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Spanish spelling errors of emerging bilingual writers in middle school
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by Diana Delgado-Julbe.
[Tampa, Fla] :
b University of South Florida,
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Thesis (M.S.)--University of South Florida, 2010.
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ABSTRACT: In spite of the significant growth in the Spanish-English bilingual population, there has not been sufficient research on cross-language effects, or how language transfer may affect important components of literacy, such as spelling. Many studies have focused on the influence of Spanish on the acquisition of English spelling skills; however, few studies have focused on how the acquisition of English influences Spanish spelling. The purpose of this investigation was to study the spelling errors of bilingual adolescents as they learn English. A total of 20 bilingual Spanish-English students in grades 6 through 8 (ages 11 to 14 years) were selected from a larger mixed methods study (Danzak, 2009) not concerned with spelling. These students were enrolled in English as a Second Language (ESL) classes in a public middle school located on the west coast of Florida. The students completed four writing samples in each language (evenly divided between narrative and expository genres). All samples were analyzed using the Phonological Orthographic Morphological Assessment of Spelling-Spanish (POMAS-S), a linguistically-based analysis system that qualitatively describes Spanish spelling errors and is sensitive to effects of cross-language transfer. Misspellings were extracted from the students' writing samples and were examined by looking at the effects of linguistic category, genre, and gender. Results of the three-way ANOVA revealed that the greatest number of errors occurred in the orthographic category, accounting for over 70% of the errors. Errors attributed to the other linguistic categories occurred less than 10% of the time each. There were no effects attributed to genre or gender. The qualitative analysis revealed that the most common linguistic feature error was OAT (orthographic tonic accents) comprising 37% of the total number of errors followed by OLS (letter sound) errors, which comprised 11% of the total number of errors. All other phonological, orthographic, morphological, and phonological-orthographic linguistic feature patterns occurred with a frequency of 5% or less. Knowledge of the English language had a minimal, but obvious, influence on their spelling. These findings would suggest that Spanish-English bilingual adolescents predominantly made spelling errors that did not follow the orthographic rules of Spanish. Educational implications are presented.
Advisor: Ruth Huntley Bahr, Ph.D.
x Communication Sciences & Disorders
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
Spanish Spelling Errors of Emerging Bilingual Writers in Middle School by Diana Julbe Delgado A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders C ollege of Behavioral and Community Sciences University of South Florida Major Professor: Ruth Huntley Bahr, Ph.D. Elaine R. Silliman, Ph.D. Robin Danzak, Ph.D. Date of Approval April 5 2010 Keywords: phonology, orthography, morphology, morphos yntax, cross language transfer Copyright 2010 Diana Julbe Delgado
i T able of Contents List of Tables List of Figures Abstract Chapter 1 : Literature Review Two Theories of Spelling Development Late Model Prephonemic Spelling Semi Phonemic/Early L etter Name Spelling Letter Name Spelling Within Word Pattern Spelling Syllable Juncture Spelling Derivational Constancy Spelling Phases E arly Model Spelling in Spanish English and Spanish Phonology and Orthography Similarities and Differences Ambi guous Graphemes Vowel Relationships English and Spanish Morphology v vi vii 1 3 3 4 4 5 5 6 6 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
ii C ommon Spelling Errors Found Across Spanish English Bi lingual Research Letter Sound Confusions Non Contrastive Phonemes Contrastive Vowels Spanish Allophones Context Dependent Spellings Consonant Doubles Code Switching and Other Common Errors Research Limitations Issues in Spelling Research Spelling Tasks Dictation Approach Writing Prompts Scoring of Spelling Errors T he Phonological, Orthographic, Morphological Assessment of Spelling (POMAS) Statement of Purpose and Research Questions Chapter 2: Methods Participants Materials Writing Samples Scoring System 14 14 16 16 17 17 18 18 19 20 20 20 21 22 24 26 28 28 29 29 30
iii Procedures Data Analysis Error Identification Criteria Consistency of Identification Agreement Statistical Analysis Qualitative Analysis Chapter 3: Results Descriptive Data Quantitative Analysis Qualitative Analysi s Freq uency of Error Type by Linguistic Category/Feature Evidence of English Influence in Spanish Misspellings English Influence and Code Switching ph for f Consonant Doubling Morphological Code Switching Summary of Results Chapter 4: Discussion Patterns of Misspellings (Question 1) Tonic Accents Tilde Diacrtica (Diacritical Accents) Letter Sound Correspondences 36 38 38 39 41 42 42 43 43 44 45 45 53 53 54 54 55 56 58 59 59 60 61
iv Vowel Substitutions Influence of Cross Language Trans fer (Question 2) Context D ependent Influences Code Switching Influences Dialectal Influences Comparisons Between Spanish and English Spelling Orthographic Errors Phonological Errors Morphological Errors Value of the POMAS S Nature of t he Spelling Sample Clinical and Educational Implications Strengths and Limitations Two Directions for Future Research Reference List Appendix Appendix A: POMAS S Codes with Examples 62 62 63 63 64 64 64 65 66 67 68 68 69 71 73 83 84
v List of Ta bles Table 1. Comparison Between English and Spanish Orthographies Table 2. Genre and Topics Used to Elicit Writing Samples Table 3. Percentage of Error s in the Orthographic Category Table 4. Percentage of Error s in the Phonological Category Table 5 Percentage of Error s in the Morphological Category Table 6. Percentage of Error s in the Phonological Orthographic Category Table 7. Evidence of Other Language I nfluence in Spanish Misspellings 10 30 48 50 51 53 5 6
vi L ist of Figures Figure 1. Percentage of Errors by Linguistic Category 44
vii Spanish Spelling Errors of Emerging Bilingual Writers in Middle School Diana Julbe Delgado A BSTRACT In spite of the significant growth in the Spanish English bilingual popul ation, there has not been sufficient research on cross language effects, or how language transfer may affect important components of literacy, such as spelling. Many studies have focused on the influence of Spanish on the acquisition of English spelling sk ills; however, few studies have focused on how the acquisition of English influences Spanish spelling The purpose of this investigation wa s to study the spelling errors of bilingual ado lescents as they learn English. A total of 20 bilingual Spanish Englis h students in grades 6 through 8 (ages 11 to 14 years) were selected from a larger mixed methods study (Danzak, 2009) not concerned with spellin g. These students were enrolled in English as a Second Language (ESL) classes in a public middle school located on the west coast of Florida. The students completed four writing samples in each language ( evenly divided between narrative and expository genres) All samples were analyzed using the P honological O rthographic M orphological A ssessment of S pelling S panish (POMAS S) a linguistically based analysis system that qualitatively describes Spanish spelling errors and is sensitive to effects of cross language transfer.
viii M isspellings were extracted from the writing samples and were examined by looking at t he effects of linguistic category, genre, and gender. Results of the three way ANOVA revealed that the greatest number of errors occurred in the orthographic category, accounting for over 70% of the errors. Errors attributed to the other linguistic categor ies occurred less than 10% of the time each There were no effects attributed to genre or gender. The qualitative analysis revealed that the most common linguistic feature error was OAT (orthographic tonic accents) comprising 37% of the total number of e rrors followed by OLS (letter sound) errors, which comprised 11% of the total number of errors. All other phonological orthographic, morphological, and phonological orthographic linguistic feature patterns occurred with a frequency of 5% or less. Knowledg e of the English language had a minimal, but obvious, influence on their spelling. These findings would suggest that Spanish English bilingual adolescents predominantly mad e spelling errors that d id not follow the orthographic rules of Spanish. Educational implications are presented.
1 C hapter 1 Literature Review According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES 2007), 10.8 million children between 5 17 years of age speak a language other than English at home. Of these, 2.7 million spoke E nglish with difficulty and the primary language of 75% (or 2.1 million) was Spanish. In fact, in 2005, Hispanics represented the largest minority group in the United States, making up 14% of the entire population and this number is projected to increase an other 32% by 2020 (NCES, 2007). These patterns of growth bring attention to t he potentia l challenge educator s face when teaching English language and literacy skills to Spanish English bilingual children. This is important, as recent studies have demonstra ted a reading achievement gap that exists among English Language Learners (ELLs) of all ages when compared to their native English speaking peers (Gold en berg, Rueda, & August, 2006; Gutirrez et al., 2002; Shanahan & Beck, 2006; U.S. Dept. of Education, 20 08). Since spelling has been shown to be a critical component of literacy development and one of the purest indicators of lexical quality, the analysis of spelling is paramount as it can provide valuable information that could be used to implement adequate instruction and/or intervention (Bahr, Silliman, & Berninger, 2009, submitted ; Ehri, 2000; Templeton, 2004). Therefore, the growing number of bilingual students in schools highlights the importance of analyzing their spelling in order to
2 identify potentia l difficulties they may face in a classroom as they gain proficiency in English language and literacy. In spite of the significant growth in the Spanish English bilingual population, there has not been sufficient research on cross language effects, specif ically in how language transfer may affect important components of literacy, such as spelling. An understanding of first language proficiency or language knowledge and skills i s p (e.g., L1 = Spanish) skills can facilitate second language (L2 = English) acquisition (Cummins, 1984; Dressler & Kamil, 2006; Fitzgerald, 2006; Francis, 2006; Lanauze & Snow, 1989; Medina & Escamilla, 1992). Many studies have focused on the influence Span ish has in the acquisition of spelling skills (Arteagottia, Howard, Loguit, Malabonga & Kenyon, 2005; Cronnell, 1985; Escamilla, 2006; Fashola et al., Drum, Mayer, & Kan d 1996; Howard, Arteagottia, Lougui, Malabonga, & Kenyon, 2006; Liow & Lau, 2006; Zute ll & Allen, 1988); however, few studies have focused on L2 transfer effects or how the acquisition of the English language influences Spanish spelling The purpose of this investigation is to study the spelling errors of bilingual (Spanish English) ado les cents as they learn English. First, an overview of theories of spelling development will be described. Then, a description of characteristics specific to Spanish orthography and the types of errors that might be expected when a Spanish speaker spells in En glish will be discussed. Next, general findings of previous spelling studies involving Spanish English bilinguals will be des cribed and evaluated. These studie s will be synthesized in regard to general findings regarding bilingual spelling, spelling task s and scoring system s utilized to assess Finally,
3 an overview of the Phonological, Orthographic, Morphological Assessment of Spelling (POMAS ; Bahr et al. 2009, submitted ; Silliman, Bahr, & Peters, 2006) will be described as a tool to analyze spelling errors. Two Theories of Spelling Development Over the last three decades, various theories of spelling development have been proposed to account for how children learn the complex linguistic skill of spelling. The two most widely accepted theories are the late model and the early model. The late model focuses primarily on stages of development and proposes that children acquire certain skills (phonological, orthographic, or morphological) during discret e periods of time (Bear & Te mpleton, 1998; Ehri 19 89 ). On the other hand, the early model is more linguistically based and proposes that children coordinate and implement variet ies of linguistic knowledge (phonological, orthographic, and morphological) at different points in spellin g acquisition; from the onset of spelling and throughout development (e.g., Treiman & Bourassa, 2000). In fact, this model proposes that aspects of linguistic knowledge are use d collectively and simultaneously throughout spelling development. These two mod els will be described below. Late Model The late model, also known as the stage theory (Be ar & Templeton, 1998; Ehri, 1989 ; Gentry, 1982; Henderson, 1990; Henderson & Beers, 1980; Moats, 2000; T reiman 1991 1994), postulates that underlying spelling knowl edge is acquired in a specific order: phonological, orthographic, then morphological features are acquired. However, each type of knowledge predominates at a specific point in development. The late model
4 further proposes that more complex spelling knowledg e, such as knowledge based on d erivational morphology is not available to early spellers. Some disagreement exists, however, among stage theorists, on the number and timing of the stages. Earlier forms of the late model proposed three s tages of developme nt (Ehri, 1989 ), others highlighted five stages of spelling development (Gentry, 19 82), and later research suggested that children spelling develop s in six stages (Bear & Templeton, 1998; Henderson, 1990, Wright & Ehri, 2007) These models are described next Prephonemic spelling. Prephonemic spelling typically occurs between 1 and 7 years of age (Bear & Templeton, 1998), a period that which includes preschoolers and kindergartners. During this stage, children create meaningful messages by scribbling and forming letters. They may even string letters together. However, during this period of time, they have not yet made the connection that graphemes (i.e., letters) can be mapped on to phonemes or can represent speech sounds. Therefore, they do not associate letters with words and when they read their written work, they may reread their writing differently each time. Also, at this stage, bilingual writers will write the same string of letters for both English and Spanish and will read them in both languages (F erreiro & Teberosky, 1982) Semiphonemic/E arly letter name spelling. The semiphonemic stage, also known as early letter name spelling, typically occurs between ages 4 and 7 years (Bear & Templeton, 1998), or when children are in later kindergarten and ear ly first grade. In addition children demonstrate limited knowledge of sound to symbol correspondences. They predominantly use consonants to represent words and often omit vowels, although
