the more abstract rela tionships between sound and symbol (Bear et al., 2003). Finally, the meaning layer reflects the i dea that words are related in meaning, and are spelled similarly despite po ssible changes in pronunciation or orthography. Layer Theory is slightly diffe rent form Stage Theory in two ways: first, spelling development is presumed to start with the ac quisition of graphemephoneme correspondences and, second, less specificity of description is provided detailing when and how each layer emerges. Therefore, the acquisition of linguistic knowledge underlying spelli ng is described as an exploration which moves from sound/alphabetic knowledge, through pattern to meaning (Templeton, 2004, p.275). Non-linear Theories In contrast to the stage and layer m odels of spelling development, are the Non-linear Theories. These theories emphas ize the use of multiple strategies and linguistic knowledge to spell (Bour assa, & Treiman, 2001, Treiman, & Bourassa, 2000; Treiman, & Cassar, 1997). The Non-linear Theory further describes spelling development as an interactive process where all of the linguistic knowledge a child has is utilized to aid spelling (Masterson & Apel, 2000). More specifically, phonological orthographic, and morphological knowledge do not develop sequentially but concurrently. The child has access to all three knowledge levels at once.

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9 Interaction of linguistic components Treiman et al. (2001) explain spelling development as a process that is gui ded by linguistic factors but does not proceed in a homogeneous fashio n (p. 8). They illustrated this by providing an example of a child who easily masters le tter names but has difficulty mastering the sound each letter makes or likewise, mastering certain orthographic and morphological patterns over others. Another account of Non-linear Theory suggests that spelling development involves the interaction of phonologica l, orthographic, and morphological information with mental graphemic repres entations (Apel, Masterson & Hart, 2004; Masterson & Apel, 2000). Mental gr aphemic representations are defined as visual orthographic images (Apel et al., 2004, p.294) of syllables, morphemes and words which are said to speed up the process of reading and spelling in that they aid in accessing stored images of words. Borrowing from Sulzbys (1996) Repertoire theory, Masterson and Apel (2000) explain spelling development as a process where linguistic knowledge is used and developed concurrently, not just in specific stages Hence, development of one linguistic knowledge source is not completely dependent on the development of another (Apel, 2008, p.3). Masterson and Apel (2000) suggest t hat children have many different linguistic knowledge bases at their disposal which are accessed and used depending upon the linguistic de mands of the task before them, as well as the childs familiarity with those linguistic fa ctors. Thus, the spelling process can be seen as a language task which involves children utilizing their knowledge base of

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10 phonology, orthography, and morphology. In addition, task complexity influences spelling performance. When a misspelling o ccurs, it may be due to the point that the linguistic complexity of the word su rpasses the childs capacity to employ linguistic components simultaneously (Apel, Masterson & Niessen, 2004). Spelling development is then seen as expansion of chil drens linguistic knowledge and advancement in the ability to employ that knowledge when needed (Apel et al., 2004). Evidence base Evidence in support of the nonlinear account can be observed in a study by Reece and Treiman (2001) who found that first grade children depended on both phonological and orthographic knowledge to spell words with vocalic /r/. Their findings indi cated that the phonolog ical aspects of spelling did not work alone, but along with other aspects of linguistic knowledge, such as orthographic and morphological knowledge, to produce increasingly conventional spellings (Reece & Treiman, 2001). For example, within the academic y ear, first grade child ren demonstrated a shift in their spelling patterns. At first, children used the phonological representation, such as sr for sir In this case, the two sounds /s/ and / / were represented with the two cons onants s and r, indicating no recognition of the orthographic rule in which every word must have a vowel. The children then shifted to the integration of orthog raphic knowledge by in troducing a vowel; however, the vowel introduced was not alwa ys in the correct place, as in the example sre for sir This spelling shows how t he phonological stru cture of the word (from CV to CCV), which the children had previously demonstrated

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11 understanding of, was changed in an attempt to follow an orthographic rule, e.g., adding a vowel. Lastly, the vowel e was shown to be the preferred vowel added by most children. This finding indicated t hat the first graders were relying on their knowledge of unstressed vocalic /r/, wh ich is the most common spelling of unstressed vocalic /r/. Summary In summary, proponents of the linear approach have described spelling development as a sequential process that takes place in stages. Though some stages overlap is acknowledged, stages ar e thought to develop successively with morphology being the final linguistic component to develop. Conversely, advocates of the non-linear approach consider spelling development as an interactive process where all of the linguistic components are present in basic form at the outset and are utilized throughout the process of spelling development. Although these two perspectives of spelling development differ as to the nature of appearance and interaction of the linguistic systems, both accounts agree that knowledge of phonology, orthography and morphology contribute to the development of conventional spelling. Scoring Systems In order to better understand the devel opmental process of typically developing children, as well as atypical populations, spelling errors must be analyzed through both quantitative and qualit ative measures. Quantitative measures are valuable in identifying the fr equency of errors or the percentage of errors that occur, but t hey provide little information on error type or identifying

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12 where the breakdown is occurring linguisti cally. The latter type of knowledge can be provided using a qualitative scor ing system. A qualitative scoring system moves beyond identifying an error and aims to describe the error observed. In the following section, quantitative and qual itative scoring systems for spelling will be described and their strengths and weaknesses are discussed. Constrained and Unconstrained A frequently used approach to scoring measures accuracy in terms of the relationship between phonology and orthography. A tight relationship is necessary for a constrained approach and the relationship between phonology and orthography is looser in an unconstrai ned system. For instance, users of a constrained scoring system consider if a misspelled word is phonetically accurate and does not violate any orthographic rules. Bruck and Waters (1988) offered the example of kepe for keep The e at the end of the mi sspelled word makes the vowel long; therefore, the word would be pronounced like the target. Conversely, an unconstrained scoring system considers a misspelled word phonetically accurate if each phoneme in the word is represented by a grapheme, for instance, rech for reach (Bruck & Waters, 1988). In th is case, each phoneme is represented by an appropriate grapheme, but the resulting letter sequence may not be legal. Both the constrained and unconstr ained scoring systems can provide useful information on the development of phonological and orthographic knowledge. However, these systems onl y produce an accuracy score (i.e., whether the word is acceptable approximati on or not). No information is provided

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13 on the types of errors that are made, but rather how close the misspelling is to the target. Furthermore, neit her of these systems directly assesses the role of morphological knowledge in spelling. Visual Accuracy and Orthographic Legality Visual accuracy Other scoring systems focus on how the word appears. An example would be the visual accuracy or bigram approach (Apel et al., 2004; Bruck & Waters, 1988). This technique qu antitatively analyzes the orthographic representation of a word. To do so, the overlap between each independent letter in the misspelled word and the letters in the target word is assessed and a visual accuracy score is computed. Bruck and Waters (1988) illustrated this system using the word nature, which has five bigrams (na+at +tu+ur+re) and six letters. If a child misspelled the word as nachure, a visual accuracy score would be obtained by matching the childs spelling with 3 bigrams (na, ur, re) and 5 letters (n,a,u,r,e) for a total score of 8 out of 11 (five bigrams and six letters). This would result in a score of .73 (or 8/11). This ty pe of score provides some perspective on how closely the misspelling approximated the conventional orthography of the word, but the score itself tells littl e about the phoneme-grapheme difficulties the child may be experiencing. Orthographic legality Another analysis technique is orthographic legality, which determines whether or not the s equence of graphemes in the misspelled word is permissible in English spelling (Treiman & Bourassa, 2000). For example, if the word straight was misspelled as strate, it would be considered orthographically legal. However, if the word string was misspelled as stwing, it

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14 would not be considered ort hographically legal because the letter w is not found in an initial three element s cl usters in the English language. Just like the constrained and unconstrained scoring systems, this scoring system merely considers whether spelli ngs are orthographica lly acceptable or not. Orthographic legality does not take into consideration how close a misspelling is to the conventional spel ling of the target word. For example, stwing for string appears to be visually closer to the target spelling than strate for straight Another limitation is t hat no information is provi ded on the types of errors made, adding little constructive information for understanding the spelling development process and few im plications emerge for futu re spelling instruction. Treiman-Bourassa Early Spelling Test (T-BEST) Treiman and Bourassa (2000) descr ibed a different way to analyze spellings to better account for the roles of phonological and orthographic acceptability. This scoring system was dev eloped as part of a spelling test, the Treiman-Bourassa Early Spelling Test (T-BEST). Analysis methods For this test, Treiman and Bourassa (2000) proposed four different methods for the analysis of childrens oral and written spellings: 1) total correctness, 2) a composite spelling score, 3) phonological skeleton, and 4) orthographic acceptability. First, the spelli ngs were scored for correctness, which simply determined if the words were spe lled correctly or incorrectly based on the conventional spelling of the word. Nex t, composite scores were used to assess phonological and orthographic fe atures of the spellings. The more phonological and orthographic features of the conventional spelling of a word that were

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15 present in a childs misspelling, the clos er the composite score would be to the pre-calculated total score possible for t hat word. Then, the phonological skeleton or the consonant-vowel pattern of the tar get word of the spelling was evaluated independently. If the word cat, which has a consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) phonological skeleton, was spelled cen (C VC), the child would have preserved the phonological skeleton of the target word. If a child spelled the word cat as cae (CVV), the phonological skeleton of CVC would not have been preserved. In this system, the spellings were scored as either having retained the phonological structure or not. For each child, the frequency with which the phonological structure was preserved was determined and the mean for each grade was reported. Finally, orthographic legality was used to determine whether or not the order of the lette rs used was acceptable in English spelling. As with the scoring of the phonological skeleton, fr equency of orthographically acceptable spellings was determined and the m ean for each grade was reported. Using the T-BEST scoring system, Tr eiman and Bourassa (2000) found that spelling scores improved as grade level increased. Kindergartners did not spell any of the words correctly on either spelling task (oral or written) indicating that these young spellers had yet to obt ain sufficient linguist ic knowledge and spelling instruction to spell well enough for the type of spelling task to influence performance. First and second graders performed significantly better on the written spelling task than the oral spelling task when scored for correctness, composite scores, and phonological skelet on preservation. No difference was observed between tasks when scored for orthographic acceptability. These

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16 findings indicate that superiori ty of written spelling over oral spelling is not limited to highly skilled spellers but starts to dev elop as early as first grade (Treiman and Bourassa, 2000). Limitations The T-BEST scoring system was developed to assess multiple aspects of spelling. However, this system has some limitations. For example, scoring for phonological skeleton and orthographic legality only provide information based on presence or absence of the aspect being scored. This type of scoring provides little information on what phonological and orthographic patterns are being violated. In addition, morphological aspects of the words are never considered. The Phonological, Orthographic, and Morphologica l Assessment System (POMAS) In contrast to the scoring systems previously discussed, the POMAS scoring system is a qualitative syst em and considers all the linguistic components of spelling (Silliman, Bahr, & Peters, 2006). Misspellings first are determined to be primarily phonological, orthographic, or morphological in nature and then further classified according to specif ic linguistic features. For example, if the target word was cast and the misspelling was cas the word would be classified as a phonological error and the linguistic feature in error would be consonant cluster reduction. This type of qualitative system can allow for a more direct assessment of the linguistic k nowledge (phonological, orthographic, or morphological) used during spelling.

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17 The POMAS was used to examine developmental spelling errors of children in grades 1 through 4 on narrative and expository spelling tasks (Fawcett, 2006). The spelling errors of a total of 400 children (100 for each grade) were analyzed with a mean of 5.94 spelling errors for each writing sample across grades. The analysis revealed that there was no difference between the types of linguistic errors made on the narrative and expository writing tasks. However, first graders made the most erro rs overall and the prevalent error type shifted from phonological to orthographic as grade level increased. In addition, common developmental spelling patterns we re identified. The more frequently occurring errors across the 800 writing samples analyzed are summarized in Table 1. The errors identified were in line with the findings of what previous research has identified as common devel opmental errors. Examples of these descriptions can be found in Appendix A. Table 1. Occurrence of Frequently Scor ed Errors from All Writing Samples Code Description Number of uses OVE Orthographic vowel pattern 620 OLN Orthographic letter name 409 ODI Orthographic digraph 367 PSE Phonological Silent e 306 OLS Orthographic letter sound 254 OUVP Orthographic unusual vowel pattern 234 POR Phonological/Orthographic reversal 229 OVr Orthographic vocalic /r/ 198

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18 Using the POMAS qualitative scori ng system, Fawcett (2006) noted that fourth grade children made significantly mo re morphological errors than children in grades 1-3. More specifically, mo rphological homonym and inflectional errors occurred more frequently as grade increased but these types of errors were present as early as first grade. This finding reportedly contradicted previous research that suggested that morphological errors were rarely noted in the early grades (Fawcett, 2006). Qualitative analysis of spelling errors lends support to identifying the types of errors that o ccur developmentally. This in turn provides a foundation for identifying differences across various populations. The fo llowing section will briefly review our current understandi ng of common spelling developmental errors. Developmental Spelling Errors Cassar and Treiman (2005) review ed developmental trends in spelling patterns of typically developing children. Misspelling patterns by error category will be presented below. Phonological Misspellings Cassar and Treiman (2005) discu ssed how letter-name knowledge developed as early as preschool and wa s used in the early spellings of preschoolers. For example, in a word that has a letter name in its pronunciation, such as the r in the word car, young children would typically use the letter to represent the whole word, as in R for car Starting in kinder garten continuing through second grade, one could still observe a child using letter-name

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19 knowledge; however, at this point in development, they also marked other consonants in the word, such as CR for car. Similarly, lettername errors were also reported to occur on long vowels; take for example, hom for home, bot for boat, and awa for away. Other developmental spelling errors observed included initial and final consonant cluster reduction, with the omission of sonorant consonants more likely than omission of obstruent consonant s (Bourassa & Treiman, 2001; Cassar & Treiman, 2005;). This pattern result s because children relate the sonorant sounds in a word with the quality of the vowel that precedes it (i.e., had for hand ). In addition, children tend to omit the in ternal consonant of an initial consonant cluster, as in the example, set for sweat (Bourassa & Treiman, 2001). Furthermore, omission of reduced vowels and vowels used in spelling syllabic /r/ and /l/, and short vowel errors are also common developmental errors. (Cassar & Treiman, 2005; Fawcett, 2006). All of t hese error types are considered to be phonological in nature. Orthographic Misspellings Common orthographic errors included consonant doubling errors, which typically occur when the child does not understand that doubling typically occurs in the medial and final position of wo rds following a short vowel (Treiman & Cassar, 1997). Omission of silent e for ma rking long vowels, digraph errors, and letter sound errors are other often repor ted orthographic errors (Fawcett, 2006; Treiman & Cassar, 1997). These types of spelling errors reportedly become less