5 some children may include vowels with their consonants (Bear & Temp leton, 1998). During this stage, children learn to In other words, they begin to recognize relationships between letters and the spoken word by how the so und is articulated ( Bear, In vernizzi, Templeton, & Johnston, 2004 ). Th e emergence of early reading is typically associated with this stage. However, due to the exclusion of vowels, their writing remains difficult to read. Letter name spelling. Children between the ages of 5 to 9 years are typically in the letter name stage of spelling development (Bear & Templeton, 1998). Here, they begin to acquire knowledge of spelling patterns; however, spelling rules are not always correctly applied. These children also begin to build a sight word based vocabulary. This is a time when ch ildren begin to use one grapheme to represent one phoneme and also begin to write vowels using their letter names ( Bear et al., 2004 ; Treiman, 1993). For example, in the case of the long vowel a children may write the word take as tak and they may also at tempt to write short vowels. However, they will use letters that more closely represent the desired vowel sound. For example, in the case of the short vowel o, children may write the word stop as stap Within word pattern spelling. The within word pattern stage typically occurs between ages 6 and 12 years (Bear & Templeton, 1998), cover ing children in late kindergarten through late fourth and early fifth grade. During this stage, children begin to evolve from solely mapping one letter to one sound to creati ng more complex letter patterns, like digraphs ( i.e., sh, th, ch ) and vowel dependent spellings (i.e., ough as in cough and through ). It is also during this stage of spelling development that children begin to understand vowel digraphs and consonant blen ds. Children are in the transitional
6 stage of reading and writing (Ehri & McCormick, 2004) This is where they begin to read more fluently and their writing clearly represents the language they speak (Bear et al., 2004). Syllable juncture spelling. The sy llable juncture stage of spelling development approximately covers ages 8 through 18 years (Bear & Templeton, 1998). During this stage, children learn the process of build ing multisyllabic words, by compounding and using prefixes, suffixes, and inflectiona l endings (e.g., ed s and ing ; Bear et al., 2004). However, their writing may reflect misspellings that occur at the syllable juncture (e.g., cryed for cried as well as in the unaccented syllable (e.g., diffrent for different ) (Bear et al., 2004). Deri vational constancy spelling. The final stage of spelling development typically begin s around 10 years of age and older (Bear & Templeton, 1998). At this stage, children are more proficient spellers and can spell almost all words correctly a lthough a few s pelling errors, such as, consonant doubling, omission of silent consonants, and misspelling of schwa vowel s can still be found in their writing. These children also demonstrate more sophisticated writing skills and are able to create new words by adding a ffixes to basic root words (Bear et al., 2004). This spelling stage also correlates with a more advanced stage of reading and writing, where they read with more accuracy and automaticity and are also able to more easily write unfamiliar words (Ehri & McCor mick, 2004; Kuhn & Stahl, 2004). Phases. More recently, researchers proposed that a more accurate interpretation of spelling development would be to describe it as occurring in phases (Wright & Ehri, 2007) The concept of phases means that during spelli ng development specific spelling
7 patterns do not occur within distinct periods of time (i.e., stages); instead they overlap (Ehri, 1995; 2002; Wright & Ehri, 2007). In other words, while phases still occur in a particular sequence, they do not have speci fic starting and ending points. Furthermore children utilize all three types of linguistic information (i.e., phonological, orthographic, and morphological) as they learn t o spell (Treiman & Cassar, 1996; 1997). Support for this model surfaced as evidence emerged that kindergartners and first graders were able to learn words more easily when double letters occurred in appropriate word positions (i.e., double letters typically occur in the middle or end of words in English as in different or discuss ) in co ntrast to when they occurred in an inappropriate word position (Wright & Ehri, 2007). These findings indicated that children demonstrate d knowledge of orthographic conventions early on, even when they were relying mostly on their phonological knowledge to spell. Early Model In contra st to stage or phase models more recent investigators have proposed that children do not move through discrete stages of spelling development; instead children employ phonolog y, orthography, and morphology as they slowly beco me competent spellers. This model, also known as the early model (Pacton & Deacon, 2008; Treiman & Cassar, 1997), suggest s that linguistic knowledge is increasing throughout spelling development. The early model describes how children use linguistic infor mation in the early spelling of monosyllabic words in order to access word meaning Additionally, the early model indicates that morphology contributes to both early and later spelling development (Bahr et al., 2009, submitted ). Hence, spelling is a lingui stic function and specific aspects
8 of linguistic knowledge are not learned in isolation, but are used collectively and simultaneously throughout spelling development (Ehri, 2002; Pacton & Deacon, 2008; Treiman & Cassar, 1997). (For a comprehensive discussi on of the two models, see Bahr et al., 2009.) Both the late and early models provide insight into the importance of analyzing the spelling of children. Research has shown spelling to be a critical component of literacy development and one of the purest in dicators of lexical quality (Ehri, 2000; Templeton, 2004). A lthough the se models differ on their perspective regarding spelling development, both highlight how spelling analysis can provide valuable information that could be used to implement adequate inst ruction and/or intervention (Bahr et al., 2009, submitted Spelling in Spanish R esearchers have evaluated Spanish and English spelling development and found that while Spanish spelling development does not significantly differ from spelling development in E nglish, discrepancies exist in the rate at which Spanish speaking children acquire spelling skills in comparison to English children (Defior Jimenez Fernandez, & Serrano, 2005). Studies have found that not only do Spanish speaking children in the United States develop spelling skills faster than their same age English speaking peers, but that it can take up to an additional two years for English speaking children to reach the same level of skill (Defior et al. 2005; Marn, Carillo, & Alegr a, 1999 ). This finding is likely related to the orthographic transparency of the Sp anish language, which can affect the timing and ease of spelling acquisition because there is a more direct relationship between letters and the sounds they represent (Cossu, 1999). On
9 th e other hand, opaque languages, such as English, demonstrate more inconsistency in the regularity of the relationships that exist between orthography and phonology ( Moats, 2000; Sun Alperin & Wang, 2008) English and Spanish P honology and O rthography I n English, there are 26 graphemes and approximately 44 phonemes. On the other hand, in Spanish there are 29 phonemes and 29 graphemes. Spanish orthography shares all 26 English graphemes and adds three graphemes, ch ll and that are not found in English. Of the 26 graphemes English and Spanish share, only 14 of the graphemes represent the same sound across both languages. While many of these differences involve vowels, there are some that affect consonants. In order to further illustrate the similarities and differences between Spanish and English, a comparison between English and Spanish phonemes and graphemes is depicted in Table 1 below.
10 Table 1 Comparison b etween English & Spanish O rthographies (compiled from Moats, 2000; Real Academia Espaola, 2007 ; Sun Alperin & Wang, 2008) English Spanish # of phonemes 44 29 # of graphemes 26 (over 250 graphemes & combinations represent the 44 phonemes). 29 (all English graphemes + ch, ll, ) Grapheme correspondences 3 correspond to 2 phonemes each: c = /k/ & /s/ g = /g/ & / d / x = /ks/ or /gz/ 8 digraphs (ch, th, sh, wh, ng, ph, gh, ck) 2 trigraphs (tch, dge) 5 correspond to 2 or more phonemes each: c = /k/ & /s/ g = /g/ & /h/ or / x / r = /r/ & /R/ y = /i/ & /y/ x = /s/ & /ks/ & /h/ or / x / 3 digraphs (ch, ll, rr) Some indicate the same sound b & v = /b/; h is silent. Vowel graphemes 5 (a, e, i, o, u), each corresponds to several different spellings 5 (a, e, i, o, u), each corresponds to 1 grapheme Similarities and differences. There are a few grapheme to phoneme correspondences that differ across English and Spanish For example, the letters z and v e xist in both alphabets but these sounds do not represent the same sounds in both languages. In English the letters z and v are voiced fricatives with a direct grapheme to phoneme correspondence. On the other hand, in Spanish, the letter s z and s both represent the voiceless fricative /s/. In addition c can represent /s/. The rule s are (Alboukrek, 2009; G arcia Pelayo y Gross, Garcia Pela yo y Gross, & Durand, 1982 ; Hualde, 2005; Lang, 1990; Real Academia Espaola, 1999) :
11 a) W ords can be spelled with the letter z when preceded by the vowels a o and u in the final position of monosyllabic words such as luz ( light ) and when preceding the consonants g n c b) W ords are spelled with th e letter s at the end of syllables when preceding consonants b, d, f, g, l, m, q and in words ending in oso ese sion sible sivo erso ersa erse ismo isima isimo and erse c) W ords are spelled with the letter c when preceding the vowels e or i as in cerradura ( lock ) and felicidad ( happiness ) and when preceding vowels e or i in plural words, such as luces ( lights ) It is important to note that all previously mentioned spelling rules h ave their exceptions. An additional interest in Spanish is the phonet ic representations of the letters b and v Although the Spanish alphabet includes the letter v it represents the voiced stop /b/, as both the letters b and v are allophonic variations o f the same phoneme. Another unique aspect when comparing English and Spanish is diagraphs. For example, English has the diagraph sh which represents the th that represents both the voiced fricative // and voiceless fricative / /. It is important to note that these phonemes do not exist in the Spanish language. However, the voiced fricative th (i.e. / /) can be heard as an inte rvocalic variant of /d/, as in the word dedo ( finger ) Ambiguous g raphemes E nglish and Spanish also have ambiguous graphemes. For example, English and Spanish share the same letter sound relationship for the c grapheme. For example, the /k/ sound is repr esented with the letter c in words such as cat in English and cami n ( truck ) in Spanish, while the /s/ sound is represented with the letter c in words such as decimal in English and sacerdote ( priest ) in Spanish. This same
12 relationship does not hold for th e letter g In English, g represents both the /g/ and / d / sounds, as in the words golf and giant In contrast, the l etter g in Spanish represents the /g/, /h/ or / x / sounds. Another discrepancy across languages involves the letter x In English, x repre sents both the /ks/ and /gz/ sounds, as in the words axe and exit while in Spanish, the letter x represents the /s, ks, h or x / sounds, as in the words xenofobia exacto and Mxico respectively Vowel r elationships Another area of notable difference between English and Spanish is depicted in the vowel relationships across both languages. In English, the spelling of the vowels can be represented by a single grapheme or a combination of graphemes. On the other hand, there is a direct relationship for Sp anish vowels between the phoneme and the grapheme. For example, the vowel a in English varies in length, meaning it can be pronounced as a short (e.g., apple) or long (e.g., ate) vowel and can also be spelled in a variety of ways (e.g., ay, eigh, ai). In c ontrast, Spani sh vowels do not vary in length; therefore the vowel / a/ can only be pronounced one way, as in the words zapato ( shoe ), casa ( house ), and is always spelled with the grapheme a In summary, s uch differences between English and Spanish orthog ra phies can pose difficulty for Spanish child ren who are learning to spell in English. B ilingual children must learn the differences among the phonology, orthography, and corresponding grammatical patterns of the two languages simultaneously. Additionally, as children become biliterate, the literacy skills required for academic success do not always easily transfer from the home language to the second language (Gort, 2004). However, limited research has considered how biliteracy affects spelling in Spanish
13 English sp eaking children (Escamilla, 2006 ; Gildersleeve Neumann, Pea, Davis & Kester, 200 8 ; Rubin & Carlan, 2005). English and Spanish morphology. Another important contrast between English and Spanish is the use of morphology. In comparison to English, Spanish is a morphologically rich language (G arcia Pelayo y Gross et al. 1982; Lang; 1990 ; Ramirez, Chen, & Geva, 2009 ). Like English, new word formations in Spanish include compounding and derivations. Compounding is the conjoining of two individual mor phemes (e.g. fibra + vidrio = fibravidrio ( fiberglass ). Furthermore, derivations cause a semantic and/or a syntactic change by combining free morphemes (i.e., root words that can stand alone) with bound morphemes (i.e., prefix or suffix that cannot stand a lone). An example of a derivation would be combining en + hebrar (into+thread ) to form the word enhebrar ( to thread ). Most Spanish words are made by combining lexical morphemes (i.e., free morphemes which also carry grammatical information) with bound mor phemes (Garcia Pelayo y Gross et al. 1982). However, Spanish is also referred to as an inflection al language which is comprised of a two gender system and over 50 verb conjugations per verb form (Lang, 1990 ; Ramirez et al., 2009 ). Additionally in Spanish nouns and adjectives can also be inflected to signal a change in gender and number. Inflections often cause changes in pronunciation and spelling and are conjugated to reflect tense, aspect, person/number, mood, and voice (Garcia Pelayo y Gross et al. 1 982). It is important to note that Spanish inflections also involve rules of syntax.
14 Common Spelling Errors Found Across Spanish English Bilingual Research Previous research has shown that as children develop their ability to spell, they are also apply ing their knowledge of phonology, orthography, morphology, and vocabulary (Becker, Dixon, & Anderson Inman, 1980; Ehri, 2000; Joshi, Treiman, Carreker, & Moats, 2008; Treiman & Bourassa, 2000; Wasowicz, 2007). Therefore, it is not unexpected that children acquiring a second language try to implement the previously learned patterns from their L1 when spelling words in their L2. In fact, studies have shown that Spanish speaking students who are learning English implement Spanish phonological and orthographic patterns in their English writing (Zutell & Allen, 1988). Consi dering this, several studies have analyzed the types of spelling errors that Spanish English bilingual children might produce because of their knowledge of both languages (Arteagoitia et al., 2 005; Chiappe Gla e sser, & Ferko, 2007; Cronnell, 1985; Dworin, 200 6 ; Escamilla, 2006 ; Fashola et al., 1996; Gildersleeve Neumann et al., 200 8 ; Rubin & Carlan, 2005; Sun Alperin & Wang, 2008). The se types of errors are described as pred icted errors because these misspellings would be expected to occur as a result of applying Spanish phonological and orthographic patterns to the spelling of English words. Of the predicted errors, seven patterns that frequently appear in the spelling of bilingual students are : 1) letter sound confusions; 2 ) non contrastive phonemes ; 3 ) contrastive vowels ; 4 ) Spanish allophones ; 5 ) cont ext dependent spellings ; 6) consonant doubles ; and 7 ) code switching and other common errors. Each of these spelling errors will be further descr ibed below. Letter sound confusion s Researchers have found that bilingual children produce many letter sound errors; particularly when the target words contained the letter c
15 (Escamilla, 2006; Rubin & Carlan; 2005). This confusion occurs because the let ter c represents more than one sound, as described above. The rule is that the letter c in Spanish is pronounced as the /s/ phoneme when it precedes the vowels e or i When this rule is not applied, the following spelling errors have been observed: carsel for crcel ( jail in English) and sinco for cinco ( five in English) (Escamilla, 2006) It should also be noted that English letter sound errors were also commonly noted in the English writing of bilingual students (Escamilla, 2006) For example, an emerging Spanish speaking bilingual child could spell the English word happy as japi because the letter j can represent the /h/ phoneme in Spanish. The children also exhibited difficulty with mapping sounds to letters, specifically with spelling Spanish words th at contained / x or h/, /s/, /k/, and /j/ (Escamilla, 2006; Rubin & Carlan, 2005). This source of confusion is related to the fact that these sounds may be represented with more than one grapheme For example, /s/ can be represented with the letter c, s, or z in Spanish. I t is not unexpected therefore, that children spelled words containing /s/ with the letters c, s, or z, as seo for ceo (frown in English) and sapato for zapato (shoe in English). Similarly, words containing /h/ or / x / sounds can be repres ented with the letters j g and x as in the words jinete ( rider in English), gente ( people in English), and Mxico ( Mexico in English). While the rule in Spanish is that the letter c is used when preceding the vowels e or i there is no specific rule to indicate when to use the letter j versus g (Hualde, 2005). Likewise, words containing the /j/ phoneme can be represented with the letters ll and y as in the words yeso ( plaster in English) and llano ( flat in English). These findings are interesting to not e, as Spanish is often referred to as a transparent language and such errors suggest otherwise.
16 Non contrastive phonemes. Researchers have also found that phonemes that are not contrastive (i.e., do not signify a difference in meaning) in the native langu age pose great er difficulty f or bilingual children (Chiappe et al., 2007; Hualde, 2005; Gildersleeve Neumann et al., 2008 ). For example, Korean English bilingual students had difficulty differentiating between /s/ and /z/, as these phonemes were not contra stive in Korean (Chiappe et al., 2007 ) This same type of error was also noted in the spellings of Sp anish English bilingual children (Escamilla, 2006; Gildersleeve Neumann et al., 2008 ) For example, a Spanish English bilingual child would likely spell th e word witch for wish and wash for watch epresented in Spanish phonology; t since it most closely resembles this phoneme in his or her phonological reperto ire (Cronell; 1985; Hualde, 2005; Gildersleeve Neumann et al., 2008 ). However, it is interesting to note that other studies found that Spanish words containing contrastive phonemes, such as the in sueo, were considered to be easy for the child ren to spe ll (Arteagoitia et al., 2005 ). Contrastive vowels. The spelling of contrastive vowels was also difficult for Spanish English bilingual children ( Fashola et al., 1996; Gildersleeve Neumann et al., 2008 ; Rubin & Carlan, 2005; Sun Alperin & Wang, 2008). In S panish, contrastive vowels are spelled differently in English. For example, in the previously mentioned spelling studies children often used i to represent the long e vowel in English words (e.g., si for see it for eat, mit for meat) because that is the sound letter corresponde nce in Spanish, whereas in English, /i/ can be spelled with the letters ee ea and e This was also true when Spanish English bilingual children were asked to spell English words containing the long vowel u (e.g., mun for moon tun for tune ). In this case, the /u/ sound
17 in English can be represented by numerous letter combinations (e.g., oo ew ue eu ie ui eau ugh ieu and u when there is a final e in the word). When these types of vowel errors were noted, researchers conclud ed that the spellings were phonologically legitimate in Spanish and also followed the rules of Spanish orthography. Spanish allophones. Other spelling errors researchers commonly noted in the Spanish writing of bilingual children involved the Spanish allo phones /b/ and /v/ (Escamilla, 2006; Rubin & Carlan, 2005). In English /b/ and /v/ represent two separate phonemes, but in Spanish they represent two phonetic variants (i.e., allophones) of the same /b/ phoneme. For example, students wri ting samples evi denced spelling povre for pobre ( poor ), biolensia for violencia ( violence ), and vriyando for brillando ( shining ). Pronouncing these words with a /b/ or /v/ sound does not change the ir meaning as they are perceived as the same phoneme in Spanish. Context d ependent spellings. Another category of words f requently misspelled in Spanish contained phonemes that were spelled in different ways depending on the context. For example, in Spanish when the letters gu precede the vowels e or i the /g/ is represented an d the u remains silent as in the word entregues ( deliver ). However, in some cases the / u / is pron ounced after the letter g but when this occurs, a dieresis is placed above the u in order to signal the pronunciation of the letter as in the word agita ( w ater ). Arteagoitia et al. ( 2005) found that students experienced difficulty spelling words in which they had to decide when to use the letter g versus gu as in the verbs llegar ( to arrive ) versus llegu ( I a rrived ). It was concluded that Spanish verbs req uiring this orthographic change (e.g. adding suffixes, a grapheme, or diacritics) were the most difficult to spell For example, in the case of llegu the student s had to add the letter u in
18 between the g and e sound as well as to signal a change in the verb form (i.e., infinitive to a preterit indicative). However, it is unclear if the spelling errors we re truly due to an orthographic effect (i.e. letter knowledge) or a morpho syntactic effect (i.e. knowledge o f the grammatical rules of the language). Consonant doubles. Other spelling errors included English consonant doubles, such as pp tt and ff (Escamilla, 2006) Children often spelled these words with a single consonant, as illustrated by japi for happy prety for pretty and grofitey for graffiti, because consonant doubling does not commonly occur in Spanish (Escamilla, 2006). In fact, double cc, as in the word accidente (accident), is the only true double consonant that appears in the Spanish language. T herefore, when writing English words cont aining double consonants, it may be concluded that the child ren wrote the words using a single consonant, as that spelling form matches their knowledge of Spanish orthography. Code switching and other common errors Another type of error commonly found in the writing of Spanish English bilingual children was categorized as code switching. In other words, Spanish English bilingual children used Spanish words or at times even invented Spanish words to represent Engl ish vocabulary. For example, Rubin and Carlan (2005) found that when instructed to produce an English writing sample, participants intermittently switched between writing in their L2 to their L1. To illustrate a participant wrote Spanish words, as in pes eg un caro, in their English writing samples in order to express follow or chase a car Additionally, invented words such as traila (instead of caravan or casa rodante) to represent the English word trailer were also found in the Spanish spellings of bilin gual children (Dworin, 2006 ). Both examples appear to support
19 the conclusion that participants concurrently used their L1 and L2 to express themselves in their writing. Other errors frequently noted in the spelling of Spanish English bilinguals included f ailure to separate words (e.g. alos for a los ) and a lack of knowledge of when to use accent marks (e.g., ayudara for ayudar ) (Escamilla, 2006) Omission of silent h, as in spelling ermano for hermano ( brother in English), was also common across the spell ing errors found in the writing of Spanish English bilingual children (Escamilla, 2006). Research L imitations T here are two limitations to the previous studies. First, prior studies assessed children in only one of their languages (Arteagoitia et al., 20 05; Chiappe et al., 200 7; Escamilla, 2006 ; Fashola et al., 1996; Gildersleeve Neumann et al., 2008; Rubin & Carlan, 2005; Sun Alperin & Wang 2008 ). This is a limitation because it does not facilitate a comparison of spelling development in both languages in order to assess if students are having spelling difficulty in one language versus the other Therefore, f urther investigation of the spelling patterns exhibited in bilingual children in both languages is paramount as it can provide valuable information r egarding the instructional practices that will benefit this population (Berninger, Garcia, & Abbott, 2008). However, a n important question is what method will allow for detailed analysis of the linguistic A second limitation concerns the absence of a conceptual framework through which the spelling development of Spanish English children could be interpreted. A key issue is the extent to which the early model of spelling fits the Spanish spelling
20 development of bili ngual children (Pacton & Deacon, 2008; Treiman & Cassar, 1997) Therefore, f urther investigation of bilingual Spanish spelling development is important as it can help determine to what extent Spanish spelling is related to English spelling and consequently the development of spelling skills in both languages (Arteagoitia et al., 2005) Issues in Spelling Research Spelling T asks W hile several studies have analyzed the spelling of bilingual children, the methods employed to elicit spelling samples have vari ed across investigations (Chiappe et al., 2007; Cronnell, 1985; Escamilla, 2006 ; Gildersleeve Neumann et al., 200 8 ; Rubin & Carlan, 2005; Sun Alperin & Wang, 200 8 ). Some studies utilized a dictation approach to elicit real word and non word spellings (Arte agoitia et al., 2005; Fashola et al., 1996; Sun Alperin & Wang 2008; Zutell & Allen, 1988). Others used writing prompts in order to obtain spelling samples in a more naturalistic manner (Cronnell, 1985; Escamilla, 2006; Rubin & Carlan, 2005). Benefits and limitations to using both approaches are discussed next Dictation approach. An advantage of using a dictation approach is that it is designed to elicit specific spelling features (e.g., silent letter h silent letter e long versus short vowels, etc.). This approach can be useful when the intent is to assess specific language features. For example, a word list might be employed that contains embedded vowels that children would misspell as a result of Spanish language influence However, employing a dicta tion approach also limits the type of errors that can occur because the focus is only on target phonemes.