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20 common as exposure to print and spel ling instruction increase a childs knowledge of orthographic patterns. Inflectional Morphology Misspellings Cassar and Treiman (2005) report ed that morphological knowledge developed in stages, as observed in the use of inflectional ed which is initially marked phonetically in words by a t or a d. As a childs spelling ability advances, he/she begins to mark t he inflection appropriately with ed. Interestingly, he/she will start to overgener alize the inflectional ed pattern to irregular verbs and non-verbs (i.e., sofed for soft) as well as to regular past tense verbs. As the child begins to understand the grammatical purpose of the inflected ed the overgeneralization then becomes limited to irregular past tense verbs. Hence, common misrepresentations of pas t tense ed include the use of d, -t, or an incorrect vowel + d in a childs misspelling. Furthermore, research involving the occu rrence of cluster reduction in twomorpheme words and the spe lling of flap consonants in two-morpheme words has suggested that, although phonology pl ays an important role in spelling development, morphology is sometimes us ed to override phonological strategies (Cassar & Treiman, 2005). For example, children from ki ndergarten through second grade made fewer final consonant cl uster errors in two-morpheme words ( rained ) than single morpheme words ( brand ; Treiman & Cassar, 1996). Similarly, children in kindergarten, first, and second grade also used morphological knowledge of r oot words to aid in the spelling of flaps in two-

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21 morpheme words such as waited as opposed to single morpheme words like butter (Treiman, Cassar & Zukowski, 1994). Having a foundational knowledge of dev elopmental spelling errors is important in detecting and identifying spel ling errors that may be related to dialect. The previously discussed POMAS scoring system can be used to describe the linguistic patterns in miss pellings and may theref ore be sensitive enough to identify whether or not the oral dialectal patterns are being represented in an individuals written spe lling patterns. The following section will briefly define dialect and review research on the influence of dialect on spelling. Dialect A dialect reflects the geographical, historical, social and cultural background of its speaker (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association; ASHA, 2003). Additionally, Wolfram and Schilling-Estes (1991) state that social and regional dialects of American English are systematic, highly regular linguistic systems that cross the lingu istic parameters of phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, the lexicon, pr agmatics, and suprasegmentals. As a result, dialects are deemed legitimate and rule-governed language systems. According to ASHA (2003), there are many dialects of Am erican English, but two of the most prominent are Standard Amer ican English (SAE) and Af rican American English (AAE). SAE vs AAE Comparison of the two dialects. SAE, also known as Standard American English, is a general term used to define accents that do not bear the marked

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22 regional characteristics of the eastern or the southern parts of the United States (Giegerich, 1992). SAE has the lar gest geographical spread and, although, writing is not speech written down (Te rry, 2006, p.907), SAE is closest to the standard written form taught in schools and is typically encountered in school discourse. In contrast, AAE is a dialect with its own historical, cultural, and linguistic system and is spoken by many African Americans (Terry, 2006). Although it varies on many linguistic levels from SAE, it is important to realize that the common phonological, grammati cal and lexical features that characterize AAE are shared by many English dialects including SAE and White Vernacular English (WVE; Pollock, 2000; Wyatt, 1995). In fact, both SAE and AAE are not defined solely by the presence or absenc e of specific features, but by the frequency and contexts in which they occu r (Terry, 2006); theref ore, there is a continuum of AAE use, with external and internal factors influencing where an individual falls on that continuum (Pollo ck, 2000). External factors include the speakers age, the listeners age, gender, and socioeconomic status, etc., as well as the formality of the situat ion in which the conversation is being held. Internal factors include linguistic fa ctors related to place, manner and voicing of sounds affected, phonetic context, position within th e syllable, word, or utterance, stress pattern, grammatical class, and morphological status. AAE features. As previously mentioned, A AE features influence various linguistic parameters. For example, the phonol ogical features of AAE include final consonant deletion, substituting /f/ for / / or /v/ for // in t he medial and final word

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23 positions, consonant cluster reduction, simplification of rhotic vowels, and metathesis, to name a few (Green, 2002; Pollock, 2000; Rickford, 1999). Additionally, other morphosyntactic feat ures include zero marking of the past tense ed, and zero marking of plural s (Oetting & McDonald, 2001), as well as regularization of irregular plurals (The m ens are standin up), regularization of possessive pronouns ( Its mines ) and pronominal differences (He hurt hisself; Wyatt, 1995). In order to understand how the phonological patterns of a dialect can possibly influence spelling, we can look to Clark-Klein and Hodson (1995) who speculated that children draw from a phonological st ore when both speaking and spelling. In their study, they analyzed the phonological spelling errors of two groups of third graders, those who had hi stories of disordered phonologies and those who did not. Their results reveal ed that the group of children with disordered phonologies produc ed considerably more phonological errors than typically developing children suggesting t hat the deviant phonological rules that governed the storage and use of phonological features influenced their spelling patterns as well. Children and adults who speak AAE dialect do not have a disorder as the children in Clark-Kle in and Hodsons (1995) study; however, AAE speakers do use phonological rules ot her than those of the SAE dialect. Therefore, it is possible that AAE features may surfac e and influence the spelling development and patterns of African-American children.

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24 Research on the Use of Dialect in Spelling Unfortunately, research on the infl uence of dialect on spelling has been minimal (Capen, 2001; Kohler et al., 2007; Terry, 2006; Treiman, 2004; Treiman & Barry, 2000; Treiman, Goswami, Ti ncoff, & Leevers, 1997). However, the studies available provide a foundation for understanding this relationship. For example, Treiman et al. (1997) designed a study that compared the spelling of children who spoke General Amer ican English (GAE) to the spelling of children who spoke Southern British Eng lish (SBE; Treiman et al., 1997). The results indicated that the spelling erro rs of young children (ages 6-7.5 years) reflected the features of t heir respective dialects. For example, GAE is a rhotic dialect, meaning /r/ can be pronounced after a vowel and SBE is a non-rhotic dialect where /r/ is not pronounced after a vowel. Therefore, when children who spoke GAE misspelled hurt, they often misspelled it as hrt, whereas speakers of SBE would most likely misspell it as hut These findings would suggest, at the very least, that the phonological differenc es of a marked dialect can influence spelling patterns of young children. Similar results were obtained by Tr eiman and Barry (2000) who analyzed the spelling patterns of college students from the United Stat es who spoke SAE and those from Great Britain who spoke SBE. In this case, adult SBE speakers omitted the /r/ in their rhotic /r/ spellings reflecting their dialectal patterns 24% of the time, whereas SAE speakers only omitted the final /r/ only 1% of the time. Again, supporting the idea that di alect use influences spelling.

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25 Research specifically on the in fluence of AAE dialect on spelling development is limited. One study t hat focused on AAE dialect examined the linguistic knowledge and spelling skills of 92 children in grades 1 through 3 who were divided into two groups; those who spoke AAE and those who spoke SAE (Terry, 2006). A 25-item list of spelli ng words targeting inflections was administered to the children in a traditional spelling test format. Spelling accuracy of the targeted inflections was scor ed to determine percentage accuracy. The incorrect spellings were further classi fied as a phonetic error, non-phonetic error, omission, morphological substitution, or other. Oral production and understanding of the targeted inflections was also measured, as well as knowledge of common orthographic patterns fo r the targeted inflections. Results indicated that the two groups of children differed in their spelling and production of inflected grammatical morphemes, but not in their ability to recognize them. At each grade level, inflections were omi tted more often by those who spoke AAE and there was a direct relationship between the density of the morphosyntactic features used in speech and the childs spelling of inflections. Hence, AAE and SAE speakers differed in their spelling and oral production of inflections and the errors made were reflective of li nguistic differences between AAE and SAE. Another study that focused on the influences of AAE dialect, addressed the role dialect plays in phonemic awareness and non-word spelling tasks (Kohler et al., 2007). These investigat ors evaluated 80 typically developing African American children in grades 1 and 3. The children were screened for dialect use and dialect density (Craig, Thompson, Washington, & Potter, 2003;

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26 Oetting & McDonald, 2001; Washington, Craig, & Kushmaul, 1998) as determined through an analysis of narrati ve and sentence productions. The participants were then given a standardized test of phonological processing and administered a non-word spelling measur e. The influence of dialect on both experimental tasks was analyzed and a qualitative analysis of the non-word spellings was performed. Analysis of the non-words was accomplished using a modified T-BEST scoring system which adjusted the scores by giving credit for the use of AAE phonologica l features by adding one point for every error attributed to AAE. The dialect density measures explained few differences in the phonological processing scores. However, children in grade 3 with higher dialect densities produced more non-word spelli ng errors using AAE features than children who used fewer AAE features (Kohler et. al., 2007). This finding was important in that it show ed the influence of dialect in a phonologically-based task, i.e., the spelling of non-words. Furthe rmore, qualitative analyses revealed three frequent AAE features: final consonant cluster reduction, zero /l/ before bilabial stops, and final consonant devoicing. In addition, at least one AAE pattern was observed in the spellings of all of the fi rst grade participants and 37 out of 40 of the third grade participants. Summary These studies indicate that dialect can influence the spelling patterns of those who speak it. However, there is still much research to be done to clarify the influence of dialect on spelling. In order to better understand the effect of dialect

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27 on the spelling patterns of children, res earch should continue in qualitatively describing spelling errors. Furthermore, qualitative analysis of t he misspelling patterns of those who speak AAE or any dialect should consider all linguistic factors that are employed in the spelling process. The end result should be better understanding as to how dialect influences spelling as well as helping us to further understand the extent of its influence. The POMAS scoring syst em would be a valuable tool in completing this type of qualitativ e analysis (Silliman et al., 2006). Statement of the Problem Spelling development is now underst ood as a linguistic process which involves the interaction of phonologica l, orthographic, and morphological knowledge. It is also clear these linguist ic factors are influenced by a persons dialect. Previous research indicate s that dialect does influence spelling performance and this influence has been further observed in the spelling performance of those who speak AAE (Cape n, 2001; Kohler et al., 2007; Terry, 2006; Treiman, 2004). At least one study has suggested that grade influences the amount of AAE dialect observed in s pelling. For example, children after 2 nd grade make fewer dialectal errors on a non-word spelling task (Kohler et al., 2007). However, little qualitative analysis of AAE dialectal spelling errors has been completed. Identificat ion of linguistic patterns would be valuable in determining the extent of influence AAE might have on spelling performance across grade and word type (real vs. non-words). Furthermore, describing the

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28 linguistic patterns of children who speak AAE could aid in distinguishing between developmental errors and those t hat are dialectal in nature. Non-word spelling tasks might be mo re sensitive to the phonological variation of a dialect in that it is a more phonologically taxing task. Non-word spelling tasks are easily understood if ex plained using the dual-route model of word recognition. This model proposes that there are two routes that can be used to read and spell: the lexical route and the nonlexical route. The lexical route uses stored memory of spellings to re call and spell words (Beeson, Rising, Kim, & Rapcsak, 2008). For example, irregular words, such as yacht and choir, do not follow conventional sound-to-letter corre spondences and instead rely on the lexical route to retrieve and spell words. The nonlexical route, on the other hand, relies only on the knowledge of soundto-letter correspondences to generate spellings. For example, w hen the spelling of non-words is accomplished, it is believed to rely on the nonlexical route. However, the spelling of regular real words is unique in that either or both routes to spell a word can be employed (Beeson et. al., 2008). Therefore, perform ances on non-word spelling tasks might be more beneficial when assessing the influence of dialect on spelling patterns because such tasks could be more sensitive to the phonological patterns of the dialect. Comparing the spelling errors of real word and a non-word spelling tasks using a qualitative scoring system woul d aid in adding valuable insight to the influence of dialect on the linguistic knowledge used by children who speak AAE. The aim of this study is to qualitat ively examine whet her the use of AAE dialect influences spelling performance on real word and non-word tasks and if

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29 so, to describe the spelling patterns of AAE-speaking children in grades 1 and 3. The three questions addressed are: 1) Does the frequency of linguistic error patterns on a spelling measure differ among speakers of African Am erican English as a function of word type (real vs. non-words), lingui stic category, and grade level? 2) What types of spelling errors ar e noted in first and th ird grade children who speak AAE? 3) What percentage of errors is re lated to the use of AAE dialect?

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30 Chapter 2 Method This study involved reanalyzing the spelling data from the Kohler et al. (2007) study. That study focused on us ing a modified version of the T-BEST scoring system, which gave credit to spelli ng errors attributed to AAE, to quantify the influence of dialect on spelling perform ance. Results revealed that adjusting the scores for dialect did not significantly impact overall spelling performance for each grade. However, qualitat ive analysis showed that all the children in first grade and a majority of the children in th ird grade had at least one spelling error attributed to AAE. This study focuses on a reanalysis of that data using the POMAS scoring system to more carefully describe the error patterns that these children made and to determine if dialect or development al errors predominated. In addition, differences in error types will be noted across type of spelling task (real vs. nonword). As such, the methods from the Kohler et al. (2007) study are described briefly here. Participants The participants were drawn from thr ee urban Title I elementary schools in low SES neighborhoods. Based on informati on from the three school principals, 75% of children in each school participat ed in the free or r educed federal lunch program, a percentage that generally indexes a high poverty school (U.S.