21 Writing prompts A method that may possibly yield a greater variety of error types is a wr iting sample as this expands the vocabulary children use i n their writing. However, it is important to note that when utilizing writing samples children may avoid using words they are not sure how to spell, which in turn limits the type of errors produced. Furthermore, writing samples can also pose a limitation if the topic necessitates the use of specific types of words and syntactic structures. For example, the study influenced the variety of vocabulary, but also require d the use of specific syntactic structures. In analyzing the results of this study, it was noted that the English narrative sample entitled elicited the past tense ed but the same narrative in Spanish elicited the use of past tense words (e.g., prete rit and imperfect) which required the use of accent marks. For example, the child wrote golpeo (present tense I hit ) for golpe (past tense h e h it ). While the spelling of the word included the correct graphemes, the om ission of the accent mark placed the word in its present tense form. When this occurred, the writing rubric indicated that words with accent marks omitted were to be scored as misspelled words. The effect of t his action was that the student s percentage of spelling accuracy was decreased. How ever, upon further investigation, it was found that accent mark omission wa s typical of 4 th and 5 th grade Spanish writers, as usage of accent mark rules is not typically mastered until around the 6 th grade. Therefore, the authors concluded that this was no t a spelling error but rather a lack of knowledge of Spanish grammatical rules. A similar study conducted in English also found that the nature of a p rompt elicited specific syntactic structures ( Cronnell, 1985) For example, the prompt used for
22 the 3 rd graders in this study elicited more frequent use of past tense forms (writing about a picture/event that previously occurred), while the prompt for the 6 th gra ders was more persuasive involving present and future events ( i.e., persuade a friend to watch a T.V. show). Therefore, it was not unexpected when 15% of the 3 rd graders spelling errors were due to the omission of the past tense for ed with the 6 th graders only producing 5% of this error type ( Cronnell, 1985). Therefore, when analyzing student s sp elling, it is important to consider the goal of the experiment so that the spelling task can be developed according to the purpose of the study Scoring of Spelling E rrors A nother major limitation among the spelling studies conducted on bilingual childre n is the manner in which the spelling errors a re scored and analyzed. The majority of the spelling studies have used rating scales to analyze misspellings (Arteagottia et al., 2005; Chiappe et al., 2007; Fashola et al., 1996; Sun Alperin & Wang, 2008; Zute ll & Allen, 1988). However, the types of rating scales used have varied across studies. To illustrate, some rating scales categorized spelling errors into developmental versus non developmental mistakes, but did not base their errors on a specific model of spelling development nor was an in depth description of the types of spelling errors provid ed For example, in the Arteagoitia et al. (2005) study, spelling errors were identified and then categorized into two separate categories : 1) Spanish developmental errors (i.e., errors attributed to the learning of a language) and 2) contrastive errors (i.e., errors due to cross linguistic influence). Scores determining the percentage of errors for each category were then calculated. The problem with this type of cl assification system is that while it does
23 separate spellings into correct and errors influenced by a second language it did not describe the errors as being related to specific linguistic features Other rating scales did not only identify targeted spel ling errors, but described them according to how bilingual children applied or did not apply the phonological and orthographic rules of Spanish to the spelling of English words (i.e., cross linguistic influence ; Chiappe et al., 2007; Escamilla, 2006; Fasho la et al., 1996; Sun Alperin & Wang, 2008). For example, the Fashola et al., (1996) study used a rating system that omitted responses), but did not provide a descr iption of the errors produced. Similarly, Sun Alperin and Wang (2008) used a five point rating scale that was based on five categories with the addition of descriptors (examples for each category we re provided using the target word meat ): Category 1: incor rect; phonologically inappropriate and orthographically illegal in Spanish and English (e.g. maat ); Category 2: incorrect; either phonologically inappropriate or orthographically illegal in Spanish or English (e.g. mat meate ); Category 3: incorrect; pho nologically appropriate in English and orthographically legal in English (e.g. meet ); Category 4: phonologically appropriate in Spanish (e.g. mit ); and Category 5: correct in the target language (e.g. meat ). This type of categorization provides a limite d description of the types of spelling errors produced and tend to focus only on cross language issues In summary, previous studies have relied primarily on rating scales which provide a description of students spelling errors However a limitation is t hat rating scales lack the depth that a linguistic description of the spellings can provide In other words, in order to get a comprehensive picture of the linguistic (e.g., phonological, orthographic,
24 and morphological) features that bilingual children us e it is imperative to use a linguistically based analysis system that specifies the nature of the error. The Phonological, Orthographic, Morphological Assessment of Spelling (POMAS) An analysis system that would qualitatively analyze misspellings is the P honological, Orthographic, and Morphological Assessment of Spelling (POMAS; Bahr et al., 2009 ; submitted; Silliman et al., 2006). The POMAS is a linguistically based approach that qualitatively analyzes misspelled words by linguistic category (phonological orthographic, and morpholo gical ), and then further analyzes each word by identifying the particular linguistic features in error within each category. For example, in a writing sample, where a child spelled the word ju n p for jump this error would be cat egorized as a phonological error because all of the sounds in the word were not represented phonologically After the ma jor linguistic category is identified then the misspelling is further analyzed into its specific linguistic feature. In the ju n p exampl e the phonological error would be categorized under the linguistic feature of nasal error (PNE), because the child made a phonological error in which he or she implemented the use of the /n/ (a nasal) for the /m/ sound (another nasal ; Bahr et al., 2009). On the other hand, if the child misspell ed the word triped for tripped it would be categorized as an orthographic error because all of the sounds in the word were appropriately represented, but the orthography was not correctly executed. After establishi ng that this is an orthographic error, it then would be sub categorized under the linguistic feature of consonant doubling (OCD), because the child made an orthographic error in which he or she failed to double the consonants following a short vowel (Bahr et al., 2009).
25 would be categorized under the linguistic category representing a morphological error. The feature error would be further sub categorized as difficulty with the regu lar verb tense (MRVT) The POMAS also is sensitive to errors that children make in their spellings that reflect an overlap in two areas of development. For example, if the child misspells the word tis for its this would be categorized as a phonological or thographic error. The linguistic feature in error would b e coded as a letter reversal (POLR), as the child transposed the letters and therefore did not correctly represent the phonological or orthographic structure of the word. The POMAS was first develop ed by Silliman et al. (2006) in order to assess the spelling errors of children ages 6 through 11 with language learning disabilities (LLD). Results of the study indicated that children with LLD displayed a developmentally delayed pattern of spelling error s when compared to the error rates of the chronologically matched age (CA) peers and a spelling age matched group. The e rror rates of the LLD group and the spelling age matched (SA) group significantly differed from the CA group. A qualitative analysis of the results further indicated that the spellings of the LLD group demonstrated more difficulty in representing the basic phonological structures of words when compared to the SA group. Furthermore, the spelling errors of the LLD group also demonstrated mor e difficulty with inflectional and derivational morphology Overall, the qualitative analysis revealed that the LLD and SA groups were similar in terms of the number of errors produced; however, they differed in the types of spelling errors produced. The POMAS has also been used to analyze the expository and narrative writing samples taken from typically developing students in grades 1 9 (Bahr et al., submitted ).
26 Misspelled words were extracted from the writing samples (one narrative and one expository pro mpt) and analyzed using the POMAS. Results indicated that o rthographic errors were the most common, followed by phonological and morphological errors. A grade effect was also found, with students in grades 1 4 making more errors than those in grades 5 9. R esults further indicated that spelling errors in children grades 1 4 were predominantly orthographic in nature, with a significant number of phonological errors noted. However, some early developing morphological endings (e.g., ing) and suffixes were also found in error. On the other hand, children in grades 5 9 continued to produce orthographic errors predominantly and more morphological errors than phonological errors were noted. These findings support the early model in that children combine d their know ledge of phonology, orthography, and morphology throughout their spelling development (Bahr et al., 2009; submitted; Beech, 2005; Ehri, 2002; Pacton & Deacon, 2008; Treiman & Cassar, 1997). However, this pattern of spelling development has not been fully i nvestigated in bilingual children. Statement of the Purpose and Research Questions In summary, the limited spelling research with emerging (Spanish English) bilinguals has concentrated only on how Spanish may influence the English spelling of elementary ag e students (Arteagottia et al. 2005; Cronnell, 1985; Escamilla, 2006; Fashola et al., 1996; Sun Alperin & Wang, 2008; Zutell & Allen, 1988). However, results from these studies have provided strong evidence that bilingual children apply the phonological a nd orthographic rules of Spanish to spell English words. An additional finding indicated that cross
27 spellings (Chiappe et al., 2007; Cronnell, 1985; Escamilla, 2006; Rubin & Carlan, 2005). Little i s known about the morphological errors in this population. Given that research strongly suggests that cross language interference influences the spelling of bilingual children, it would be beneficial to utilize a linguistic spelling analysis system, like t he POMAS, that would qualitatively analyze the spellings in order to provide an in depth understanding of the types (phonological, orthographic, and/or morphological) of errors bilingual children produce in their native language A system, such as the POMA S should also be sensitive to identifying possible cross language effects. This system contrasts with the more commonly used, but more superficial, percent accuracy approach (Leedy & Ormrod, 2005). The POMAS has also been used to differentiate the spelling patterns in English speaking children with language impairment (Silliman et al., 2006). Additionally, the POMAS has been applied to a normative database of typically developing children in grades 1 9 (Bahr et al., 2009 ; submitted ). The normative informati on is important as it establishes a baseline for how linguistic categories interact in typically developing children when spelling words. The goal of this study is to apply the POMAS to a language other than English and to the writing samples of Spanish En glish bilingual children Two specific purposes are to: 1) Identify : a) the phonological, orthographic, and morphological spelling patterns that are produced in the misspellings of Spanish English bilingual adolescents when assessed in writing samples g ath ered in English and Spanish and b) the linguistic features in error 2) Specify the extent of cross language transfer evidenced in the spelling errors produced by Spanish English students.
28 C hapter 2 Methods Participants A total of 20 Spanish English b ilingual students attending a public middle school (grades 6 8; ages 11 14 years) located in west central Florida took part in this project. All of the participants came from families who originated from Mexico and the Caribbean (specifically from Puerto R ico and the Dominican Republic). Six of the twenty students were born in the United States. However, all of the students spoke Spanish at home. Additionally, all students received grade level literacy instruction in their home countries and varying amounts of schooling in the United States. These participants were part of a larger study that evaluated the writing skills of English Language Learners (ELLs) (Danzak, 2009) Spelling data were obtained with the permission of the previous researcher. The curre nt investigator analyzed the Spanish misspellings in these writing samples, as they were not included as part of the initial investigation. (For a comprehensive discussion of the participants, see Danzak, 2009.) A total of six criteria were applied during participant selection. Each participant: 1) spoke Spanish and their families originate d from Mexico or the Caribbean, as confirmed by teacher and self report, and later reconfir med via a student questionnaire ; 2) had received up to grade level literacy in struction in their home countries until moving to the United States; confirmed by school recor ds and student questionnaires ; 3) were not
29 from migrant families; confirmed by teacher report and school attendance records; 4) qualified for ESL services and had received a qualifying test score on the school administered Language Assessment Scales (Duncan & De Avila, 1988) ; 5) were able to write in Spanish and English; confirmed by student writing and teacher report; and 6) were not receiving services for a disab ility or special education (e.g., speech/language, behavioral services, etc.), as documented by school records. Materials Writing samples Each student produced eight formal writing samples. Of those eight, four writing samples were in English, and the oth er four in Spanish. Two of the four samples were elicited via an expository prompt, while the other two were elicited with a narrative prompt in each of the languages. The formal samples were controlled for genre and language, and prompts were repeated so that students wrote on the same topic in both languages. The language of the writing sample was alternated so that students wrote the same topic in each language approximately a week apart. The topics for the formal writing sa mples are illustrated in Table 2 below This process resulted in a total of 160 writing samples, 80 samples in Spanish and 80 samples in English.