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31 Department of Education; NCES, 2008). A ll of the participants satisfied three criteria: 1) had parental /guardian consent on record in accordance with requirements for human subjects protec tion; 2) were enrolled in regular education and not receiving special educ ation services, such as speechlanguage services or specific learning dis ability services; and 3) were free of vision and hearing deficits, as documented by school records. The children were then screened for language ability and degree of dialect use via narrative elicitations. A total of 80 typically developing African American st udents from West Central Florida who spoke AAE were included in the study. For grade 1 participants (n = 39; 15 males and 24 fema les), the mean age was 7 years: 1 month (SD = 6.1 months). For grade 3 participants (n = 41; 22 males and 19 females), the mean age was 9 years: 1 month (SD = 6.9 months). Materials Informed Consent The child consent form provided a descr iption of the study which outlined each step of the process. Information was provided on the benef its of the study and confidentiality measures were clearly outlined. In addition, the form acknowledged the guardian s and childs right to withdraw permission and participation at anytime, without question. Wordless Videos Two wordless videos (Society for Visu al Education, 1989) were used as prompts for the narrative elicitation task. Both videos were approximately two to

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32 three minutes in length and involved a mouse and another character. Responses to the wordless videos were recor ded on an Optimus audio recorder (model number TMC-20DV), and a 60-minute Sony audiotape. A RadioShack Omnidirectional Tie Clip microphone (m odel 33-3013) was used to improve the clarity of audio-recorded information. Oral Language Measure The Sentence Structure and Formulated Sentences subsets from the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals-3 (CELF-3; Semel, Wiig, & Secord, 1995) were chosen as global measures of syntactic development. The receptive subtest, Sentence Structure (M = 10; SD = 3), requires the test taker to point to a picture that depict s a target sentence orally presented by the examiner. The expressive component, Formulated S entences (M = 10; SD = 3), requires the child to construct a grammatica lly appropriate sentence when shown a picture and given a target word as a prompt. Spelling Assessment The spelling measure assessed the degree to which children could combine phonological, ort hographic, and morphological knowledge to spell words. Separate spelling measures we re developed for grade 1 and grade 3. Each measure was divided into two word types, real words (n=13) and nonwords (n=13). Real word selection. The real words were created based on phonological and morphosyntactic features common to A AE, as well as spelling expectations and benchmarks for first and third grade students in the local school system.

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33 First, the work of Luelsdorff (1975) was consulted, who specified phonological contexts in which AAE feat ures would most likely occu r. For example, according to Luelsdorff, /l/ may be deleted in a word if it precedes a bilabial stop. Therefore, the word bulb may be pronounced bub Once the AAE features were identifi ed, spelling words containing those features were created. Materials from the local spelling curriculum for grades 1 and 3 were reviewed. Then, first and thir d grade teachers were consulted to ensure the age appropriateness of the select ed spelling words. For each spelling pattern and AAE feature, four real words were created based on age appropriateness and phonological c ontexts. From this lar ge list of words, 26 (13 for each grade level) words were quasi-randomly selected so that each AAE feature of interest would appear in the spelling list. Non-word selection. Non-words were created that contained the same spelling expectations and AAE features targeted in the real words. These nonwords were also partially based on the phonological skeleton (i.e., the consonant and vowel pattern) (Treiman & Bourassa, 2000) of the real words that were selected for the assessment. Four non-words were created for each targeted AAE pattern. Because non-words may be spelled in different ways, students in an undergraduate phonology class at a University in West Central Florida were asked to spell the non-words to ensure that validity of the proposed spellings. The instructor, who was given a list of non-words with phonetic pronunciations, orally presented the words to the students, who then wrote thei r spellings on a sheet of prenumbered

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34 paper. The spellings were then compared to the desired spellings (how the investigators intended the non-words to be spelled so that the AAE features would be present). Results from the responses of the undergraduate students for each word were tallied and converted to a percentage (i.e., the percentage of the students whose spelling of the non-word matched the desired spelling). In words that matched the desired s pelling, the word with the highest percentage correct (of the four options per spelling feature) was chosen for the assessment. The majority of the non-words chosen we re spelled as desired by 80% of the undergraduate students. For one patte rn, however, none of the four nonwords reached the 80% correct criterion on the first or third grade measure. The spelling pattern/AAE feature in this case was the past tense ed. After analyzing the spellings of t he undergraduate students, it was th eorized that the students may have missed this word because ther e was not a sentence read with it. In other words, there was no linguistic contex t provided to aid them in selecting a past tense ed rather than t (e.g., gumped versus gumpt). As a result, ed words with the highest percentage correct were chosen, wimed and gumped, and sentences were created that made it clear that the words were functioning in the sentences as past tense verbs. After both word sets were chosen, s entences including the target word were created, balancing the number of wo rds functioning as verbs, nouns, and adjectives. The sentences were also written to appeal to grade 1 and grade 3 children by containing names of local professional foot ball players, familiar pop music groups, popular cartoon characters, etc. Examples of the popular figures

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35 included in the sentences were Warrick Dunn from the Tam pa Bay Buccaneers, Pokemon cartoon characters, and the mu sical group, NSync (See Appendix B for the complete spelling lists for grade 1 and 3). Finally, an Optimus CTR-117 Cassette Recorder using a Radio Shack Optimus Tie-Clip microphone (Model numbe r 33-3013) was used to pre-record the words and sentences included in t he spelling assessment on Sony 60-minute audiotapes to ensure uniformity of spelling test administration. The stimulus word lists were recorded with a 5-second pause between the stimulus items. A Magnavox stereo cassette, model AZ9345 wa s used to dub the spelling lists in random order for both the first and third grade assessment. The lists were randomized in the following manner: one ta pe presented the 13 real words, then 13 non-words, and a second tape presented the 13 non-words then the 13 real words for the grade 1 and 3 word lists. A Philips Magnavox CD radio cassette recorder, (model number AZ1010) was used to play the stimulus tapes during the administration of the spelling assessm ent. Data was recorded on pre-numbered sheets of paper (1 to 13 on t he front and 1 to 13 on the back). Procedures Consent forms were provided to all Af rican American children in the first and third grade. Only the children whos e parents returned the consent forms giving permission were included in the st udy. All children were tested between October and January during a single schoo l year (2000-2001). The children were seen individually in a quiet room at t heir elementary school. Data collection was conducted over two sessions. The first session involved two narrative elicitations

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36 and the administration of two screening subtests from the CELF-3 (Semel, et. al, 1995) to determine eligibility for the study. Once participants completed the sentence measure and were determined to be eligible for the study, they were tested one week later with the spelling measure. Each session required a maximum of 90 minutes from each child and was divided into two 45-minute sessions. Examiners were a doctoral student in Psychology with a Certificate of Clinical Competences in Speech-Language Pathology and four Masters level students in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Three of the examiners were African American and two were Caucasian. Of the three African American examiners, two were proficient in code switching between AAE and SAE. The thir d African American examiner spoke SAE only. Narrative Retelling Task During the narrative elicitation phase, children were asked to narrate the events that occurred in two wordless videos as well as refer to the characters feelings. Order of present ation of the two videos was counterbalanced among the participants. Each child watched two word less videos in a quiet room at the school. An African American examiner and a Caucasian examiner each elicited one narrative. This was done to counterbalance the possible effects of race of examiner, which may influence the number of features used by the participants. The narrative retellings were audio-t aped for later review and transcription. The five examiners transcribed all t he narratives verbatim and coded them for phonological patterns characteristic of AAE (Bailey & Thomas, 1998; Craig,

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37 Thompson, Washington, & Potter, 2003; Pollock, 2000; Stockman, 1996; Wolfram & Schilling-Estes, 1991). A list of these patterns is found in Tables 2 and 3. To be included in the study, participants were required to produce at least two different morphosyntactic or phonological AAE features. CELF-3 After the narrative elicitations, each participant was individually administered the two subtests of the CELF-3 The scores of these subtests were used as a screening tool to better insure inclusion of children with typical language development. The Sentence Structure subtest, which consisted of 20 items, required the child to point to a picture that depicted a target sentence, (e.g., Point to The boy is not climbing). Correct identification received a score of one, and an incorrect response received a score of zero. No response to a question was marked NR and received a scor e of zero. Repetit ion of items was not permitted and the subtest was completed in its entirety. The Formulating Sentences subtest required the child to construct a sentence that included a specific target word (e.g., Make a sentence with the word book in it). There were 22 items in this subtest. A sentence received a score of two if it contained the target word and was a complete sentence (i.e., had a subject and a verb). A sentence rece ived a score of 1 if it contained the target word, but was not a complete sent ence (i.e., did not have a subject and a verb). A score of zero was given when the sentence did not contain the target word and was incomplete or the child di d not respond. One r epetition of an item was allowed and the adminis tration of the subtest was discontinued after 5

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38 consecutive zero scores. In order to be included in this study, the childs standard score on both subtests had to be withi n one standard deviation of the mean. Table 2. Fourteen Phonological Features Characteristic of AAE Child Speakers (Bailey & Thomas, 1998; Craig et al., 2003; Pollock, 2000; Stockman, 1996; Wolfram, Adger, & Christian, 1999). Category Description Example 1. Final consonant deletion Fricatives /f,v,/ & voiced stops /b,d,g/ omitted in final position Lea/leaf; ba/bag 2. Substitutions in initial & medial positions /b/ for /v/ /v/ for // Bery/very; seben/seven; brover/ brother 3. Substitutions in medial & final positions /f/ for / / Bafroom/bathroom; bof/both 4. Consonant cluster reduction Clusters reduced in medial & final positions Sen/send; wof/wolf 5. Stopping Fricative / ,/ replaced by stops in all positions Dese/these; oder/other 6. Rhotic vowel simplification Rhotic vowels simplified Coat/court; cot/cart 7. Backing of /str/ cluster k/t substitution in /str/ cluster Skreet/street 8. Metathesis Segment reversal of /s/ stop clusters Aks/ask 9. Initial /r/ cluster reduction /r/ deleted in initial /r/ clusters when followed by a round vowel Thow/throw 10. Initial /j/ cluster reduction /j/ deleted when followed by /u/ Compurter/computer 11. Final consonant devoicing Syllable-final obstruents devoiced Pik/pig 12. Rhotacization of /l/ /l/ becomes rhotic /r/ following postvocalic /l/ Merk/milk

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39 Table 2 (Continued). Category Description Example 13. Enclitization Two words are merged into a single phonetic production when the word-abutting consonants have the same place of articulation. Wheney [when they (dey)]was crawlin to the sun, he was happy. He was scared whena {when the (de)] alien came out. 14. Syllable deletion Syllabl es deleted in the initial position When people sad, you pose (supposed) to helpem. The alien was bout (about) to go back to space. Table 3. Fourteen Morphosyntactic Featur es that More Often Identified Children, Ages 4 to 6 Years as Speakers of AAE (Oetting & McDonald, 2001). Feature Example 1. Zero marking of regular third But when she go(es) on herself I dont change her. 2. Zero marking of copula Oscar (is) in the can. 3. Zero marking of irregular past Course I brung him up real fast. 4. Zero marking of regular past I dress(ed) them before. 5. Zero plural Six dollar(s) and five cent (s). 6. Zero possessive That Mary (s) hat. 7. Zero of I cant tell too much (of) the story. 8. Had + past One day I had went to the beach. 9. Multiple negation She dont want no people on the stairs. 10. Indefinite article Its a animal story. 11. Habitual/durative be It be on the outside. 12. Subject verb agreement with dont And she dont go to school.

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40 Table 3 (Continued). Feature Example 13. Subject verb agreement with be When we was about to go to church. 14. Demonstrative He wrecked them back tires. Spelling Assessment Administration One week after the first session, which included the narrative elicitations and administration of the two subtests of the CELF-3 the child was given the spelling assessment via the prerecorded st imulus tapes. For both real words and non-words, each child was provided with a prenumbered s heet of paper (1 to 13 on the front and 1 to 13 on the back) and a pencil. The order of presentation of real words and non-words were counterbalanced for each child. The tape was manually paused if the child needed more time to write his or her response. The directions for the real word s pelling assessment were as followed: I am trying to see what kinds of wo rds that first/third graders can spell. You are going to hear a word, hear it in a sentence, and then hear it again. Write your spelling of the word on the line on your paper. I cant help you, so if you dont know how to spell t hat word, you can guess. Some of the words are going to be hard, but t hats okay. Just try your best. The directions for the non-word spelling assessment were similar: Im trying to see how well first/thir d graders can spell silly words. These words arent real words. Just listen to the word and then try to spell it as best you can. Write your spelling on the line on your paper. I cant help

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41 you spell theses silly words. If yo u have trouble spelling one of the silly words, just guess. The examiner was permitted to give the following assistance: Direct the Child to the appropriate line on his or her response paper. Remind the child that it is acceptable to guess if he or she indicated that they did not know the spelling of the word. Provide general encouragement (such as Good listening!), however, the examiner could not indicate whether responses were correct or incorrect. Finally, the examiner coul d not answer questions about the spelling of the word, the meaning of the word, or use the word in a sentence other than the one provided. Data Analysis POMAS Scoring The misspelled words for each grade level were coded by linguistic category (phonological, orthographic, and morphological ) and linguistic feature using the POMAS scoring system (Sill iman et al., 2006). The scoring was performed by a graduate student. The POMAS scoring system (classifies errors into the three broad areas of development: phonology, orthography, and morphology and coded some errors as combinations of two categories). T he POMAS also divides the three broad categories into smaller subsets of linguis tic features that describe qualitative differences within each error category. Fo r example, an error would be coded as phonological, if the child spelled dresses as desses, because the child omitted

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42 the second letter in the consonant cluste r, resulting in the complete sound structure of the word not being represented. This type of error therefore would be classified under the code Phonolo gical-Cluster Reduction (PCR). Orthographic errors were attributed to the misspellings that represented the phonological or sound struct ure of the word but did not include the correct letter in order to represent the sound st ructure. For example, using the word thin if the child wrote tin, the initial / / sound was not correctly represented by the digraph th. Therefore the error would be coded as an orthographic digraph error (ODI) due to the omission of the h in the digraph th. Morphological errors were analyzed acco rding to the preservation of the root word and inflections. The inflec tions included the presence or absence of past, present, or present progressive tense. Derivations with and without phonological changes were also coded, as well as prefixes/suffixes. For example, if a child spelled the word dresses as dress, the error would be coded as an inflectional morphological error (Morph ological Inflection) since the plural marker es was omitted. Phonological orthographic errors repr esent errors that could not be distinctly defined as violating phonological or orthographic patterns. These errors affected both linguistic aspects of the word. An example of this would be deletion of a vowel as in dble for double where both phonological and orthographic patterns are violated. This is an exampl e of a phonological error in that the phonological skeleton of the word was alte red through the omission of the vowel. The error also violates orthographic lega lity with the db letter sequence. This