30 Table 2: Genre and Topics Used to Elicit Writing Samples (Danzak, 2009) Formal Writing Sample (Genre) Topic Expository 1 Family: A person I admire Expository 2 School: Letter to a new student Narrative 1 Family: Special or funny memory Narrative 2 School: First day of school in U.S. Scoring system T he POMAS was originally developed in order to highlight spelling errors unique to the English language. In an effort to expand the use of the POMAS to Spanish, modifications were made in order to identify spelling errors unique to Spanish, as well as to capture instances of cross language interference. Additionally, given that the study was designed to identify patterns that are characterist ics of both languages, codes to identify the influence of English and dialectical variation were also added. A more comprehensive description of the codes added to Spanish version of the POMAS (POMAS S) w ill be discussed below. 1) Accent marks Codes were added to the POMAS S in order to highlight the two types of graphic (or written) accent marks in Spanish which are the acento tonico and the tilde diacrtica, also known as acento desinencial ( Alboukrek, 20 09 ; Real Academia Espaola, 1999, 2007 ). The use of these two types of accent marks follow three basic rules which dictate accent mark use for almost every word based on : a ) how the words are pronounced (i.e. aguda graves esdrjulas ) ; b ) how they serve t o break up diphthongs; and c ) how they signal change in
31 grammatical function and distinguish between meanings of homonyms and homographs (Erichsen, n.d. ; Real Academia Espaola, 2007 ; Wieczorek, 1991) The tonic accent, as the name implies, is determined by the stress patterns found in Spanish words. That is, when the stressed syllable of a word does not follow the expected pattern, a graphic accent is required. For example, the word aqu ( here ) has stress on its final syllable. The graphic accent is inclu ded to assist the reader in identifying which syllable is stressed (see explanation that follows) Since this type of accent does not impact word meaning, its omission would be categorized as an orthographic (O) error and further coded as an error with acc ent tonic (OAT). First, tonic accent marks are placed according to where the stress occurs in the word. For example, a gudas are words in which the stress falls on the final syllable. If a word is an aguda and ends in a vowel, n or s the accent mark is pl aced on the final vowel such as in cancin aqu and detrs It is important to n ote that if a word is an aguda but the word ends in a consonant other than n or s it is written without an accent mark as stress naturally falls on the final syllable; for example, hotel ciudad and reloj Graves are words in which the stress is placed on the penultimate (i.e. next to last) syllable. This is the case for all words ending in a vowel, n or s If a grave ends in a consonant other than n or s it carries a gra phic accent. For example, in words like husped l piz and dbil the accent mark is placed over the vowel in the next to last syllable. However, if a word is categorized as a grave but ends in a vowel, n or s it does not carry a written accent mark, as noted in the words computadora joven and zapatos
32 (Eric hsen, n.d. ; Wieczorek, 1991). Esdrjulas are words that carry stress in the third to the last syllable. All words categorized as esdrjulas carry a written accent. An example of these types of words w ould be estmago ( stomach ), artculo ( article ), and areo ( aerial ) ( Erichsen, n.d. ; Real Academia Espa ola, 2007 ; Wieczorek, 1991 ). Second, tonic a ccent marks are also used to segment diphthongs. Spanish diphthongs are made by pairing a strong vowel ( a o u ) with a weak vowel ( i and e ) or combining two weak vowels. If either combination appears in a single syllable, as in ciudad ( city ), Junio ( June ), and seis ( six ), no written accent mark is needed. However, when a strong and a weak vowel are combined and do not form a single syllable, the written accent mark is placed over the weak vowel as in da (day), maz (corn), and bal (trunk) in order to break up the diphthong ( Erichsen, n.d. ; Real Academia Espa ola, 1999, 2007 ; Wieczorek, 1991 ). Third, Spanish al so has the tilde diacrtica also known as the acento desinencial which is used to signal a change in a words grammatical function (i.e., changes from a pronoun to a noun) or di stinguish between the meaning of homonyms ( aun and an ) and homographs ( papa an d pap ) ( Erichsen, n.d. ; Real Academia Espa ola, 2007 ; Wieczorek, 1991) The rule is that in both cases, the written accent is placed over the strong vowel in the stressed syllable. It is important to note than many pronouns are also homonyms. For example, the word te ( you ) is a pronoun but when it changes its function to that of a noun, it becomes t ( tea ) and so an accent is placed to signal a change in grammatical function as well as a change in word meaning. Furthermore, accent rules dictate that
33 interr ogative pronouns such as qu ( what ) always have an accent mark place d on the vowel in the stressed syllable Therefore, since the tilde diacrtica affect s the grammatical function or meanings of words, they are considered to be morpho logical in nature. For example, if a child spells the word solo ( alone adjective ) for slo ( lonely adverb ), the category in e rror would be morphological (M) in nature and further coded as tilde diacrtica (MTD ). This is because this word is a homonym and looks orthographicall y similar when the accent mark is not included. The same would apply to homograph s which share the same spelling but have different meanings (i.e., papa and pap ) 2) Allophones Allophones are phoneme variations that change the phonetic structure of a word but do not change word meaning. For instance in Spanish, the phonemes / b/ and /v/ occur as allophones. It is important to note, that Spanish has specific orthographic rules that distinguish when to spell b versus v in words ( Real Academia Espa ola, 2007 ) However, research has found that Spanish speaking people do not often distinguish between these in their pronunciation, as both b and v are phonetically identical in Spanish and represent a voiced bilabial (Hualde, 2005). More ver, the pronunciation of th ese letters may vary depending on where they appear in relation to other sounds (Erichsen, 2009). For example, when the b or v is found in the initial position of words or after the consonants m and n it is pronounced like the English /b/ except it is so fter. As a result words like beso ( kiss ), vaso ( glass ), envo ( delivery ) may be pronounced like /beso/, /baso/, and /enbio/ respectively. In contrast when b or v is found in the medial position of words or between word boundaries, it is pronounced more l ike a
34 bilabial fricative and transcribed as ; Real Academia Espa ola, 2007 ). In other words it is pronounced like a sound that falls somewhere between the English / b / and / v / sound except the lips do not really touch; t herefore, words like cebo ( bait ), llevar ( to take ), and a ve ces ( sometimes ) would be pronounced as respectively. The pattern previously described is also characteristic of certain dialects of Spanish If a student made the misspellings indicated above, the words would be coded as p honological orthographic allophones (PO A ) errors as they involve both the phonology and orthography of Spanish However, it is important to note that the difference in pronunciation did not change the meaning of the word. 3) English i nfluence In order to ca pture patterns of cross language influence ( how Spanish spelling errors may be influenced by English) the Orthographic English Influence (OEI) code was added. This was vital, for the reason that one of the main focuses of the study was to highlight spelli ng patterns evidencing English influenc e. Analysis of these spelling patterns serve s as a window into how the two language systems (i.e., Spanish and English) interact in emerging bilinguals. In fact, previous research has shown that 4 th and 5 th grade Span ish English bilingual s tudents evidence English influence s in their Spanish writing (Escamilla, 2006) This is comparable to findings of younger Spanish English bilinguals, whom also evidenced effects of English on their first language (i.e., Spanish ; Pea et al., 2008). These words are coded in this way because Spanish phonology is accurately represented but the orthography matches the English language. An example of English influence can be seen in the misspelling of the
35 word quida (take car e) for cuida kw word queen, is represented with the letters cu and cannot be represented with qu as it occurs in English. In fact, when the qu letters occur in Spanish spellings, they only come before the letters e and i and can only represent the English k sound, as in the words queso (cheese) and tequila Therefore, it can be presumed that English influence affected the spelling of this word. lling of the Spanish word lonche as lunche because it appears to be influenced by the English word lunch In this example, it is evident that knowledge of the English language has resulted in a word that reflect s a vocabulary merger between two languages ( Escamilla, 2006) It is important to note that the proper word to express the word lunch in Spanish would be almuerzo which differs from code switching. Code switching occurs when an English word is substituted in its entirety for a Spanish word or vice v ersa. When this occurs, the words are coded as morphological code switching (MCS). An example of code switching would be saying the English word lunch for the Spanish word almuerzo or saying the Spanish word escuela for the English word school 4) Dialectal v ariation Research has shown that when children are beginning to develop their spelling skills, they rely heavily on the phonetic qualities of their language (Ehri, 1989, 2000). Consequently, it is not unexpected that emerging bilingual children evidence s pellings that reflect the influence of the phonological repertoire that is specific to the dialect they speak. Therefore, a code that would highlight dialectal variations evidenced in the spellings of bilingual children was
36 added to the POMAS. For example, in some Mexican dialects, the voiced stop /g/ is often substituted, when speaking, by the voiceless fricative /h/ (represented orthographically as the letter j in Spanish). As a result, children who demonstrate this dialectal variance may spell the word p reguntar (to ask) as prejuntar An example for Puerto Rican Spanish would be the r to l variation. As a result of this dialect, children would write borsa for bolsa ( bag ). Misspellings that reflected dialectal influence were coded as an error under orthogr aphic dialectical variation (ODV). This is because the word is represented as phonologically correct but not orthographically correct. ( See Appendix A for a complete list of features ) Procedures The collection of writing samples took place in the student autobiography project in which all of the bilingual students in two classes at the middle school participated. However, only the Spanish speaking pa were collected for analysis. The writing samples were collected in a quasi random order. In other words, the first writing prompt for a topic was administered in Spanish then English and then the second one in English and then S panish. The counter balance was done in order to reduce the advantage of administering the writing prompts in a specific order. The bilingual biography project also served as a means to engage the students in the writing process utilizing a unified theme, as well as to provide a specific goal and purpose for their writing (Danzak, 2009) A 50 minute time block was allotted to the production of each writing sample. Upon arrival, the researcher greeted each student, and ensured that they had all of the
37 mater ials they needed in order to produce their writing sample. Once the students had settled down and were ready to start, the researcher presented the prompt via a projector, in both English and Spanish, and asked a student volunteer to read the prompt aloud in both languages to the class. The ESL teacher and the researcher informally shared some personal experiences that would help model the types of information that could be used while responding to the prompt and also encouraged students to share suggestion s regarding what they would write about. scaffolding by the researcher, who reminded them to include eventive (telling what happened, a chain of events), descriptive (writing about the state of affairs, facts, or evaluation) in their writing (Ravid & Berman, 2006). After discussing the prompt for about 10 minutes, the students were given 30 minutes to produce a writing sample. Students wrote the samples by hand and worked individually. For the duration of this time, classical music was played in the classroom while the researcher, teacher, and aide circled the room to encourage and monitor the students. They were allowed to sit anywhere in the room -including cushions on the floor and writing on clipboards -as long as they remained focused on their task. When the students were done writing the researcher made sure that all aspects of the sample were addressed. If not, the stu dents were encouraged to continue writing. At the end of the 30 minutes, the writing samples were collected by the researcher. This same prompt was repeated a week later in the other language. During the following session with this prompt, students were al lowed to briefly review their previous writing sample in order to refresh their memory as to what they wrote earlier. This sample was then taken away and
38 the student composed a new sa mple in the other language. The current study will only focus on the Span ish written samples collected. (For an in depth description of the writing assessment conducted, see Danzak 2009). Data Analysis Error identification criteria. Two fluent Spanish English bilingual level student, and the other a senior enrol led in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of South Florida, obtained the original writing samples, identified the spellings errors in the Spanish samples, and analyzed them using the POMAS S. A n important first step in identifying spelling errors involved an extensive discussion and subsequent consensus of what was to be classified as a spelling error. It was determined that for the purposes of this study, only the words with misspellings would be identified and includ ed for analysis. Errors involving syntax, such as gender, punctuation and capitalization, were not considered to be spelling errors. To illustra te, Spanish is marked by gender. S pellings, in which there was a lack of gender agreement between the article and the noun, were not considered errors if the student spelled each word correctly. For example, if a child spelled the word casado (married male) for casada (married female), the spelling of the word would not be considered to be in error because the wor d was spelled correctly, just gender was not appropriately marked. Hence, this type of error was considered to be more of an error involving syntax, instead of spelling. However, proper names that were not capitalized (e.g., florida for Florida) were consi dered to be misspelled words and therefore were c oded as an orthographic proper name (OPN) error. In the case of the Spanish writing
39 samples, words in which the students omitted accents, both tonic and diacritical were also considered to be spelling erro rs as done by Escamilla (2006). Consistency of identification. Each misspelling was entered into an Excel spreadsheet. Subsequently, the two coders compared their total number of incorrect words and incorrect word selections to see if they had identified the same misspelled words. If there was a disagreement on a word, both extensively discussed the word the possible category and features in error. After extensive discussion, agreement was reached regarding whether the word was to be included for analys is or excluded. In this way, all words to be included in the misspelling analysis were identified and agreed upon. Scoring agreement was established next. Four writing samples were initially coded by each cod er in order to establish agreement between them Each code r scored the samples individually and then met to review the errors and their feature classifications. If there was a disagreement in the way that a word was to be coded, the differences were resolved by looking at the word in various perspectiv es until they could agree. For example, if the word habla ( to talk ) was spelled as abla the first step would be to establish the linguistic category in error. In this case, the coders would first agree that the linguistic category in error was orthographi c in nature because although the student omitted the initial letter h the phonological structure of the word remained intact (i.e., all the sounds of the word were represented). The second step established the linguistic feature in error. In the case of habla the student omitted the initial silent letter h t herefore, the coders agreed that this spelling error was an orthographic silent letter (OSL) error. Simple agreement was determined by counting the number of agreements among misspelled words subtr acting that number
40 from the total number of error words in the writing sample, and then dividing that number by the total number of words. Agreement for coding misspellings was established at 99% accuracy. After the researchers had established agreement a nd gained experience coding the words using the POMAS S, they divided the remaining samples and coded the misspellings from each sample separately. Prior to independently identifying and coding the misspelled words derived from the individual samples, the coder s counted the total number of words in each sample and entered them into an Excel spreadsheet. All words in the writing sample were considered, including the title of the narrative and expository sample and closing signature (e.g., the end). Once the cod ers had counted the total number of words, they each compared their total word count and total number of words identified as being misspelled. If they differed, they recounted the words in their sample until their total number of words and total numbers of words in error were equal. For example, i f the coders were uncertain about a spelling, they con sulted a Spanish dictionary to e nsure that they were identifying the same incorrect spellings from each writing sample. Using a Spanish dictionary also was n ecessary to verify some of the spelling of words that were dialectal, as in the use of chavo ( boy ), which is found in some dialects of Mexican Spanish. After all the spelling errors for each student were identified in the linguistic context of their formal Spanish writing samples, the misspellings were entered into an Excel spreadsheet. Then, the overall percentage of correct spelling was calculated for each writing sample This was obtained by dividing the total number of correct spellings by the total num ber of words produced for that individual writing sample. Subsequently,
41 the misspellings were analyzed utilizing the POMAS S ( Bahr et al., 2009; submitted ; Silliman et al ., 2006 ). The cat egorizations of misspelled word s were entered into a spreadsheet that listed all POMAS S codes as individual columns The coders then marked the appropriate columns for each sound in error in the misspelled word. For statistical analyses, the number of errors in each linguistic category (i.e., phonology, orthography, morpho logy, and phonological orthographic) were totaled for each participant. This value was normed by the number of total errors produced by the participants. The frequency of specific linguistic features within each of the three categories then was calculated by first totaling the number of errors within each feature at the bottom of the spreadsheet. These values were totaled across all participants and t hen, the linguistic features were ranked by the most frequent to the least frequently occurring within each linguistic category (phonological, orthographic and morphological) Agreement. Once the cod ers completed coding the spelling errors from their respective samples, inter judge and intra judge agreement were conducted. Inter judge agreement involved the con sistency in coding between the two coders This w as checked by analyzing 10% of each other s samples. S amples were randomly selected by a third party (the research mentor) with an equal number of narrative and expository samples selected The second traine d cod er recoded the narrative and expository writing samples. Inter judge agreement was computed at 99% Intra judge agreement was defined as the consistency in coding by each coder The samples used to check intra judge agreement were also randomly select ed by a third party with an equal number of narrative and expository samples chosen. Each coder r ecoded 10% of the narrative and expository samples they had already coded. Intra judge
42 agreement was computed at 98% Overall, the coders demonstrated a high d egree of accuracy in their coding with the POMAS S. Statistical Analysis. A three way ANOVA was used to compare and analyze the quantitative data. The independent variables were: gender (female or male), category (phonology, orthography, morphology, phon ological/orthographic), and genre (narrative or expository). The dependent variable was percentage of errors within each category. Post hoc tests were run when appropriate. Effect sizes were calculated and presented in a chart showing percentages of error by linguist ic category. Qualitative Analysis A qualitative analysis was completed in order to determine the frequency and types of errors that occurred in the data. The first analysis assessed the frequency of occurrence for each linguistic feature by lin guistic category. Then the total number of errors for each linguistic feature in the three main error categories (phonological, orthographic, and morpholog ical) were totaled and analyzed. T he m isspellings that occurred with the most frequency were identifi ed and the most frequently occurring spelling patterns were noted for each linguistic category. The second analysis assess ed the frequency and type of words that evidenced English language influence and code switching.