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43 type of error would therefore be scor ed as POVM (Phonological-OrthographicVowel Missing). A previous study made modifications to the original POMAS (Fawcett, 2006). Fawcett analyzed the misspellings fr om narrative and expository texts from 400 children in grades 1-4. As a result, many new codes were added to accommodate the variety of words obtained during that study. The expanded list of error codes was used in the coding system for this study and can be found in Appendix A. Data Reduction POMAS scoring of the real word and non-word assessments for both grades 1 and 3 started includ ed within-participant calibr ation and was followed by within-word calibration. Within-participant calibration made sure that a childs idiosyncratic spelling patterns were i dentified and not overlooked. Within-word calibration helped to insure that a specific type of error was being scored (or described) the same way each time it occurred for that target word. After scoring was complete, the spel ling data for each child were entered into Excel where each child had a spreadsheet that listed the target word in the first column and the childs spelling in the second column. The codes for the possible linguistic errors were noted in the following columns across the top row in the Excel sheet. Each spelling error was tallied in the cell that corresponded with the words row and relevant error c ode column. In this sheet, the errors within each linguistic feature were tallied and the error rate for each linguistic category (phonology, orthography, mor phology, and phonological-orthographic)

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44 was tallied for each word individually and across all linguistic features within a category. These spreadsheets were combined by copying and pasting the linguistic feature and category totals from each childs individual spreadsheet into a corresponding grade level spreadsheet. Finally, another spreadsheet was used to group all of the misspellings of the same word together to help determine the common patterns among the error types of the misspelled words. This was done by using the sort feature found under the data tab in Excel and sorting by target word and then by misspellings. Coding Agreement A second trained examiner reanalyz ed and coded the spelling data from 10% of the participants in both grade 1 and 3. Four par ticipants were randomly selected from each grade level and the se cond examiner recoded both the real word and non-word spelling tasks for each child. The second examiner had been involved in the development of the PO MAS and performed reliability checks in previous studies using the POMAS. T he agreement findings will be reviewed in the Results chapter. Statistical Analysis A three-way ANOVA was used to compare and analyze the quantitative data. The independent variables were e rror type (phonological, orthographic, morphological, or a combination of these errors, such as phonologicalorthographic), grade (1 & 3) and word type (real word, non-word). The dependent variable was the frequency of occurrence in each error category. Post hoc tests were run using a Tukey A procedure to compare and analyze differences

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45 between the simple effects of error type, word type and grade. Effect sizes were calculated. Qualitative Analyses A qualitative analysis was completed to determine the error patterns that occurred in the data across grade and word type. The first analysis determined the frequency with which each target word was misspelled. Then the misspellings that occurred most frequently were ident ified and the spelling patterns in error were noted. Finally, the frequency of AAE features was calculated and the percentage of errors attributed to AAE was determined.

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46 Chapter 3 Results This study was developed to determine whether the use of AAE dialect influenced spelling performance and to describe the spelling patterns of AAEspeaking children in grades 1 and 3. A total of 80 AAE-speaking children from grades 1 and 3 participated in the study Spelling assessments based on AAE features and age appropriateness were developed for both real words and nonwords and administered to these 80 parti cipants. The data were analyzed using an embellished version of the POMAS (Sil liman et al., 2006). The results will be described below. Inter-Examiner Agreement Agreement focused on linguistic error categorization. Of the total 80 participants (39 first graders and 41 thir d graders), 10% (N=8) were randomly selected for the agreement analysis on bot h the real word and non-word spelling tasks. A second examiner, familiar wit h the POMAS scoring system recoded the data for each selected participant. Due to the complexity of the codi ng for individual error features, the features were collapsed into specific error categories (phonology, orthography, morphology) rather than the specific linguistic error feature for agreement analysis. The agreement was calculated using the following formula (Salvia &Ysseldyke, 2001):

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47 Agreement = # of agreements # of agreements + # of disagreements Agreement was determined independently for the real words and nonwords. On the real words 78% agreement was reached, whereas 76% agreement was reached on the non-words. Due to the comp lexity of this task, this is a reasonable outcome. The coding system was complex in that several errors could be coded into different major categories (phonological, orthographic, morphological). Therefore, category coding was left to the examin ers discretion and the examiners interpretation of the childs representati on of the misspelled word had an effect on the code selected. Take the misspelling thirst for thirsty, for example. One coder could look at this misspelling and co de the error as a morphological error related to the omission of the inflec tion y. On the other hand, another coder could have explained the error as orthogr aphic, where the speller attempted to mark the morphological unit at the end of the word phonologically by using his or her letter-name knowledge of the letter T. While both examiners agreed on the specific error feature (inadequ ate representation of the inflection y), agreement was not obtained because the main e rror code category (orthographic or morphological) match did not occur. Furthermore, when coding, both exam iners made sure that the same misspelling across participants were scor ed using the same codes. For example, every child who spelled thirst for thirsty would receive a code of MINF (morphology inflection) every time the fi rst examiner came ac ross that particular

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48 misspelling. Likewise, the second ex aminer would use the code OLN (orthographic letter name) every time she came across that same misspelling. This alone could significantly decreas e the amount of agreement observed. Instances such as these o ccurred throughout the study. Quantitative Analysis Across Er ror Type, Grade and Word Type The results of a three-way ANOVA with error type as the within subjects variable and grade and word type as the between subjects variables revealed a significant interaction (with Greenhouse-Ge isser correction) between error type, grade, and word type, F (2.5,386) = 5.846; p = .001, 2 p = 0.036. In addition, both two-way interactions were significant with larger effect sizes; error type and grade, F (2.5, 386) = 43.656; p < .001; 2 p = .219 and between error type and word type, F (2.5, 386) = 64.702; p < .001; 2 p = .293. Nevertheless, the findings most pertinent to this investigation invo lved analyzing the simple effects from the three-way interaction. Differences within and between grades on task and error type will be described. Post hoc testing for the three-way interaction using the Tukey A procedure revealed that 11/12 paired comparisons at the grade 1 level were significant. As illustrated in Figure 1, all of the error ca tegories for the grade 1 children differed from one another for both the real words and non-words with the exception that the morphological and PO categories occurred with relatively equal frequency in real words. As illustrated in Figure 2, the same pattern of results was observed for the grade 3 children, except only 10/12 paired comparisons of interest were significant. In this case there was no difference in error frequency for the morphological category and the phonological and

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phonological-orthographic categories in t he real words. All other comparisons were significantly different. Figure 1. Differences in Error Type s Across Word Types in Grade 1. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% PhonOrthoMorphPO Error Types Percent of Total Errors Real Non-word Figure 2. Differences in Error Type s Across Word Types in Grade 3. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% PhonOrthoMorphPO Error Types Percent of Total Errors Real Non-word 49

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50 When differences within-grade across e rror types were considered, 5/8 pairwise comparisons were significant. As illustrated in Figure 1, students in grade 1 made more orthographic errors in real words than non-words. This finding suggested that first graders had more difficulty with employing the orthographic patterns of English. Interesti ngly, the number of phonological errors across word type was not significantly different. Finally, first graders also produced more phonological-orthographic combination errors in non-words than real words. This finding could imply tha t, when the lexical route to spelling is no longer available, first graders had di fficulty mapping novel phonological sequences to the orthographic patterns they already seem to be struggling with. The pattern for word type in Grade 3 was somewhat more complex. As illustrated in Figure 2, significantly mo re orthographic and morphological errors were noted in real words and significantly more phonological errors were noted in non-words. Again, the non-word tasks, wh ich were more phonological in nature, seemed to elicit a higher number of phonological e rrors than real words; however, phonological errors still occu rred less frequently than orthographic errors. The higher prevalence of orthogr aphic and morphological errors in third grade children would suggest that such knowledge is still developing and is probably related to the increased use of more complex word structures. As the non-word tasks remove the use of the lexical route to spell, their phonological system alone becomes an insufficient resource for spelling. These findings seem to support the linguistic models of spelling development that involve the

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integration of phonological, orthographic, and morphological knowledge in spelling development. When differences across grades within error types were considered, the first graders made more phonological erro rs than the third graders for both the real words and non-words. Third graders made more orthographic errors than the first graders on both real and non-word ta sks. As illustrated in Figures 3 and 4, these findings demonstrated a reversal in the pattern of phonological and orthographic errors from grades 1 to 3. This finding suggests that children in first grade are still developing their understanding of phonology while third graders have less trouble with the sound structur e and more difficulty matching that sound structure to its writt en form as the orthographic structures of the languages become more complex. Figure 3. Differences in Real Word Error Types by Grade. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% PhonOrthoMorphPO Error Types Percent of Total Errors 1st grade 3rd grade 51

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Figure 4. Differences in Non-Word Error Types by Grade. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% PhonOrthoMorphPO Error Types Percent of Total Errors 1st grade 3rd grade Qualitative Analyses The overall spelling performance of the first and third graders on both spelling tasks was determined in a previous study in which these data were analyzed using a modified version of t he T-BEST (Capen, 2001). The modified TBEST gave credit for error attributed to AAE. The results can be found below in Table 4. These scores indicate poor spelling performance for both grades with first graders having significantly more di fficulty than the third graders. Further analysis of the spelling errors observ ed can be found in the following sections. Table 4. Percent Correct Spelling Pe rformance on Real and Non-Word Tasks (Capen, 2001) Word Type 1 st Grade 3 rd Grade Real Word 67% 83% Non-word 66% 72% 52

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Frequency of Misspelled Real Words After the misspellings were coded and statistically analyzed, a qualitative analysis was completed to determine common patterns among misspelled words. First, the number of children in each gr ade who misspelled a single word was determined. Then, the frequency with whic h each target word was misspelled was determined. The results were then grouped into percentage ranges and plotted on a histogram. Figure 5 shows t he distribution of misspelled words for both grades. Figure 5. A Histogram Depict ing the Error Response Rate of Children in Grades 1 and 3 on the Real Word Spelling Task 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14Number of misspelled words 0%2140% 6180%Percent of children 1st grade 3rd grade In grade 1, six of the 13 words pres ented were misspelled by all of the children. These words were: cent, high, desks, jumped, string, and pure. Another four were missed by most of the childr en (i.e., 90%-99% of the children). These words included: thin, bird, step, and s ilk. In grade 3, al though none of the 13 words were misspelled by all of the children, nine of the 13 words were 53

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54 misspelled by 45% or more of the childr en. One word (wasps) was misspelled by most of the children (97.5%). These data show that a majority of the children for both grades had difficulty on many of the ta rget words. The spellings from children in third grade revealed a few more correctly spe lled words when distributed among the percentage categories. Howe ver, there was still a hi gh percentage of misspelled target words (see Figure 5). The differ ence observed between the first and third graders might be due to third graders having more experience with spelling instruction. The variable performance am ong words for the third graders might suggest that their spelling instructi on was not adequately m eeting the demands of their growing vocabularies. Frequency of Misspelled Non-Words The number of children in each grade who misspelled a target non-word was also determined. Just as with the real words, the fr equency with which each non-word was missed was divided into ca tegories representing the percentage of children that missed each word. These va lues were plotted as a histogram depicting the percentage of children who missed a certain number of words. Figure 6 shows the distribut ion of the misspelled words for both grades. These percentage categories were adjus ted to represent intervals of 10 so that the first and third grade performances on the non-word task would be more clearly observed.

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Figure 6. A Histogram Depi cting the Error Response Rate of Children in Grades 1 and 3 on the Non-Word Spelling Task. 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14Number of misspelled words 050% 6069% 7079% 8089% 9099% 100%Percent of children 1st grade 3rd grade In grade 1, four of the 13 non-words were spelled incorrectly by all of the children. These words were: mubid, silm, strim, and wimed. All of the other nine non-words were missed by most of the ch ildren (90%-99%). In grade 3, none of the 13 words were misspelled by all of the children; howeve r, six of the nonwords were misspelled by most of the children (90%-99%). These words were: floin, gumped, plobe, smilt, strimming, and trests. Both the first and third graders pref ormed more poorly on the non-word than the real word task indicated by an increasing number of children having difficulty on the target words presented. This finding might suggest that the lexical route to spelling, which uses word meaning to help recall orthographic patterns, plays an important role in the spelling process. When the ability to use this route is removed, as in the non-wo rd task, spellers have more difficulty relying on phonological knowle dge alone to spell. This might be especially true 55

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56 for dialectal speakers who might have phonologies that variably conflict with the phonological patterns of written language (conventional spellings). Frequent Patterns of Misspelled Real Words Next, frequent misspellings were ident ified for each real word in both grades. There were some misspellings t hat occurred more often than others. Those that occurred more than five times can be found in Table 5. The first graders had 16 misspellings that occurred by more than five children while the third graders only had four. Of the 16 misspellings f ound for the first graders, seven of them had short vowel errors: man for men, fan for thin, sap for step, sit for cent, sat for cent, san for string, das for desks In five of the short vowel error patterns elicited for the first graders, the short vowel preceded a nasal in the target word presented during the task. Th is might be significant because in AAE, the I / vowel substitution occurs before a nasal sound (Green, 2002; Pollock, 2000; Rickford, 1999). Conversely, the third graders had four frequent misspellings, only one of which contai ned a vowel error. The vowel error observed was the digraph ui in bilt for built Table 5. Common Spelling Patterns Found Among AAE-Speaking Children in Real Words. Grade Word Misspelling Proportion of children Spelling Errors 1 men man 26/39 Short vowel before nasal 1 high hiy, hid 17/39 Spelling pattern -igh 1 step sap 13/39 Initial cluster reduction, Short vowel error 1 help hap 12/39 Sonorant cluster reduction 1 thin fin 11/39 / / substitutions

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57 Table 5 (Continued). Grade Word Misspelling Proportion of children Spelling Errors 1 cent sit 10/39 Letter sound error Short vowel before nasal Sonorant cluster reduction 1 desks das 10/39 Short vowel error Final consonant cluster reduction Zero marking of plural 1 cent sat 9/39 Letter sound error Short vowel before nasal Sonorant cluster reduction 1 cast cas 9/39 Final consonant cluster reduction 1 cent set 8/39 Letter sound error Sonorant cluster reduction 1 silk sic 8/39 Sonorant cluster reduction Letter sound error 1 bird brd 7/39 Vocalic /r/ 1 thin fan 6/39 / / substitutions, Short vowel before nasal 1 string san 6/39 Initial cluster reduction Short vowel before nasal Nasal error 1 step sep 5/39 Initial cluster reduction 3 stroller stroler 6/41 Letter doubling error 3 wasps wasp 5/41 Zero marking of plural 3 danced dance 5/41 Zero marking of past tense -ed 3 built bilt 5/41 Vowel digraph error Among the first graders 16 frequent misspellings, cluster reduction occurred 10 times. Five of the miss pellings demonstrated sonorant cluster reduction where only the sonorant elem ent (/l, n, r/) was omitted: hap for help, sit, sat and set for cent, sic for silk. Reduction of sonorant cluster occurs during typical spelling development (Cassar & Treiman, 2005). However, zero marking of /l/ before a bilabial stop (as in the word, help ) is also a characteristic of AAE. In addition, initial cluster reduction occurred 3 times ( sap and sep for step, san for

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58 string ) and final consonant cluster reduction occurred 2 times ( cas for cast das for desks). Among the four frequent misspelling patte rns of the third graders final consonant cluster reduction occurred only once with wasp for wasps; however, this spelling pattern can be better described as zero marking of plural /s/, which is an AAE feature. Initial and final consonant cluster reductions are both considered developmental spelling errors; however, final consonant cluster reduction in certain phonetic contexts is also characteristic of AAE (Pollock, 2000, Rickford, 1999). These contexts o ften involve deletion of the second consonant in the cluster usually in t he single morpheme word or unstressed syllable or when a consonant cluster involves two consonants with the same place of articulation. Since in these cases where the error is both developmental and dialect-influenced, it is difficult to attr ibute cause. More research is needed in this area. Additionally, letter sound errors (e.g., spelling cereal as sereal ) occurred four times among the frequent misspellings of the first graders and did not occur for the third graders. This finding would suggest that the third graders have less trouble with mapping sounds to their corresponding letters, whereas the first graders might still be strugg ling with these correspondences. First graders also had difficulty with the initial th digraph, which occurred in two of the frequent misspelling patterns ( fin for thin and fan for thin ). Although context-dependent substitutions of th are a common AAE feat ure, the most frequent substitution for th in this sample was an /f / for th in the initial posit ion. This type of error is

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59 more reflective of a percept ual difference, since the AAE e rror of /f/ for th most often occurs in the final position (i.e., teef for teeth). A typical AAE pattern position would replace a voiced th with a /d/, like when the word that is pronounced dat. Developmental errors of the -igh spelling pattern occurred twice among the frequent misspelling patterns for the firs t graders, as well as one nasal error, and one vocalic /r/ error suggesting that spelling errors of speakers of AAE followed the trends of typical spelling development. In comparison, the third graders exhibited developmental spelling errors, such as letter doubling, which occurred once among the frequent misspelling patterns, and omission of past tense ed, which also occurred once and is considered a feature of AAE. Overall, the majority of the frequent misspelling patterns (approximately 70% for first grade and 82% for third gr ade) observed for the real words among both first and third grade children can be attributed to developmental errors that are common among all children. Some errors however, reflect dialectal features as previously noted. Additionally, th ird graders demonstrated less use of AAE among the common misspelling pa tterns than first graders. Frequent Patterns of Misspelled Non-Words As with the real words, frequent misspel lings were identified for each nonword in both grades. There were some misspellings that o ccurred more often than others. Those that occurred more than five times can be found in Table 6. The first graders had 15 misspellings that o ccurred by more than five children while the third graders had eight.

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60 Table 6. Common Spelling Patterns F ound Among AAE-Speaking Children in Non-Words. Grade Target Spelling of Non-word Misspelling Proportion of children Spelling Errors 1 peth pat 13/39 Short vowel error Digraph error 1 soin son 12/39 Diphthong error 1 telp tap 11/39 Short vowel error Sonorant cluster reduction 1 len lan/lin 9/39 Short vowel before nasals 1 stig sig 8/39 Initial cluster reduction 1 wimed wid 8/39 Sonorant cluster reduction 1 hasts has 7/39 Final consonant cluster reduction Zero marking of the plural 1 chun cun 7/39 Digraph error 1 frid fid 7/39 Initial cluster reduction 1 hasts hast 7/39 Zero marking of the plural 1 strim sim 7/39 Initial cluster reduction 1 frid fed 6/39 Initial cluster reduction Short vowel error 1 silm sim 6/39 Sonorant cluster reduction 1 silm sem 5/39 Sonorant cluster reduction Short vowel before nasal 1 peth pet 5/39 Digraph error 3 kenter canter 8/41 Letter sound error Short vowel before nasal 3 smilt smelt 8/41 Short vowel error 3 flest flast 7/41 Short vowel error 3 trests trest 6/41 Zero marking of the plural 3 strimming striming 6/41 Letter doubling error

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61 Table 6 (Continued). Grade Target Spelling of Non-word Misspelling Proportion of children Spelling Errors 3 plobe clobe 5/41 Consonant error 3 plobe clob 5/41 Consonant error Long vowel silent e deletion 3 floin floing 5/41 Nasal error Of the 15 frequent misspellings found for the first graders, five of them were short vowel errors: lan for len, pat for peth, fed for frid, tap for telp, and sem for silm In two of the frequent misspellings, the short vowel error pattern was elicited when the short vowel preceded a na sal in the target word. Short vowel errors are common developmental spelling errors especially before nasals; however /I/ for / / substitutions before a nasal is a common AAE characteristic. In addition, an // for / / substitution frequently occurred and this too is a common AAE feature (Pollock, 2000). An oi di phthong error characterized by the omission of the i was also observed in son for soin, also a developmental error. On the other hand, vowel errors for the third graders were found in three of the eight frequent misspellings. Tw o of the frequent misspelling errors contained short vowel errors. These were flast for flest (an AAE error) and smelt for smilt. The other third grade vowel error in volved a long vowel error attributed to the omission of silent e at the end of the word, which is a developmental error. Among the first graders 15 frequent misspellings, cluster reduction occurred 10 times. Six of the frequent misspellings demonstrated sonorant

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62 cluster reduction where only the sonorant element (/l, n, r/) was omitted: fid and fed for frid, tap for telp, wid for wimed, sim and sem for silm. As mentioned earlier, sonorant cluster reduction is a dev elopmental error, but zero marking of /l/ before a bilabial stop and in itial /r/ cluster reduction are also characteristics of AAE (Rickford, 1999). However, the init ial /r/ cluster reduction that is characteristic of AAE is context-specific where the cluster is followed by a round vowel (Pollock, 2000). Thus, this type of er ror did not occur in the first graders frequent misspelling patterns. Additionally, initial cluster reduc tion occurred two times among the frequent misspelling patterns ( sig for stig sim for strim ) and final consonant cluster reduction occurred two times ( hast and has for hasts ). One of the two final consonant cluster reduction patterns only om itted the plural /s/, which is an AAE feature (i.e., zero marki ng of plural /s/). On th e other hand, final consonant cluster reduction occurred only once among the third graders eight frequent misspelling patterns with trest for trests which can also be considered zero marking of plural /s/; an AAE feature. As stated earlier, final consonant cluster reduction is developmental; however, it also occurs frequently in AAE, especially in certain contexts such as when both elements of the cluster are alveolar sounds (Rickford, 1999). In addition, first graders also had three frequent misspelling patterns that had digraph errors and that omitted one el ement of the digraph. In contrast, the frequent misspellings of the third graders consisted of consonant errors. These

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63 occurred twice, while letter sound, nas al, and letter doubling errors occurred once. All of these patterns are developmental spelling errors. These patterns on the non-words generally reflected the findings of the real word task. The majority of the frequent misspelling pa tterns (approximately 90% for both grades) can be attributed to developmental spelling errors. However, just as with the real words so me of the misspellings can be traced back to the use of the AAE dialect. The frequen cy of AAE use in misspellings will be addressed next. Frequency of AAE Features in Real Word Spellings As stated earlier, the real words used in this assessment were created to include phonological and morphosyntactic features common to AAE. Therefore, the next qualitative analysis determined how many of the expected AAE errors actually occurred for each word in grade 1 and grade 3 across all misspellings (see Table 7). The AAE features of fi nal consonant devoicing, metathesis, rhoticization of /l/, and backing of /str/ were not well reflected in the spelling of the first or third grade children. All other features tested oc curred five or more times in the word that was supposed to elicit that AAE feature. AAE features, such as context-sensitive substitutions of th, zero /l/ before bilabial stop, zero marking of past tense ed, initial /j/ cl uster reduction, and initial cluster reduction, were more common in first grade spellings than in thir d grade. This finding indicates that the third graders overall were less likely to reflect their dialect in their spelling than first graders. This could be due to t he third graders greater experience with spelling, writing, and reading instruction than the first graders.

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64 Table 7. Occurrence of the Expected Spelling and AAE Features for First Graders and Third Graders on the Real Word Spelling Task. Grade Word AAE Spelling Feature Number of Occurrences 1 3 desks wasps Zero marking of plural /s/ 37/39 31/41 1 3 thin thirsty Context-sensitive substitutions of th 36/39 7/41 1 1 3 cent cast blast Final consonant cluster reduction 33/39 22/39 1/41 1 3 jumped danced Zero past tense ed 32/39 29/41 1 3 men penny I/ before nasals 31/39 2/41 1 3 pure huge Initial /j/ cluster reduction 27/39 12/41 1 3 help bulb Zero /l/ before bilabial stop 22/39 14/41 1 3 bird inside Final consonant devoicing 2/39 0/41 1 3 3 string straw stroller Backing of /str/ cluster 3/39, 4/41 5/41 1 3 silk built Rhotacization of /l/ 0/39 0/41 Frequency of AAE Features in Non-Word Spellings Just as with the real word spellings, t he AAE features of rhot icization of /l/, metathesis, backing of /str/, and context-se nsitive substitutions of th were not well reflected in the non-word spellings of the students (see Table 8). All of the other features tested occurred five or more times in the non-word that was supposed to elicit that AAE feature. W hen compared across grades, more errors were evident in the first graders spellings than the third graders. This finding is similar to that of the real word spelling task, where the third graders were in

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65 general less likely to reflect their dialec t in their spelling than the first graders. This same finding on the non-words might suggest that the third graders are more proficient in code switching whic h allows them to employ the use of phonological patterns that they know are used in common literacy tasks, such as spelling. Table 8. Occurrence of the Expected Spelling and AAE Features for First Graders and Third Graders on t he Non-Word Spelling Task. Grade Word AAE Spelling Feature Number of occurrences 1 3 hasts trests Zero marking of plural /s/ 36/39 13/41 1 3 telp shelb Zero /l/ before bilabial stop 26/39 8/41 1 3 len kenter I/ before nasals 13/39 20/41 1 3 hest flest Final consonant cluster reduction 13/39 8/41 1 3 wimed gumped Zero marking of past tense -ed 12/39 7/41 1 3 mubid hube Initial /j/ cluster reduction 11/39 11/41 1 1 3 3 frid stig chez plobe Final consonant devoicing 6/39 9/39 16/41 4/41 1 3 3 strim stram strimming Backing of /str/ cluster 2/39 5/41 4/41 1 3 peth plath Context sensitive substi tutions of th 2/39 2/41 1 3 silm smilt Rhotacization of /l/ 0/39 0/41

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66 Comparison of AAE Feature Use Across Grade and Word Type In order to determine if the qualit ative AAE patterns observed in the nonwords were comparable to those of the r eal words for both first and third graders, the total number of occurrences for eac h parallel AAE feature were tallied (see Tables 7 and 8). It should be noted that the real word and non-word sets do not necessarily have the same number of opportunities to elicit a particular AAE feature. For example, in t he first grade real word list, th ere were three words that could have elicited final consonant cluste r reduction (CCR) while the non-word list only had one word that c ould have elicited that same feature. Hence, for the first graders there were a proportionatel y larger number of occurrences of consonant cluster reduction (CCR) for the real words (92 occurrences) than nonwords (13 occurrences). To help put t he numbers in prospective, if there was more than one word that contributed to the calculated occurr ences of elicited AAE features, that number was noted in parenthesis next to the calculated number of occurrences in Table 9 below. The comparison of AAE features across grade and word type show that AAE features are highly reflected in the s pellings of the first graders in the real word spelling tasks. The non-word task was not as sensitive to dialectal patterns in the spellings of the first graders. Fu rthermore, AAE features were less frequent in both spelling tasks for the third grade ch ildren when compared to the spellings of first grade children. It was noted t hat final consonant devoicing occurred more frequently in the non-word spellings of both first and third graders and third graders had more difficulty with the I/ before nasals feature in a non-word

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67 context. These differences might suggest that these patterns become less evident when homonymity could result, as in bet vs. bed or miss vs. mist Table 9. Real and Non-Word Comparis ons of AAE Feature Frequency Patterns. The number of words contributing to the calculated occurrence appears in parentheses if the number is greater than one. 1 st grade 3 rd grade AAE Spelling Feature Real Words Nonwords Real Words Nonwords I/ before nasals 31 13 2 20 Context-sensitive substitutions of th 36 2 7 2 Final consonant devoicing 2 15 (2) 0 20 (2) Final consonant cluster reduction 92 (3) 13 1 8 Zero marking of plural /s/ 36 0 (0) 31 13 Zero /l/ before bilabial stop 22 26 14 8 Metathesis 2 4 Zero marking of past tense ed 32 12 29 7 Initial /j/ cluster reduction 27 11 12 11 Backing of /str/ cluster 3 2 9 (2) 9 (2) Rhotacization of /l/ 0 0 0 0 Total AAE Errors/Overall Errors 283/952 98/991 109/603 99/1038 In order to better under stand the proportion of AAE errors observed, the total percentage of AAE errors for each spelling task for both grades was determined. For the real wo rd spelling task, 30% of first grade errors were attributed to AAE, while only 18% of the third grade errors were attributed to AAE. On the non-word spelling tasks, 10% of the first grade errors and 10% of the third grade errors were attributed to AAE (see Figure 7). Overall, a greater percentage of AAE errors were evoked on the real word spelling task than the non-word spelling task for both first and third graders. An expectation might be

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that the more phonologically-based non-word task would elicit more phonological AAE features; however these finding s uggest that AAE features occurred more frequently in the real word tasks. This fi nding might indicate that AAE features are context-sensitive in that they occur in cert ain phonological or learned contexts, which the non-words did not always provide. Figure 7. Percentage of AAE Errors in R eal Word and Non-Word Spelling Tasks. 0 20 40 60 80 100 Percent of AAE Real Words Non-words Word Type 1st grade 3rd grade Summary of Results In summary, the majority of the ch ildren in both grades had difficulty spelling the target words on both spelling ta sks. However, children in third grade demonstrated slightly better performance (i .e., more words spelled correctly) on the real word spelling task than with non-words. Results indicated that children who spoke AAE utilized the same developm ental patterns as their peers in their misspellings, regardless of grade or task. A closer look at the occurrence of AAE features revealed that first graders were more likely to reflect their dialectal patterns in their spelling than were the third graders. This is possibly due to differences in experience with the academic language register and in code68

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69 switching. Finally, the per cent of errors attrib uted to AAE features was determined for both the real and non-words in both grades. In both grade 1 and 3, the real words elicited more AAE f eatures than non-words suggesting that context might influence the occurrence and use of AAE.