43 C hapter 3 Results The primary o bjective of this study was to use the POMAS (Silliman et al., 2006) as a tool to qualitatively analyze the type of Spanish spelling errors exhibited in the narrative and expository writing samples produced by emerging Spanish English bilinguals in middle s chool. The secondary focus was to identify the extent of cross langu spelling errors. However, some quantitative data will also be presented. The fi ndings from the analysis of the 20 student s errors will b e discussed in detail below. The two specific purposes were to: 1) Identify the phonological, orthograp hic, and morphological spelling patterns that are produced in the misspellings of Spanish English bilingual adolescents when assessed in writing samples g athered in English and Spanish. 2) Specify the extent of cross language transfer evidenced in the spelling errors produced by Spanish English students. Descriptive Data The students produced a total of 80 writing samples with an average of 148 words pe r sample. O f t he total of 12,304 words, 82% of th e words were spelled correctly and 18% of the words were misspelled. It is important to note that some words contained more than one error. For example, if a student spelled enpesamos for empezamos ( began ), the word would be coded as a nasal error as the student substituted the n for the m The
44 word would also be coded as a letter sound error, as the student spelled s for z Since words could have more than one phoneme in error, this brought the total number of errors produced to 2,445, with an average of 27 linguistic errors per student. The normed data indicated that the most frequently produced spelling errors were orthographic in nature (75%), followed by phonological (10%), then morphological (8%), and la stly phonological orthographic (7%) (see Figure 1 ). The quantitative analysis and qualitative description of the frequency of linguistic category and linguistic feature error types will be discussed in more detail next Figure 1. Percentage of Errors by Linguistic Category Quantitative Analysis A three way ANOVA with a Greenhouse Geiser correction was conducted to analyze whether emerging bilingual adolescents in grades 6 8 differed in the number of spelling errors they produced as a function of lingu istic category. The independent
45 variables were: gender (female or male), category (phonology, orthography, morphology, phonological/orthographic), and genre (narrative or expository). The dependent variable was percentage of errors within each category. R esults revealed a significant main effect for linguistic category, F (1.27, 22.865) = 167.295, p < .001, 2 p = .903. Post hoc testing with paired sample t tests and a Bonferroni correction was completed. This analysis revealed that students made significantly more orthographic errors than errors in any other linguistic category a finding also supported by the large effect size (.90) There were no significant interactions or main effects for gender or genre. These findings suggest ed that orthographic errors occu rred with the greatest frequen cy in the writing of bilingual adolescents w hen writing in Spanish. Qualitative Analysis Frequency of e rror type by l inguistic c ategory/ f eature. Although there was much i ndividual variability in the type of errors produced, the investigators were interested in determining if there were any error patterns that frequently o spellings. For this analysis, the total number of errors for each linguistic feature in the three main error categories (phonological, orthographic, and morphological) were totaled and analyzed. The phonological orthographic ca tegory was not included as the number of errors produced within this category was relatively small. 1) The most frequent linguistic category in error was orthographic. This error type accounted for 75% of the total number of errors as shown in Table 3 O ut of the 1,879 orthographic errors, 903 (48%) involved the omission of tonic accents (OAT). These are accents that represent stress patterns in a word, but do not change its meaning. The next
46 most frequently occurring error was letter sound correspondence s (OLS), which accounted for 15% of the orthographic errors. This type of error occurs when a sound can be represented with more than one orthographic representation. For example, words containing the /s/ sound can be represented with both letters s and c, as in the word conocer which may be spell ed incorrectly as conoser The next most frequently occurring orthographic error involved omission of the orthographic silent letter h (OSL), e.g., spelling abla for habla (talk). This error type (OSL) was produce d in 127 of the 1,879 orthographic errors (7%). Next to follow was the orthographic error involving word boundaries (OWB), as in spelling ami for a mi (to my). The OWB error was produced in 122 of the 1,879 orthographic errors (6%). Next was the orthograph ic one word boundary (OOW) error type, with frequency of occurrence calculated in 100 of the 1,879 orthographic errors (5%). An example of this error type would be spelling a consejar for aconsejar (counsel). O f the 1,879 orthographic errors produced 78 ( 4%) were proper name errors (OPN), as in spelling mxico for Mxico The following most frequent error was in the orthographic linguistic feature of dialectal variation (ODV), which occurred in 69 of the total 1,879 (4%) orthographic errors produced across the samples. An example of this type of error would be a child spelling juimos for fuimos (we go) The next linguistic feature in line would be orthographic English influence (OEI), as in spelling elephantes for elefantes (elephant). This linguistic featu re error, occurred in 55 (3%) of the orthographic errors while the frequency of orthographic errors involving these misspellings of an abbreviation (OAB), as in 3 for tres occurred only 33 (2%) times Finally, all other orthographic linguistic feature er ror types (i.e., OUD, O LD, OGA, ODI,
47 OLP, OLC, OVDI, OGA, OLR, OCL, OLN, OLI, and OCE) were produced 1% or less of time (see Appendix A for POMAS examples of linguistic features). These results support previous research which has found that Spanish spelli ng errors in bilingual students are mostly orthographic in nature (Arteagoitia et al., 2005; Fashola et al., 1996; Sun Alperin & Wang, 2008) This finding is interesting to note as Spanish is often referred to as a transparent language and such errors may suggest otherwise.
48 Table 3. Percentage of Error s in the Orthographic Category Code # of Errors % of Total Orthographic Errors % of Total # of Errors Description Example OAT 903 48% 37% Tonic Accent aqui/aqu OLS 276 15% 11% Letter Soun d (s/z, s/c, y/ll) empesamos/ empezamos, conoser/ conocer, eya/ella OSL 127 7% 5% Silent Letter abla/ habla OWB 122 6% 5% Word Boundary ami / a mi OOW 100 5% 4% One Word a consejar/ aconsejar OPN 78 4% 3% Proper Name m xico / M xico ODV 69 4% 3% Dialectal Variation juimos/fuimo s OEI 55 3% 2% English Influence elephantes / elef antes OAB 33 2% 1% Abbreviation 3/tres 2) Phonological errors as displayed in Table 4, comprised 10% of the total misspelled words in the writing samples. The most frequent phonological error was phoneme additions (PPA), which occurred in 13% of the 204 phonological errors
49 produced. An example of this would be carron for carro (car), The next frequently occurring linguistic feature in error involved nasals (PNE). Nasal errors occurred in 25 (12%) of the 204 phonological errors produced, like in the word tanbien for tambin (also). In this example, the nasal /n/ was substituted for another nasal /m/. Words that were coded as acceptable letter strings (PALS), occurred in 22 (11%) of the phonological errors. These are words that were determined to be misspelled. However, they followed an acceptable phonological sequence in Spanish and could not be categorized as any other linguistic feature. O f the 204 phonological errors, 21 (10%) of them involved syllable reduction (PSR), as in spelling regan for regalan (gift). Phonological consonant deletions (PCD) occurred in 19 (9%) of the phonological errors. Phonological errors involving vocalic r (PVOCR) final consonant deletion (PFCD), and consonant errors (PCE) occurred 8% each (i.e., 1 7 1 6 and 16 instances respectively) of the total number of phonological errors. Sonorant consonant sequence reduction (PSON) occurred in 9 (4%) of the phonological err ors. An example of this error type would be a case in which participants would write tedriamos for tendriamos ( would have ) Phonological errors which comprised 3% of the total number of phonological errors included: a) writing single vowels to represent di phthongs (PDIP), as in empiza for empieza (start); and b) cluster reduction (PCR), as in writing tae for trae (bring). Two percent of the phonological errors included voicing errors, where an unvoiced sound was voiced (PVO) as in baleta for paleta ( lollip op ) and devoicing a voiced sound (PDV), as in acuerto for acuerdo (agreement). All other errors (PSYN, PFR, PST, and PUNLS) occurred in 1% or less of the phonological errors (see Appendix A for POMAS examples of linguistic features).
50 Table 4. Percentage o f Error s in the Phonological Category Code # of Errors % of Total Phonologic al Errors % of Total # of Errors Description Example PPA 26 13% 1% Phoneme Addition carron/ carro PNE 25 12% 1% Nasal Error tanbien / tambin PALS 22 11% <1% Acceptable Letter String toribino/ tormenta PSR 21 10% <1% Syllable Reduction regan/ regalan PCD 19 9% <1% Consonant Deletion halar/ hablar PVOCR 1 7 8% <1% Vocalic /r/ sivieron/ sirvieron PFCD 16 8% <1% Final Consonant Deletion hiciero/ hicieron PCE 16 8% <1% Co nsonant Error agudaron/ ayudaron PSON 9 4% <1% Sonorant Cluster tedramos/ tendriamos 3) Mo rphological errors comprised 141 (8%) of the total number of errors. The most frequent type involve d errors in graphic accents, called tilde diacrtico (MTD ). The se types of accents are used to signal a change in grammatical function or
51 differentiate word meanings in homonyms and homographs as in the word m ( object pronoun, me ) and mi ( possessive adjective, m y ). This error type, made up 78 (5 3 %) of the total numb er of morphological errors. The second most frequent error type involved noun plurality (MNP), which occurred 48 times (32%), as in uniforme for uniformes The next frequently occurring error type involved regular verb tense (MRVT), which occurred 13 (9%) times. An example would be writing hablando (talking) for hablaban (talked). Next, 6 % of the morphological errors involved non word synonyms (MNSY), in other words, substituting a word known in the language for an invented word which assimilates bo th Engli sh and Spanish An example of this would be when the participant writes the word esquipiar to represent the Spanish words cortar clase ( cut class in English). Although the word is not formally recognized in the Spanish dictionary, it follows an acceptable letter string in Spanish. Additionally, it represents a non word synonym f o r the English word skip wh ich it appears to have been derived from. Table 5. Percentage of Error s in the Morphological Category Code # of Errors % of Total Morphologic al Errors % of Total # of Errors Description Example MTD 78 53 % 3% Tilde Diacrtica solo/ solo MNP 48 32% 2% Noun Plural uniforme / uniforme s MRVT 13 9% <1% Regular Verb Tense hablando/ H ablaban M NSY 9 6 % <1% Non word Synonym esquipie/ cortar
52 4) Phonologi cal orthographic (PO) errors occurred the least frequently comprising 7% of the total number of errors (see Table 6) The most frequently occurring PO error included Spanish allophones (POA). In Spanish, /b/ and /v/ are phonetic variants of the /b/ sound and are perceived as the same phoneme. Allophones, as in the words llebar for llevar ( take ) or valon for balon number of errors in this linguistic category. The next most frequently occurring error was vowel substitutions (POVS), as in jagamos for jugamos (to play), which occurred in 68 (32%) of the PO errors. Errors of vowel dependent spellings (POVDS) comprised 5% of the errors, as in spelling jugetes for juguetes Letter reversals (POLR), such as spelling Maimi for Miami also supplied 5% of the errors. The least occurring error feature involved missing vowels (POVM), as in spelling undos for unidos This error type occurred in 9 (4%), of the PO spelling errors.