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70 Chapter 4 Discussion The primary objective of the current study was tw ofold: 1) quantitatively and qualitatively analyze the spelling perform ance of first and third grade children who spoke AAE and 2) determine if their performance varied by word type (real vs. non-word), linguistic pattern, and gr ade. Secondary objectives were to determine if the errors observed reflected c haracteristic dialecta l features of AAE and, if so, to determine the percent age of errors attributed to AAE. This study involved the reanalysis of spelling data used in previous studies (Capen, 2001; Kohler, et al., 2007) with the POMAS scoring system. This system allowed the spelling errors to be descri bed by identifying the linguistic categories contributing to each error and then further classifying the linguistic features in error. Because this system describes the type of errors made, it appeared to be sensitive enough to identify errors infl uenced by dialect and distinguish them from developmental errors. Results indicated that differences in error type were dependent upon grade and word type. On the real word spelling task, children in both grades made more orthographic erro rs than phonological or mo rphological errors. On the non-word spelling task, students in both grades made fewer orthographic errors and students in grade 3 made significa ntly more phonological errors, while the number of phonological errors remai ned fairly constant across tasks for the

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71 children in grade 1. Common misspelling patterns revealed developmental errors, as well as errors attributed to AAE. Thirty percent of the errors made by grade 1 children and 18% of the errors m ade by grade 3 children were attributed to AAE on the real word spelling task, while only 10% of the errors were related to AAE feature use by both grades on the non-word task. In general, this chapter will address each of the research questions, followed by a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the study. Areas for further research will also be considered. Linguistic Category Patterns by Word Type and Grade The first question asked whether the ty pe of linguistic errors evidenced on a dictated spelling measure differed am ong speakers of AAE as a function of word type (real vs. non-words), lingui stic category, and grade level. The interesting finding here was the import ance of orthographic knowledge in both the real word and non-word tasks. This is interesting because one might expect spellers in grade 1 to ma ke more phonological errors but they did not. While orthographic information was most often in errors, phonological information was more often in error for the grade 1 as opposed to grade 3 children on either task. The large number of phonological errors on the non-word task supports the idea that this task stresses the phonological system. This finding is not surprising when the process of spelling is understood through t he dual-route model (Beeson et. al., 2008). The lexical route a ccesses stored memories of spellings to recall and formulate spelled words, whereas the non-lexi cal route accesses only the knowledge of sound-to-letter correspondences to generate spellings.

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72 Non-word tasks are designed to reduce or eliminate reliance on the lexical route to spell, requiring the speller to construct orthographic and morphological representations of a word primarily through phonology. Ther efore, one might expect dialectal speakers, whose phono logies may be at variance with the phonological patterns of the academic r egister, to produce more phonological errors on a spelling task in which they have to rely predominantly on their phonological knowledge to spell; as was observed in this study. Observation of first graders having some success with orthographic patterns and third graders still having difficulty with phonological patterns could possibly support non-linear theories of s pelling development. Non-linear models suggest that multiple linguistic factors contribute to spelling and that combined knowledge of these linguistic factors is used in the spelling process. For example, in some of th e first grade misspellings, a child made a phonological error but correctly employed an orthogr aphic pattern. Take the misspelling sring for string, for instance. The child represented the / / with the correct orthographic pattern, but made a typical phonological e rror by reducing the /str/ cluster. A correct spelling of thin by some first graders is another example of how young children can employ orthographic knowle dge by correctly representing the / / sound with a th digraph. On the other hand, some third graders had difficulty with several phonological aspects of spelling, such spelling the word thirsty as thusty In this example, the child phonologically reduced the vocalic /r/ to a vowel. Another example would be the spelling of bow for bulb where, phonetically, the final

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73 consonant cluster was completely omitted and the short vowel was not correctly represented. These examples suggest t hat sequential master y of linguistic knowledge is not well support ed by these data. Instead ch ildren utilized available phonological, orthographic and mo rphological information to generate spellings. Developmental and Dialectal Spelling Patterns Observed Previous literature has documented how dialect can influence the spelling patterns of children and adults who speak American and British English dialects (Treiman & Barry, 2000; Treiman et al ., 1997). Further research has also suggested that dialectal influences hav e been observed in the misspellings of children who speak AAE (Capen, 2001; Kohler et al., 2007; Terry, 2006). The current study revealed that, once the common misspelling patterns were determined, children in both grades made many common develop mental errors, such as initial and sonorant consonant cluster reduction ( sep for step ; set for cent ), letter sound errors ( sic for silk ), short vowel errors ( san for string) and letter doubling errors ( stroler for stroller ). In addition, some of the errors observed among the common misspelling patterns co ntained features of AAE, such as zero marking of plural /s/ (wasp for wasps ) or past tense ed ( dance for danced ) and context-specific cluster reduction s (i.e. deletion of /l/ after a vowel; hap for help ). Furthermore, many of the spelling e rrors observed were similar to those frequently found in Fawcetts (2006) study of typically developing children in grades 1 to 4. These similarities incl uded phonological-orthographic vowel errors ( san for string, which might have been pronounced by the child as strang for

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74 string ), orthographic letter name errors ( penne for penny ), orthographic digraph errors ( tin for thin ) and orthographic letter-sound errors ( kast for cast ). However, the frequent errors observed by Fawcett (2006) were not necessarily the most frequent errors in this study. In both studies, orthographic vowel (OVE) errors predominated above all other errors. Th is might have occurred because short vowels are frequently misspelled and occur in a large number of words; more so than consonant clusters do, for instance. All of the other frequent errors also differed from the Fawcett study. For ex ample, this study elicited many phonological sonorant and /s/ cluster reductions whereas Fawcetts study did not have cluster reduction among the list of most common errors. Similarly, orthographic letter name, letter sound, di graph, and vocalic /r/ errors were common in Fawcetts study, but not in th is study. These differences could be attributed to the nature of the spelling ta sks that were used. Fawcetts study used narrative and expository writing tasks, so children self-selected the words to be spelled. In this study, the children partici pated in a dictation format in which they were obliged to produce certain features and did not include multiple words that targeted the features descr ibed in the Fawcett study. Nevertheless, the primary finding that short vowel errors were common is both studies supports the previous literature (Cassar & Trei man, 2005; Treiman & Cassar, 1997) and suggests that instructional programs shoul d focus on remediating these types of errors. Interestingly, the majority of the time when a word had a feature that could possibly be influenced by AAE, the error most frequently elicited was

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75 developmental in nature. Ta ke, for example, final consonant cluster reduction of the word cent The AAE error expected to be elicited was cen with the deletion of the second element of the cluster. Howe ver, the developmental error with the letter n omission was the more common error pattern ( set for cent). This finding suggested that this type of AAE error may o ccur more often in oral as opposed to written language. While dialectal features were evident in the misspellings of all participants, third graders produced fewer AAE feature errors (N = 109) than first graders (N = 283) on the real word task and a simila r number of AAE features as grade 1 students on the non-word task. These findi ngs imply that code-switching may play a role here. As Thompson, Crai g, and Washington (2004) have shown, children in third grade showed fewer dialecta l influences in both their oral reading and writing, which they believe related to their proficiency in code-switching. Explicit spelling instruction and more experience with reading and writing would give the older third grade children a better understanding of the differences between the oral and academic register and possibly make them more attuned to the linguistic patterns used during literacy tasks. This awareness might contribute to a more conscious employment of academic linguistic patterns by shifting registers (between AAE and SAE) during lit eracy tasks, such as spelling tasks. Percent of AAE Errors Finally, when the percentage of erro rs attributed to AAE dialect was determined, a greater perc entage of errors was observed on the real word spelling tasks for both grades. Children in first grade had 30% of their overall

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76 errors attributed to AAE and children in third grade had 18% of their errors attributed to AAE. The percentage of AAE feature errors on the non-word task was 10% for both grades. Interestingly, the real word number s approximated the reported DDMs for the narrati ve retelling tasks in the Kohler et al. (2007) and Capen (2001) studies. Both studies r eported 22% for the high dialect density groups in both grades. Additionally, Crai g, Thompson, Washington, and Potter (2003) reported that duri ng oral reading, AAE was responsible for 21% of deviations from print in children in grades 2-5. The similarity in percentage of AAE elicited across these academic tasks is striking. First of all, it is intere sting that AAE influences are not always noted. Thus, variable inclusion also might influence the amount of AAE elicited on these spelling tasks. Second, the structured nature and academic orientation of tasks might reduce the amount of AAE elicited. Either way, the choice of whether or not to use an AAE feature is up to the speaker/writer and the factors influencing variations in use are not well known. Another expectation was that the nonword spelling task would be more sensitive in eliciting the phonological features of AAE. Ho wever, these data suggest otherwise in that the non-word ta sk elicited one half to one third fewer AAE errors than the real word spelling ta sk. While the non-words were presented within a sentence context, it might not hav e been the most facilitative context for the production of an AAE feature. To understand this influence, we must remember that many dialectal characte ristics of AAE overlap with other English dialects; thus, it is t he frequency and the context in which they are used that

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77 defines them (Pollock, 2000; Terry, 2006; Wolfram & Schilling-Estes, 1991; Wyatt, 1995).There are internal (linguisti c) and external (social) factors that influence AAE feature use. It might follo w therefore that t he non-word spelling task did not provide the correct internal ( linguistic) schema that would elicit the AAE dialectal features. For example, final /st/ cluster reduction is more likely to occur when following a word that starts with a consonant as opposed to a vowel (i.e., best pear is more likely to be affected than best apple ; Pollock, 2000). The first grade non-word (hast) was present ed in a sentence in which the word following the target /-st/ cluster began with a vowel, ther efore reducing the likelihood of the expected AAE feature being manifested in the spellings because the cluster would be fully produce in oral spee ch. Similarly, it is more likely for the final /-st/ cluster to be reduced in uns tressed syllables as in the word breakfast than in stressed syllables as in the word fast (Pollock, 2000). The non-words that targeted the final /-st/ (hast and flest) we re both in stressed syllables within the sentence context provided and would be less likely to facilitate consonant cluster reduction. Certain linguistic features may be lexically determined (i.e., only apply to a certain word or words; Pollock, 2000). For example, metathesis of final /s/ + stop clusters might be more likely to occur in the word ask than the word grasp This could be a result of a few factors. First the word grasp might not be frequently used in the social vocabularies and/or c onversations of those who speak AAE: therefore, reducing the likelihood of an AAE featur e occurring upon the use of that word. Additionally, the word-final phonetic sequence of ks is more likely to

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78 occur than word final sk (Brent, & Ca rtwright, 1996). However, whether the metathesis of the sk on the word ask might be more likely than metathesis of the sp in the word grasp would depend upon determination of phonotactic probabilities. Lastly, word origin could an influential factor in explaining why the aks for ask substitution is frequently noted in AAE. Etymology of the word suggests that the pronunciation of the word ask as ax has its roots in Old English and was considered an acceptable literar y variant until c. 1600 (Harper, 2001). Therefore, this pronun ciation may actually be the resu lt of a historical influence on the dialect and not just related to the lexical context. Nevertheless, non-words which have no lexical content would be less likely to elicit certain AAE features that are lexically determined. The lexical effect was evident in the production of other linguistic spelling patterns. For example, zero marking of past tense ed occurred 29 times on the real word danced, but only 7 times on the non-word gumped in the spellings of children in grade 3. The non-word gumped was predominately spelled as gumpt; however, several children did use the inflectional ed for this word. The ed inflection should have been produced in the non-word context if the child used the sentence context to determine the wo rd type as a verb. Another example involved initial /j/ cluster reduction. In grade 1, it occurred 27 times for the real word pure and only 11 times for the non-word mubid Again, the non-word did not provide a strong link to an orthographic pattern, like the real word did (myoubid or moobid vs. prur or pur ). It should be noted that many of the errors noted on the

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79 real word, pure could also be related to the rhotic vowel and the letter name occurring at the words beginning. Another explanation for the lack of AAE feature use would be the influence of external (social) factors. One external factor could be the lack of experience in hearing the AAE dialectal patterns applied to non-words in conjunction with the formality of the spelling task. To be spec ific, spelling tasks in general remove the child from the everyday social situations in which they typically use their dialect. However, on real word spelling tasks, ch ildren may bring with them knowledge of how their dialect has been applied to those real words from previous experience in real world situations. In contra st, the non-word task minimizes social experience with dialectal patterns and po ssibly explains the why non-word tasks were less sensitive to dialectal pattern s, despite the phonological nature of the task. Thus, younger children, with less syst ematic instruction and exposure to print, may rely more heavily on their dialec t when spelling. Additionally, the fact that the non-words were provided a le ss familiar context ex plains why fewer errors related to dialect occurred on the non-word task. Strengths and Limitations of the Study The main strength of this study was the use of the POMAS scoring system. Utilizing and expanding the previously designed and modified POMAS scoring system (Fawcett, 2006; Silliman et al., 2006) resulted in a new way of analyzing the misspellings of children who spoke AAE. Previous research focused on describing the use of AAE in observed spelling errors of children (Capen, 2001; Kohler et al., 2007; Te rry; 2006). The POMAS system, however,

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80 can be more successful in distinguishing developmental from dialectal spelling errors because of its breadth in identifying lingui stic features. In this study, it was possible to calculate the percentage of spelling errors attributed to AAE as opposed to developmental error patterns. The second strength of the study was t he relatively large sample size (N = 80) and the nearly equal distri bution of the participants in grade 1 (n = 39) and grade 3 (n = 41). The equivalence of sample size permits the tentative conclusion that findings are likely representative of the population sampled. The biggest limitation of the study was the complexity of the POMAS scoring system. At times, coding appeared to be highly dependent upon how the person coding the errors actually perceiv ed the error. Earlier, the misspelling thirst for thirsty was explained as an example of th is. Another example of coding variability involved digraph erro rs. For instance, the word thin when spelled as tin could be coded by one person as an orthographic digraph error where one element of the digraph was omitted. However, another person could attribute the error to the stopping of a fr icative, which is consider ed as a phonological error These types of discrepancies cro ssed linguistic categories and made strong inter-examiner agreement hard to obtain. Despite these difficulties, relatively strong agreement was obtained with 78% agreement on the real words and 76% agreement on the non-words. Another limitation to the study was the lack of opportunities for morphological errors to occur. This mi ght be attributed to the fact that each spelling test only had 13 words. Moreover, the words chosen were based on

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81 grade level and AAE feature, which limited word selection and the inclusion of morphological patterns. However, it is important to under stand the morphology used by those who speak AAE because many of these features are morphological in nature. Without this information, the fu ll extent of influence that dialect has on the spelling development process is not being identified. A third limitation was that the study lacked a contro l group. Although it was possible to generally compare the spelli ng errors found in this study to the developmental spelling errors that em erged in the Fawcett (2006) study, direct (statistical) comparison between the tw o groups could not be accomplished. The vastly different tasks in which the misspellings were elicited and discrepancies between the SES of the populations test ed in the two studies might have influenced participants performances. Prev ious research has suggested that children, regardless of race, who live in poverty, have increased environmental stress that affects their functioning and performance (Washington, 2001). For example, children who live in poverty might experience lower levels of stability, lack of continuity of care, inadequat e nutrition, and poorer medical care (Washington, 2001) than children from hom es in higher SES levels. Therefore, when SES is not controlled for, it is possible that the differences observed between two groups are a result of environm ental factors as opposed to dialectal differences. A different way to deal with th is issue may be to control for mothers educational level because this factor influences the childs language skills, as well as predicts SES.