53 Table 6. Percentage of Error s in the Phonolo gical Orthographic Category Code # of Errors % of Total Phonologic Orthographic Errors % of Total # of Errors Description Example POA 115 54% 5% Allophones valon / balon POVS 68 32% 3% Vowel Substitutions ja gamos / jugamos POVDS 13 5% <1% Vowel Depend ent Spellings jugetes/juguetes POLR 12 5% <1% Letter Reversal Maimi/ Miami POVM 9 4% <1% Missing Vowels undos/unidos Evidence of English Influence in Spanish Misspellings English influence and c ode switching. The secondary focus of this study was to id en tify the extent to which there wa s evidence of cross language effects in the student s spellings. A qualitative analysis was conducted in order to assess the frequency and type of words that evidenced English language influence (see Table 7 ). It was foun d that errors coded as evidencing English influence (OEI), comprised 2% of the total number of misspellings identified in the writing sample and code switching (MCS) comprised less than 1% of the total number of misspellings. Nonetheless, 19 of 20 students produced these types of errors in their writing samples For instance, several students spelled the word m as my This is not unexpected as the word mi in Spanish also means my in English, so the words are very similar in spelling and could be easily conf used across
54 languages. Additionally, in Spanish, the letter y represents the /i/ sound and functions as a diphthong in words like hay (there are), hoy ( today ), and muy ( very ). However, in Spanish when the /i/ sound follows a consonant, it is rare for the y to represent the sound / i /. On the other hand, this is not as uncommon in English, in which the letter y functions as a monopthong and often represents the /i/ sound after a consonant, like in the words baby and sky Therefore, these are clear indications that the child is using knowledge of English spelling patterns in their Spanish writing. ph for f. Another clea r example of English influence wa s in the spelling of elephante for elefante In Spanish the /f/ sound is never represented with the letters p h However in English, ph often represents the /f/ sound, as in the words phone pharmacy and diphthongs In fact, English words spelled with initial ph are spelled with the letter f in Spanish (e.g., photograph in English is spelled as fotografa in Span ish), as these words are borrowed from English, which al so contributes to the confusion T herefore, it is clear that the use of ph panish writing samples indicate English influence. Consonant doubling. Another example of English infl uence included words that contained consonant doubling, such as writing hippopotamo for hipoptamo (hippopotamus) and grassias for gracias (thank you). In English, same letter consonant doubles (e.g., pp, ff, ss, bb, and nn) are common, but not in Spanish. While consonant doubles (e.g., ll, rr, cc, and nn) do exist in Spanish, they represent a single letter of the Spanish alphabet and only one sound (i.e., ll and rr ). For example, in the word llave the double ll can be pronounced as the /d / sound, as in the initial sound of the word judge or it can be pronounced as the /j/ sound, as in the initial sound in the word yellow
55 Similarly, in the words perro and carro the double rr represents the Spanish trilled r sound. Double nn on the other hand, only represents one sound, but is not represented as part of the Spanish alphabet. For example, in words like innovador ( innovator in English) and connotaci n ( connotation in English), the double nn represents the single /n/ sound. As for the double cc it is the only true double consonant that appears in Spanish as it is the only double consonant that represents two sounds The double cc as in the words accidente (accident) and diccionario (dictionary) represents the English ks sound ; t herefore wh en the participants selected consonant doubles in their Spanish writings, it likely attribut able t o the influence of English spelling conventions. Morphological code switching. English influence was also noted at the whole word level, as in the case of mor phological code switching. In fact, this spelling pattern occurred in the writing of 19 of 20 students with a total of 105 occurrences. However, words coded as code switching were not calculated as part of the total number of morphological errors as these words were not misspelled. An example of code switching is when students wrote the English word lunch to represent the Spanish word almuerzo where lunch is spelled correctly, just that it was written in English The students who substituted this English word ( lunch ) for the Spanish word almuerzo did so consistently Although students did not have a significant number of words indicating English influence, there was evidence that the student s combined the orthographic, phonological, and morphological rules of Spanish and English when producing their Spanish writing samples.
56 Table 7. Evidence of Other Language Influence in Spanish Misspellings. Error Code Spanish Target Word Misspelling OEI Clase C lasses OEI Cuida Q uida OEI Llego G ego OEI Elefantes E l ephantes OEI Hipoptamos H ippopotamos OEI Gracias G rassias MCS Mi M y MCS Escuela S chool MCS Almuerzo L unch MCS E.E.U.U. U.S.A Summary of Results The misspellings demonstrated by the Spanish English bilingual students on the writing samples were ex amined by looking at the effects of linguistic category, genre, and gender. The error patterns featured the greatest number of errors in the orthographic category, accounting for over 70% of the errors. Errors attributed to the other linguistic categories occurred less than 10% of the time each There were no effects attributed to genre or gender. The most common error pattern in the orthographic category was OAT (orthographic tonic accents) comprising 37% of the total number of errors followed by OLS (le tter sound) errors, which comprised 11% of the total number of errors. All other
57 orthographic, phonological, morphological, and phonological orthographic linguistic feature patterns occurred with a frequency of 5% or less of the total number of errors. The se findings would suggest that these Spanish English bilingual adolescents predominantly mad e spelling errors that were orthographic in nature. In other words, their spellings we re phonologically represented but d id not follow the orthographic rules of Spa nish.
58 C hapter 4 Discussion The present study examined the spelling errors produced in expository and narrative writing samples in Spanish taken from 20 Spanish English emerging bilingual adolescent s. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were conduct ed to examine the error patterns noted in Spanish misspellings, as well as to identify words that represented influence of English on the Spanish misspellings. A three way ANOVA was used to analyze the influence of three independent variables (linguistic c ategory, genre and gender) on the frequency of misspellings. Results of the ANOVA revealed that the orthographic error category evidenced the largest number of misspellings. Other categories (i.e., phonology, morphology, and phonology orthography) each occ urred with a frequency of 10% or less. Qualitative results revealed three main error patterns : 1) orthographic toni c accent; 2) orthographic letter sound; and 3) phonological orthographic vowels substi tutions The following discussion will describe how th e results answer ed the individual research questions. The first research question address ed specific patterns of misspellings noted in the writing samples obtained and identif ied the most frequently occurring features within each linguistic category. The s econd research question focus ed on misspellings that indicated cross language influences, suc h as English influence and code switching. The current findings then will be compared and contrasted with the
59 results of previous research. Clinical and educationa l implications, strengths and limitations of the study, and direction s for future research will also be addressed. Patterns of Misspellings (Question 1) The first research question addressed the identification of the phonological, orthographic, and morpho logical spelling patterns, as well as noting frequently occurring linguistic feature error s within each categor y Quantitative analyses indicated that the students made primarily orthographic errors. Phonological, morphological and combination errors each occurred less than 10% of the time (see Figure 1) The predominance of the orthographic error type was expected and is con sistent with previous research, which found that Spanish English bilinguals spelled English words according to the phonological and or thographic rules of their L1 (i.e., Spanish; Arteagoitia et al., 2005; Fashola et al., 1996; Sun Alperin & Wang 2008). For example, if a Spanish student spelled driming for dreaming and jero for hero it would be concluded that these errors represent ed th e correct application of Spanish phonological and orthographic rules when spelling English words (Fashola et al., 1996). The researchers attributed this finding to the transparency of the Spanish language meaning that students can be successful if they re ly on phoneme grapheme correspondences when they spell However, orthogra phic errors remained as the se student s demonstrated difficulty implementing some of the linguistic rules of Spanish in their spelling. Tonic accents. In the current study, the lingui stic error with the highest frequency of occurrence was the orthographic accent tonic (OAT), accounting for 48% of the orthographic errors and 37% of the total number of errors. This error type reflects the accents that signal stress patterns in a word, bu t do not change word meaning. This
60 finding was not unexpected, as Escamilla (2006) found that omission of accent marks frequently occurred in the spelling of 4 th and 5 th grade Spanish English students This finding was believed to be a factor in Spanish sp elling development because mastery of accent mark usage is not generally acquired until the 6th grade (Escamilla, 2006) However, it is interesting to note that in Spanish speaking countries and even in the United States, accent marks rarely appear in the spelling on billboards or in advertisements. This omission also suggests that accent marks are not given much importance perhaps because accent marks may be redundant, as readers can often figure out the word from the context o f the sentence (Wieczorek, 19 91 ) In fact, research has shown that the written accent mark use is not expressly important for co mmunication, as students are able to pronounce words according to the rules of the Spanish language without the presence of written accent marks (E scamilla, 2006; Erichsen, n.d. ; Wieczorek, 1991) Nevertheless, it is not clear why accent mark usage is often omitted in the writing s of Spanish speaking students because conventional Spanish rules for accent use are clear cut (Erichsen, n.d .; Real Academia Espa ol a, 2007 ; Wieczorek, 1991). Tilde diacrtica. Another a ccent error which frequently occurred was the tilde diacrtica. These accents signal a change in grammatical function and are also used to distinguish between homonyms such as aun ( even ) and an ( yet ) or homographs, such as papa ( potato ) and pap ( father ). These accent marks are especially important because when omitted in spelling they can cause miscommunication. For example, if a Spanish person writes the homograph Te gusto ? ( Do you like me ?), but r eally meant Te gust ? ( D id you like it? ), there would be a miscommunication as a result of the accent being omitted. However, students again are often able to derive the correct meaning from the
61 context. This type of error (i.e. MTD ), while comprising 53% of the morphological errors, only comprised 3 % of the total number of errors. While previous researchers have not differentiate d tonic accent s from tilde diacrtica (Escamilla, 2006 ; Wieczorek, 1991) future investigation s should differentiate between the se types of accent marks in order to identify problems in accent use that may signify a morphological problem Letter sound correspondences. The second most frequently occurring linguistic feature error was letter sound correspondence (OLS), comprising 15 % of the orthographic errors and 11% of the total number of errors. These are spelling errors due to ambiguous letter sound relationships. This finding was expected and consistent with previous research indicat ing t hat Span ish English bilingual s exhibit di fficulty in spelling words containing th e /h/, /s/, /k/, and /j/ phonemes because each of these sounds can correspond to more than one letter in the alphabet (Escamilla, 2006; Hualde, 2005; Rubin & Carlan, 2005). This finding is especia lly significant, as Spanish is often referred to as a transparent language (Arteagoitia et al., 2005; Fashola et al., 1996; Sun Alperin & Wang, 2008). However, it appears that these ambiguous phonemes occur fairly frequently in Spanish writing and students d id not have the ne cessary knowledge of Spanish orthographic rules to override their tendency to spell words phonologically. Other researchers have found that these types of errors we re common in younger monolingual English speaking children (grades 1 4) and less predominant in grades 5 9, as students shift ed from phonological dependence to building an orthogra phic lexicon (Bahr et al., 2009; submitted) When these types of errors did occur in older students, it was typically in the conte xt of increased word complexity. Bahr et al ( 2009; submitted) attributed this type of error in English speaking children to a nonlinearity in development, where
62 students rely on earlier developing spelling skills to assist them in spelling more complex words Vowel substitutions. Another int eresting pattern of misspelling involved the frequency of vowel substitution errors. The current students p roduced vowel substitutions in only 2.78% of the total errors. This finding support s previous research that found that Spanish students had minimal d ifficulty spelling Spanish words containing vowels (Arteagoitia et al., 2005; Fashola et al., 1996; Sun Alperin & Wang, 2008). However, it is interesting to note that previous research has also shown that as Spanish children acquire a second language whi ch is not as transparent, such as English, they may have increased difficulty with spelling vowels, especially those that are contrastive ( Fashola et al., 1996; Gildersleeve Neumann et al., 2008 ; Rubin & Carlan, 2005; Sun Alperin & Wang, 2008). In other wo rds, they have difficulty spelling Spanish vowels (e.g., i and u ) which are spelled differently in English. This is because the /i/ in English can be spelled with various letter combinations, whereas in Spanish, there is a direct sound to letter correspon dence This pattern has instructional implications in that teachers can use contrastive analyses of these sounds to increase word consciousness in their students Influence of Cross Language Transfer (Question 2) The second research question addressed the extent to which cross language transfer was evident in the spelling errors produced by Spanish English students. A qualitative analysis found that English influence (OEI) on the spelling of Spanish words occurred in 2% of the total number of misspellings identified in the writing samples. A possible cause is that certain writing prompts may bias the student to select specific types of words or syntactic structures ; hence, they may have not selected words more