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82 A fourth limitation deals wit h the Issue of parsing. If a child relies on the oral register when writing and spelling, then it is possible that spelling errors can result because of phonetic simplificati ons that are commonly produced during running speech. For instance, if someone says, that is my bes friend it is not uncommon to reduce the final consonant cluster in best Therefore, if a child is relying on the phonological route for spelli ng, he/she will likely reduce the final consonant cluster in their spelling. This can happen whether or not the child is a speaker of AAE. Therefore, it is possible that the presence of AAE errors was over-estimated in this analysis because that is what the investigator was looking for. The spelling words were produced in a sentence context, so it is possible that knowledge of oral productions drove the production of errors and not the use of AAE dialect. It is very difficult to tease this factor out of the current data analysis other than to say that the task emphas ized citation spelling forms and not sentence productions. A final limitation of the study involves the creation of the non-words. They were created based on the phonological skel eton of the real words selected for each grade. This was typically done by c hanging one letter of the real word. The process never involved consideration of orthotactic probabilities (Apel, 2008); therefore, the non-words might not have represented the or thotactic contexts that typically occur in English. This could have resulted in the decreased elicitation of dialectal errors on the non-word tasks.

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83 Implications of the Study This study supported the previous literature on dialectal influences on childrens spelling. In addition, on the real word task in this study, as many as 30% of errors for the first grade and 18% of errors for the third grade were attributed to AAE features. This degree of dialectal influence does not suggest that dialect is the primary factor infl uencing spelling development of African American children. However, it does appear to play a role, especially in the first grade children, and warrants attention in spelling curri cula. Explicit spelling instruction, for example, incorporating cu lturally sensitive contrastive analyses on the differences between the dialectal s pelling patterns in children who speak AAE and the conventional spellings of the words, might improve the spelling performances of children who use AAE. This type of instruction can be accomplished by raising childrens metalinguistic awareness of discrepancies between their dialectally influenced oral linguistic patterns and the necessary academic linguistic patterns. This ty pe of teaching might be followed by strategies on how to reconcile the differences between the oral and written registers when writing. It would also be im portant to consider the cultural history of the dialect in any ty pe of learning experience. Spelling instruction within the clas sroom has changed little over time and is largely ineffective with its word list s, spelling rules and highly decontextualized spelling activities (Bahr, Silliman, & Berninger, in press). We know that these methods of teaching spelling are not systemat ic or explicit and are not relevantly grounded in language (Bahr et al., in press) Research has shown that explicit

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84 spelling instruction that focuses on multiple linguistic factors in conjunction with natural learning opportunities is the most effective form of spelling instruction (Apel et al., 2004). Children whose spelling patterns reflect thei r oral dialectal patterns might also benefit from this type of explicit spelling instruction, which could facilitate their awareness of the di fferences that exist between their oral dialectal patterns and the academic l anguage patterns used in writing. Additionally, the data in this study supports the idea that the third grade children were more efficient code-switc hers since fewer errors with AAE features were noted in the spellings for this group. Craig and Washington (2004) have reported similar findings in their longitudi nal research. Bidialectalism then might actually develop greater metalinguistic awareness in these children, which results in better performance on tasks that target AAE features. For instance, Sligh and Connors (2003) found that the speakers of AAE dialect in their study actually outperformed SAE speakers on phonologica l awareness tasks that involved phoneme deletions in initial and final consonant clusters. These investigators attributed their findings to better phonological processing skills, which they attributed to dialect use. On the ot her hand, Thomas-Tate, Washington, and Edwards (2004) found that their AAE speakers performed more poorly on a phonological awareness task that involved final sounds than they did on a more global measure of phonological awareness. They attributed this finding to the frequency of occurrence of final consonant weakening in young speakers of AAE and the possibility of a w eaker phonological representat ion for final consonants related to dialect use. Therefore, it is not clear whether dialect use facilitates or

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85 hinders linguistic performance, but it is evident that code-switching is a desirable behavior. One way to facilitate the devel opment of code-switchin is through explicit spelling instruction which can be used to strengthen metalinguistic abilities in bidialectal children. Areas for Future Research Future research related to the influence of dialect on spelling should consider the best way to control for the influence of SES. The difficulty in doing this lies is that there is a strong re lationship between SES and dialect use. For example, African American children who speak SAE are more likely to come from a different socioeconomic environment than African American children who speak AAE, which is typically associated with working class people (Labov, 1972). Therefore, if performance on a s pelling measure was compared between these two groups of AAE speak ers, the differences obs erved might be attributed to SES factors. Therefore, a study t hat compares the performance of AAE and SAE speaking children from both low and high SES backgrounds might provide the best insight as to whether the differ ences observed are related to dialect or SES. Additionally, it was previously disc ussed that traditional spelling tasks might not always provide the linguistic cont ext to elicit specific AAE features. Natural writing tasks in which the linguis tic context is generated by the child might increase the observation of AAE influence on spelling. However, in these types of tasks students have the ability to avoid certain word choices that they might have difficulty with. T herefore, a study in which spelling errors of children

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86 who speak AAE are elicited through a vari ety of tasks and then compared might provide more insight on the influence of AAE on spelling performance. Apel et al. (2004) have suggested that use of a natural task co mbined with a traditional spelling test might provide the best s pelling sample. The natural writing task might allow for the context in which the feature occurred to be analyzed and better understood. In addition, the writi ng task might increase the number of morphological errors produced thereby addressing another limitation of this study. Moreover, descriptive analysis of other dialects using the POMAS scoring system, such as Spanish-infl uenced English, would be b eneficial in adding to our general understanding of spelling and dialect. It would be interesting to see if or how spelling performance differs when di alect use is influenced by another language.

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87 References American Speech-Language-Heari ng Association. (2003). Technical Report: American English Dialects ASHA Supplement 23. Rockville, MD: ASHA. Apel, K., (2008). The acquisition of m ental orthographic representations for reading and spelling development. Communication Disorders Quarterly. 20(10), 1-11. Apel, K., Masterson, J. J., & Hart, P. (2004). Integration of language components in spelling: Instruction that maximizes students learning. In E. R. Silliman & L. Wilkinson (Eds.), Language and literacy learning in schools (pp. 292318), New York: The Guilford Press. Apel, K., Masterson, J. J., & Niessen, N. L. (2004). Spelling assessment frameworks. In C. A. Stone & E. R. Silliman & K. Apel & B. J. Ehren (Eds.) Handbook of language and literacy: Development and disorders (pp 644660). New York: The Guilford Press. Bahr, R. H., Silliman, E. R., & Berninger, V. (in press). What spelling errors have to tell about vocabulary learning. In C. Wood & V. Connelly (Eds.) Reading and spelling: Contemporary perspectives. Pergamon Press. Bailey, G., & Thomas, E. (1998). Some as pects of AfricanAmerican vernacular English phonology. In S. Mufwene, J. Rickford, G. Bailey, & J. Baugh (Eds.), African-American English: St ructure, history, and use (pp.85-109). New York: Routledge.

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88 Bear, D. R., Templeton, S., Helman, L.A., & Baren, T. (2003) Orthographic development and learning to read in different languages. In G. Garcia (Eds.), English learners: Reaching the hi ghest level of English literacy (pp. 71-94). Newark, Delaware: Inter national Reading Association. Beeson, P. M., Rising K., Kim, E. S., & R apcsak, S. Z. (2008) A novel method for examining response to spelling treatment. Aphasiology 22, 707 -717. Bernthal, J. E., & Bankson, N. W. (2004). Articulation and Phonological Disorders (5 th edition). Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Bourassa, D. C., & Treiman R. (2001). Spelling development and disability: The importance of linguistic factors. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 32, 172-181. Brent, M. R., & Cartwright, T. A. (1996) Distributional regularity and phonotactic constraints are useful for segmentation. Cognition. 61,1-2, 93-125. Bruck, M., & Waters, G. (1988). An analysis of the spelling errors of children who differ in their reading and spelling skills. Applied Psycholinguistics, 9, 247266. Capen, A. P. (2001) The influence of Afri can American vernacul ar English on the spelling performance of first and third grade children. Unpublished Masters thesis, University of South Florida. Cassar, M., & Trei man, R. (2005). Developmental variations in spelling: Comparing typical and poor spellers. In B. Shulman, K. Apel, B. Ehren, E. R. Silliman, & C. A. Stone (Eds.), Handbook of languag e and literacy: Development and disorders. New York: The Guilford Press.

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89 Clark-Klein, S., & Hodson B. W. (1995). A phonologically based analysis of misspellings by third graders with disordered-phonology histories. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 38, 839-849. Craig, H. K., Thompson, C. A., Washi ngton, J. A., & Potter, S. L. (2003). Phonological features of child African-American English. Journal of Speech, Language, and H earing Research, 46, 623-635. Craig, H. K., & Wash ington, J. A., (2004). Malik goes to school: Examining the language skills of African Amer ican students from preschool-5 th grade Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Ehri, L. C. (1986). Sources of difficulty in learning to spell and read. In M. L. Wolraich & D. Routh (Eds.), Advances in developmental and behavioral pediatrics (Vol. 7, pp 121-195). Greenwich, CT: JAI. Ehri, L.C. (1995). Phases of developm ent in learning to read by sight. Journal of Research in Reading 18, 116. Ehri, L.C. (2002). Phases of acquisition in learning to read words and implications for teaching. British Journal of Educational Psychology : Monograph Series 1 7. Fawcett, K. (2006). Spelling development in young school age children Unpublished masters thesis, Univ ersity of South Florida. Gentry, J. R. (1982). An analysis of developmental spelling in GNYS AT WRK. The Reading Teacher, 36, 192-200. Giegerich, H. J. (1992). English phonology: An introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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90 Green L. J. (2002). African American E nglish: A linguistic introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Harper D. (2001). In Online Etymology Di ctionary. Retrieved April 9, 2009, from http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=ask Henderson, E. H., & Templeton, S. (1985). A developmental perspective of formal spelling instruction thr ough alphabet, pattern, and meaning. Elementary School Journal. 86, 305-316. Kohler, C. T., Bahr, R. H., Silliman, E. R., Bryant, J. B., Apel, K., & Wilkinson, L. (2007). African American dialect and performance on nonword spelling and phonemic awareness tasks. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 16, 157-168. Labov,W. (1972). Language in the inner city: Studies in the Black English vernacular. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Luelsdorff, P. A. (1975). A segmental phonology of Black English. The Hague: Mouton. Masterson J. J., & Apel, K. A. (2000), Spelling a ssessment: Charting a path to optimal intervention. Topics in Language Disorders, 20(3), 50-65. Oetting, J., & McDonald, A. (2001). N onmainstream dialect use and specific language impairment. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 44, 207-223. Pollock, K. (2000, May). Characteristics of AAE phono logy. Poster presented at the University of Memphis Res earch Symposium, Memphis, TN.

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91 Reece, C., & Treiman, R. (2001). Childrens spelling of syllabic /r/ and letter name vowels: Broadening the st udy of spelling development. Applied Psycholinguistics, 22, 135-165. Rickford, J. (1999). African American Vernacular English: Features, Evolution and educational implications. Cambridge. MA: Blackwell. Salvia, J., & Ysseldyke, J. E. (2001) Assessment in special and remedial education (8 th ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Schuele, C. M., & Bourdr eau, D. (2008). Phonological awareness intervention: Beyond the basics. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 39, 3-20. Semel, E., Wiig, E., & Secord, W. (1995). Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals (3 rd ed.). San Antonio, TX: The Psychological Corporation. Silliman, E. R., Bahr, R. H., & Pete rs, M. L. (2006). Spelling patterns in preadolescents with atypical language skills: phonological, morphological and orthographic factors. Developmental Neuropsychology, 29, 93-123. Sligh, A. C., & Conners, F. A. (2003) Relation of dialect to phonological processing: African American Vernacular English vs. standard American English. Contempor ary Educational Psychology, 28, 205. Society for Visual Education (Produc er). (1989). Adventuresome Max: Discovering the world. [Videotape]. (Ava ilable from the Society for Visual Education, 1345 Diversity Pa rkway, Chicago, IL 60614).

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92 Stockman, I. J. (1996). P honological development and disorders in African American children. In A.G. Kamhi, K. E. Pollack, & J. L. Harris (Eds.), Communication development and disorders in African American children: Research, assessment, and intervention (pp.117-153). Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes. Sulzby, E. (1996). Roles of oral a nd written language as children approach literacy. In C. Pontecorvo M. Orsolini, B. Burge, & L. B. Resnick (Eds.), Childrens early text construction (pp. 25-26). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Templeton, S. (2004). Instru ctional approached to spelling. In E. R. Silliman & L. C. Wilkinson (Eds.), Language and literacy learning in schools (pp. 273291). New York, NY: The Guilford Press. Templeton, S., & Morris, D. (2001, October). Reconceptualizing spelling development and instruction. Reading Online, 5 (3). Available: http://www.readingonline.org/articles/art_index.asp?HREF=/articles/handb ook/templeton/index.html. Terry, N. P. (2006). Relati onships between dialect vari ation, grammar, and early spelling skills. Reading and Writing, 19, 907-931. Thomas-Tate, S., Washington, J., & Edwards, J. (2004). Standardized assessment of phonological awareness skills in low-income African American first graders. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology 13, 182.

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93 Thompson, C. A., Craig, H. K., & Washington, J.A. ( 2004). Variable production of African American English across oracy and literacy contexts. Language, Speech and Hearing Services in Schools, 35, 269-282. Treiman, R. (2004). Spelling and dial ect: Comparison between speakers of African American Vernacular English and White speakers. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 11 338-342. Treiman, R., & Barry, C. (2000). Dialect and aut hography: Some differences between American and British spellers. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 26, 1423-1430. Treiman, R., & Bourassa, D. C. (2000). Childrens written and oral spelling. Applied Psycholinguistics, 21, 183-204. Treiman, R., & Cassar, M. (1996). Effect s of morphology on ch ildrens spelling of final consonant clusters. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 63, 141-170. Treiman, R., & Cassar, M. ( 1997). Spelling acquisition in English. In C. A. Perfetti & L. Rieben & M. Fayol (Eds.), Learning to spell: Research, theory, and practice across languages (pp. 61-80). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Treiman, R., Cassar, M., & Zukowski, A. (1994). What types of linguistic information do children use in spelling? The case of flaps. Child Development, 65, 1310-1329.

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94 Treiman, R., Goswami, U., Tincoff, R., & Leevers H. (1 997). Effects of dialect on American and British Ch ildrens Spelling. Child Development, 68 (2) 229245. U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Educati on Statistics (2008). The condition of education 2008. Office of Educational Research and Improvement. Retrieved March 9, 2009, from http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2008/2008031.pdf Washington J. A. (2001). Early litera cy skills in African-American children: Research considerations. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 16(4) 213-221. Washington, J. A., & Craig, H. K. (2001). Reading performance and dialectal variation. In J. L. Harris, A. G. Kamhi, & K. E. Pollock (Eds.), Literacy in African American communities. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Washington, J. A., Craig, H. K., & Kushmaul, A. J. (19 98). Variable use of African American English across two language sampling contexts. Journal of Speech, Language, and H earing Research, 41, 1115-1124. Wolfram, W., Adger, C. T. & Christian, D. (1999). Dialects in schools and communites. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Wolfram, W., & Schilli ng-Estes, N. (1991). Diale cts and American English. Englewood Cliffs NJ: Prentice Hall.

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95 Wright, D., & Ehri, L. (2007). Beginners remember orthography when they are beginning to read words: The case of doubled letters. Applied Psycholinguistics 28, 115-133. Wyatt, T. A. (1995). Language development in African American English child speech. Linguistics and education 7, 7-22.

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96 Appendices

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97 Appendix A POMAS Scoring System POMAS Coding Categories (Fawce tt, 2006; Silliman, et al., 2006) Category Code Description Example P# PALS Acceptable letter string buskes | built P PCD Consonant delet ion beame | became P# PCE Phonological consonant error wasts | wasps P PCR Cluster reduction stuck | struck P# PDD Phonological di graph deletion ba |bath P PDIP Vowel for true diphthong around | around P PDV Devoicing pusels | puzzles P PEP Epenthesis tolid | told P PFCD Final consonant deletion kee | keep P PFLP Flaps pride | pretty P PFPV Final position voicing becus | because P PFR Fronting graphits | graphics P# PFS Clusters; Fricative substitution fin thin or sin thin P# PGL Gliding stwing | string P PLV Long vowel error roop | rope P PNE Nasal error junp | jump P PSC /s/ clusters bes | best P PSE Silent e patterns lik|like P# PSF Stop Fricative zigging | digging P PSHW Schwa cristle | crystal P PSON Sonorant clusters (nasals, l, r, j) ad | and P PSR Syllable reduction maroni | macaroni P PSRS Schwa reduced syllable anmols | animals P PST Stopping teel | feel P PSV Short vowels kite | kit P# PULS Unacceptable letter string shenlnin | stroller P PVO Voicing blay | play P PVOCR Vocalic /r/ cos | curls O OAA Apostrophe added gets | gets O OCD Consonant doubling terific | terrific O OCE Consonant error sogt | soft O OCL Capital letter california | California O ODI Digraphs sip | ship O# OFCI T th hurth | hurt O OHY Hyphen fortytwo | forty-two O OLD Letter doubling (syllable juncture) triped | tripped O OLN Letter name (l,s,r) cr | car

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98 Appendix A (Continued). Category Code Description Example O OLR Letter reversal (b/d, d/b) balls | dolls O OLS Letter sound (c/k, k/c, etc.) sereal | cereal O OLVP Long vowel pattern keep | kipe O OLWF Long vowel word families (old, -igh) nite | night O ONA No apostrophe somebodys|somebodys O OOW One word sometimes | sometimes O OPA Phoneme addition sradr | grade O OPE Plural error fris | fries O OSJ Syllable juncture y to i cryed | cried O OSL Silent letter /h/ (where, what, when) wen | when O OSY Syllabic /l/ terdals | turtles O OUVP Unusual vowel pattern cof | cough O# OVAe Vowel addition e (e added for no apparent reason dancede | danced O* OVDI Vowel digraph (short vowel digraph) hed|head O OVE Vowel error stuped | stupid O OVr Vocalic /r/ (r/er, etc.) sistr | sister O OWB Word boundary (2 sep. words) eachother | each other M MDER Derivation (root word) depasition | deposition M MDVM Derivational morphology brang | brought M MHOM Homonyms there | their M MINF Inflectional morphology bike | bikes M MPRE Prefixes organize| reorganize M MSH Shifts phonological change magishen | magician M MSUF Suffixes normal | normally M# MSUFA Suffix addition danceding | danced M# MSYN Synonym big | huge PO# POD Digraph (used on non-words) Pet | peth PO# POLV Long vowel (used on nonwords) huob| hube PO POR Reversals tis its PO# POSV Short vowel (used on nonwords) gomped| gumped PO POVDS Vowel dependent spellings (short vowels tch, dge, ck/ch, ge) baitch| batch PO POVM Vowels missi ng/deleted dble | double

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99 Appendix A (Continued) Category Code Description Example MO MCON Contraction wasnt | wasnt MO MOSP Mispelled root word resulting in phonologically-accurate spelling edgeucation | education MO MOV Overgeneralizat ion losted | lost MP MPVS Visually similar error are | car CQ Child started word but failed to finish b | buy Grammar Spelling errors resulting from a violation of subject-verb agreement is| am, was | were *New subcategory not include d in Grades 1-4 coding. #Codes added during this study.

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100 Appendix B Spelling Assessments First Grade Spelling Test for Real Words (n=13) Real Word AAE Feature/ Spelling Feature Sentence Context Word Type 1. men I/ before nasals The Bucs football players are all men. N 2. thin / / substitutions in initial and medial positions Britney Spears likes to sing with a thin microphone. A 3. bird Final consonant devoicing The little bird has a big nest! N 4. step Short vowel spelling pattern, initial cluster Did Jigglypuff step on Mewtwos foot? V 5. help Zero /l/ before bilabial stop Please help Pocohontas braid her hair. V 6. cent Consonant cluster reduction I sold my Pokemon card for one cent. N 7. high Spelling pattern igh Tarzan swung high in the trees. A 8. cast Consonant cluster reduction Blue has a cast on his paw. N 9. desks Metathesis, consonant cluster reduction Keisha switched desks so that she could sit by Nikita. N 10. jumped Zero marking of past tense ed Arthur jumped rope for five minutes! V 11. string Backing of /str/ cluster String the beads to make a necklace. V 12. pure Initial /j/ cluster reduction Rapunzels hair was the color of pure gold. A 13. silk Rhotacization of /l/ The dress she wore to the dance was made of silk. N Note: Word type refers to the part of speech of the target word. N= noun, V= verb, A= adjective.

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101 Appendix B (Continued) First Grade Spelling Test for Non-Words (n=13) Non-Word AAE Feature/ Spelling Feature Sentence Context Word Type 1. len I/ before nasals Cruella DeVil wears a len in Dalmatians. N 2. peth / / substitutions in medial and final positions Charizard threw a peth to Pikachu. N 3. chun Chspelling pattern Jerome and Cortez chun on the bus. V 4. frid Final consonant devoicing The girls frid at the dance. V 5. hasts Final consonant cluster reduction Boyz 2 Men have hasts on the stage. N 6. stig Final consonant devoicing Keyshawn Johnson wears a stig during the Bucs games. N 7. telp Zero /l/ before bilabial stop The Devil Rays telp into the dugout. V 8. soin oi diphthong Fred had a soin backpack. A 9. hest Metathesis Shawn King threw a hest after the Bucs won. N 10. wimed Zero marking of past tense ed The bird wimed on his nest yesterday. V 11. mubid Initial /j/ cluster reduction Billy washed his mubid shirt. A 12. strim Backing of /str/ cluster Dont strim without a helmet! V 13. silm Rhotacization of /l/ A digimon found a silm in the tree. N Note: Word type refers to the part of speech of the target word. N= noun, V= verb, A= adjective.

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102 Appendix B (Continued) Third Grade Spelling Test for Real Words (n=13) Real Word AAE Feature/ Spelling Feature Sentence Context Word Type 1. penny I/ before nasals, consonant doubling rule Tyrone found a penny in his pocket. N 2. thirsty / / substitutions in medial and final positions Shawn King was thirsty after the Bucs games. A 3. change Chspelling pattern, Vowel + e The Devil Rays change their uniform for home games. V 4. inside Final consonant devoicing The money was inside my pocket. Pr 5. straw Backing of /str/ cluster Leroy needs a straw to drink his milk. N 6. bulb Zero /l/ before bilabial stop The light bulb burned out. N 7. blast Metathesis of the final /s/-stop clusters Have you seen the space shuttle blast into space? V 8. wasps Zero marking of plural Be careful of the wasps by the P.E. field. N 9. danced Zero marking of past tense -ed Boyz 2 Men danced on stage during the concert. V 10. stroller Backing of /str/ cluster, consonant doubling rule The baby was pushed in the stroller. N 11. huge Initial /j/ cluster reduction That airplane is huge! A 12. built Rhotacization of /l/ The Bucs built their new stadium two years ago. V 13. track Initial spelling cluster final ck patterns Did you watch the track and field gamed in the Olympics? N Note: Word type refers to the part of speech of the target word. N= noun, V= verb, A= adjective.

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103 Appendix B (Continued) Third Grade Spelling Test for Non-Words (n=13) Non-Word AAE Feature/ Spelling Feature Sentence Context Word Type 1. kenter I/ before nasals Did your class kenter in art today? V 2. plath / / substitutions in medial and final positions Antonio has a plath backpack. A 3. chez Final consonant devoicing Britney Spears has a chez on her microphone. N 4. plobe Final consonant devoicing The transformers will plobe in 30 seconds. V 5. stram Backing of /str/ cluster Keyshawn Johnson threw a stram to win the game. N 6. shelb Zero /l/ before bilabial stop The Devil Rays shelb during the game. V 7. floin oi spelling pattern, initial cluster spelling pattern Pikachu jumped over the floin to catch Mewtwo. N 8. flest Metathesis I saw a flest while I was watching the Olympics. N 9. gumped Zero marking of past tense ed Moesha gumped when she hears she didnt make the team. V 10. strimming Backing /str/ cluster, -ing spelling pattern The boys were strimming after school. V 11. hube Initial /j/ cluster reduction A digimon threw a hube at the monster. N 12. trests Zero marking of plural /s/ Did you hear about the trests at the Backstreet Boys concert? N 13. smilt Rhotacization of /l/ The smilt monster has glowing eyes. A Note: Word type refers to the part of speech of the target word. N= noun, V= verb, A= adjective.


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Dialectal and developmental influences on real word and non-word spelling tasks
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ABSTRACT: Spelling development is a linguistic process which involves the interaction of phonological, orthographic, and morphological knowledge (Bahr, Silliman, & Berninger, in press). It is also clear these linguistic factors are influenced by a person's dialect. Previous research has indicated that use of African American English (AAE) does influence spelling performance (Kohler, Bahr, Silliman, Bryant, Apel, & Wilkinson, 2007); however, few studies have considered how dialect use influences spelling as a function of spelling task (i.e., real vs. non-word tasks), error category (phonological, orthographic, or morphological) or grade. A secondary goal was to note if dialectal or developmental errors predominated in the noted misspellings.The Phonological, Orthographic, and Morphological Assessment of Spelling (POMAS, Silliman, Bahr, & Peters, 2006) was used to provide a fine-grained analysis of the spelling errors of 80 typically developing African American children in grades 1 (n = 39) and 3 (n = 41). These children were screened for language ability and they were determined to be AAE speakers by observing their use of phonological and/or morphosyntactic dialect features when retelling a story. Age-appropriate real word and non-word spelling tasks were developed which incorporated common features of AAE. A three-way ANOVA revealed that differences in error frequency were dependent upon word type, error type and grade. On the real word spelling task, children in both grades made more orthographic errors than phonological or morphological errors.On the non-word spelling task, students in both grades made fewer orthographic errors and students in grade 3 made significantly more phonological errors, while the number of phonological errors noted remained fairly constant across tasks for the children in grade 1. Common misspelling patterns revealed developmental errors, as well as errors attributed to AAE. A closer look at the occurrence of AAE features revealed that first graders were more likely to reflect dialectal patterns in their spelling than the third graders. This is possibly due to differences in exposure to the academic register and experience in code-switching. Finally, the real words elicited more AAE features than non-words suggesting that phonetic and linguistic contexts might influence the occurrence and use of AAE.
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Spelling development
Spelling assessment
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