63 susceptible to English influence (Escamilla, 20 06; Cronnell, 1985). It is also possible that students avoided using words that they were not sure how to spell which is a limitation of natural writing prompts (Bahr et al., submitted) Another possibility is that students produced words that shared prop erties across languages, which c ould result in this linguistic feature not occur ring as frequently. Give n the fact that these students we re ELLs, it was surprising that this error occurred infrequently, as previous research has shown that both younger (pre k and kindergarten) and older (4 th and 5 th grade) bilingual students tend to evidence cross language transfer in their spellings (Escamilla, 2006; Rubin & Carlan, 2005). Context dependent influences. The analysis also found that English influence d feature s (OEI) were noted in certain patterns of spelling. Error types included representing the /i/ sound with the letter y as in spelling my for mi (me), ph to represent / f / (e.g., elephante for elefante) and double consonants (e.g ., spelling hippopotamo for h ipoptamo (hippopotamus). These were clear indications of English influence, as these context dependent error patterns occu rred in English like words and we re characteristic of the rules of English spellings. A conclusion is t hat while infrequent, the stu den ts did evidence spellings that we re indicative of English language influence. Code switching influences. Another error type evident in the writing samples which indicated English influence was code switching (MCS). This type of pattern differed from the words coded as being influenced by English, as these error s involved word substitutions that were spelled correctly In other words, students often substituted entire English words to represent Spanish words (e.g., spelling lunch for the Spanish word almu erzo ). While these types of errors comprised only 4 % of the total number of
64 errors, several studie s have found that Spanish English bilinguals may sometimes produce writing according to the ease in which the information is processed and/or transferred (Dwo rin, 2006 ; Gildersleeve Neumann et al., 2008 ; Rubin & Carlan, 2005). In other words, when writing in Spanish, the English form may be the best word choice or student s id ea s d o not translate easily into Spanish forcing the m to select the English form. Di alectal influences. Dialectal variation is another error type considered in this study, but one that has not received m uch attention in the literature. T his pattern of spelling is important to consider as research has shown that when children are beginning to develop their spelling skills, they rely heavily on the phon ological aspects of their language (Ehri, 1989, 2000). So when relying on a phonological strategy to spell, one would expect to see dialectal errors creep in. This was true in the current stud y ; however the frequency of this error type was relatively small, only noted in 3% of the total number of errors. An example in some Mexican and Caribbean Spanish dialects is the substitut ion of the /h/ sound for some consonants or to insert h in the initi al position of some words as this is the way that many individuals from Mexico and the Caribbean speak (Moreno & Mario, 1998). The s e types of dialectal variation s were noted in the current writing samples when student s spelled juimos for fuimos ( we went ) where the j represents the /h/ sound and horgullosa (proud) for orgullosa Comparisons between Spanish and English Spelling Orthographic errors. The similarities evidenced across both English and Spanish spelling development included the predominance o f orthographic errors over other error types. Bi lingual Spanish English student s orthographic errors comprised 75% of the
65 total number of errors, while English speaking students evidenced orthographic errors about 60% of the time (Bahr et al., submitted ). The frequency of orthographic errors was greater in Spanish as a result of the difficulty with Spanish accents. However, if accent errors are removed from the total count of orthographic errors, it significantly reduces the frequency of occurrence of orth ographic errors from 75% to 40% of the total number of errors in Spanish. Nonetheless, even when removing the accent errors, orthographic errors continue to predominate over other linguistic categories. Another similarity found between Spanish and English students is that they both demonstrated difficulty with the orthographic silent letter e T hese spelling patterns we re considered to be errors due to typical spelling development for English children ( Bahr et al., submitted) and this is the presumed cause in the current study Phonological errors. Phonological errors occurred significantly less often than noted in the writing of typical monolingual Eng lish speakers (Bahr et al., submitted ). This again may be attributed to Spanish having a more direct rel ationship between the letters and the sounds they represent ( Fashola et al., 1996; Gildersleeve Neumann et al., 2 008 ; Rubin & Carlan, 2005; Sun Alperin & Wang, 2008). However, similarities across Spanish and English phonological errors for this age group i ncluded words containing vocalic r as in sivieron for sirvieron ( they served ) misrepresentation of diphthongs (i.e., writing single vowels to represent diphthongs), as in empiza for empieza ( it s tart s ), syllable reduction errors, as in esban for estaban ( they were ), and sonorant consonant sequence reduction as in tedriamos for tendriamos ( w e w ould have ). However w hen compared to English speaking, same age peers, some phonological errors were specific to Spanish, such as the use of allophones. For exampl e, it was noted that Spanish English
66 bilingual students often confused /b/ and /v/ in their misspellings because they are allophones in conversation speech (Erichsen, 2009; Hualde, 2005; Real Academia Espa ola, 2007 ). Morphological errors. Another importa nt contrast between English and Spanish is the use of morphology. Spanish is a morphologically rich language, with inflections occurring with greater frequency than derivations (Garcia Pelayo y Gross et al., 1982; Lang, 1990 ; Ramirez et al., 2009 ) Additio nally, Spanish inflections are more complex than English, with verbs taking up to as many as 50 different inflections (Goldstein, 2004; Ramirez et al., 2009; Real Academia Espaola, 2007). However, despite Spanish being a morphologically rich language, mor phological errors occurred with 13% less frequency when compared to the writing of 5 th 9 th grade monolingual English students (Bahr et al., submitted). This may be attributed to the fact that, Spanish inflections are salient and are acquired early in lan guage development (Goldstein 2004; Ramirez et al., 2009; Real Academia Espaola, 2007). Another reason may be that since the orthography of Spanish is more transparent, students may not have as much difficulty s pelling the se inflections. Another interest ing finding is that, derivation errors predominated in the English writing samples of 5 th 9 th grade students, in contrast to the Spanish writing sample s, where inflection al errors predominated (Bahr et al., submitted) In fact, Spanish inflection al error s involving noun plurals, as in juego ( game ) for juegos ( games ) and regular verb tense s as in hablando ( talking ) for hablaban ( they talked ), comprised 41% of the total number of morphological errors. This is an interesting finding, but it is consistent wi th known differences between the two languages. One other caveat that
67 affected the determination of morphological errors was gender agreement. In this study, correctly spelled morphosyntactic errors relating to gender agreement were not counted as misspell ings as these were considered to be related more to syntax than to spelling F urther investigation is needed in order to quantify the extent of morphological errors in the spelling of Spanish English bilinguals. Value of the POMAS S The POMAS was origin ally developed in order to linguistically analyze misspellings of monolingual English students by linguistic category (phonological, orthographic, and morphological) and linguistic feature (Silliman et al., 2006). Since research has shown that cross langua ge interference influences the spelling of Sp anish English bilinguals (Cummins, 1984; Dressler & Kamil, 2006; Escamilla, 2006; Fitzgerald, 2006; Francis, 2006; Lanauze & Snow, 1989; Medina & Escamilla, 1992) the application of the POMAS was expanded in or der to highlight spelling errors distinctive of this population. Utilizing the POMAS S added strength to the current study, as it was sensitive to spelling errors unique to Spanish (i.e., tonic accents, diacritical accents, dialectal variations, and allo phones b and v ). The POMAS S also was able to capture instances of cross language interference, such as English influence on Spanish spellings and code switching. As a result, this linguistic analysis system provided valuable information regarding the ling uistic repertoire that students were using in their spelling. Future use of the POMAS S should include an expansion of codes in order to provide detailed linguistic information regarding misspellings For example, an addition of codes may include separatin g dialectal variation between those that are specific to Mexicans and
68 those specific to Puerto Ricans. Another addition may include codes which capture misspellings resulting from different aspects of inflectional morphology such as lack of gender agreemen t as this would provide a more complete picture of the students linguistic repertoire Nature of the Spelling Sample In the current study, the use of writing samples allowed for detailed analysis of spelling errors. This point is important to consider, as researchers have found that writing samples when combined with linguistic feature analysis can be superior to the more commonly used rating system s that score misspellings as correct or inc orrect (Leedy & Ormrod, 2005). Rating systems are less informat ive because they lack the depth that a linguistic analysis system such as the POMAS S can provide. On the other hand, writing samples are also limited in that students may avoid using words they do not know how to spell. As a result, it may also be benefi cial to add a word dictation task that would elicit specific linguistic features the researcher wishes to analyze Combining both approaches Clinical and Educational Implications The findings of the current study provide valuable information relevant to clinicians and educators working with Spanish English bilinguals. This is because the development of spelling skills is among the strongest predictors of later reading proficiency (Ehr i, 2000) and therefore, spelling has important academic implications for reading comprehension and new vocabulary learning An understanding of what spelling skills children are implementing in their writing can provide valuable insight s regarding
69 the spec ific spelling skills that need to be targeted in the classroom. This need is no different for biliterate children. Researchers have found that first language proficiency or language knowledge and skills can facilitate second language acquisition (Cummins, 1984; Dressler & Kamil, 2006; Fitzgerald, 2006; Francis, 2006; Lanauze & Snow, 1989; Medina & Escamilla, 1992). As a result, teaching methods should actively instruct the students in the phonological, orthographic, and morphological pattern s of both Engli sh and Spanish. Understanding the similarities and differences between the two languages using contrastive comparisons will likely give bilingual students the foundation they need in order to become more proficient spellers. To be specific results of the current study indicated that Spanish accents, ambiguous sound letter correspondences, consonant doubling, and vowel substitutions were some of the spelling patterns that posed difficulty for these students. With this knowledge, teachers can focus on system atic instruction regarding the unique patterns of the se features in both Spanish and English (i.e., teaching the specific phonological and orthographic patterns for spelling in each language) in order to minimize difficulty in these areas. Spelling instruc tion should include activities that promote word consciousness, such as word study and word sort activities, combined with reading and writing that is relevant to current curriculum (Bear et al., 2004 ; 2008 ). Strengths and Limitations This stud y provided important information regarding the specific language related spelling errors of Spanish English bilingual children. One of the strengths of this study included the utilization of writing samples. This type of writing provided spelling errors
70 in a naturalistic context and allowed for an array of linguistic errors to be extracted relating to Spanish s pelling development, spelling conventions, second language acquisition, English language influence, and dialectal variations. Th ese areas provide d in formation regarding how students spell ed while engaging in a task that required them to regulate the multiple comp onents of composing (Apel & Masterson 2004). On the other hand, u se of only w riting samples may have b een a limitation of this study. Studen ts were given writing prompts for two genres (expository and narrative) combined with the opportunity to produce writing naturally. However, utilizing two different genres may have elicited specific lexical selections associated with the given topics (Bahr et al., 2009). Th e different genre s w ere employed in an attempt to control for task complexity, as it ha d been suggested that genre may affect vocabulary use and the number of misspellings produced (Bahr et al., 2009). T his was a disadvantage in that the students may have selected words and spellings that they were more familiar with and therefore, avoided certain linguistic features that may have been more prone to error. Another limitation of the study was the variability in the number of words produced among the writing samples. For example, some students wrote short samples and others wrote lengthier ones (Danzak, 2009) This may have occurred for several reasons. First students may have fe lt insecure about their writing skills in Spanish. It may also be that students were avoiding words they did not know how to spell, thereby limiting the number of words produced in their writing samples. However, it should be noted that more words produced can also result in more errors to analyze. Therefore, it woul d continue to be beneficial to have students produce more than one writing sample in order to ensure an adequate number and variety of misspellings to analyze.
71 An additional challenge in using the writing samples is the use of incorrect sentence construc tion (i.e., syntax ) and limited vocabularies In the current study it was decided to only identify and analyze words that were misspelled For example, one of the features that posed a challenge wa s gender marking S pellings in which there was a lack of g ender agreement be tween the article and the noun were not considered errors if the student spelled the word correctly. For example, if the student spelled la espera ( wait for her ) for lo espera ( wait for him ) or perro ( male dog ) for perra ( female dog ), the se forms were not considered as spelling errors because the word s la and perro were spelled correctly, even though they were not grammatically correct. While gender marking is an important aspect of the Spanish inflectional system and should be considered as an error in future studies, the lack of gender agreement really did not affect overall error totals in this case since this type of error was infrequently occurring Two Directions for Future Research First, f uture studies should incorporate a combin ation of approaches when analyzing the spelling of bilingual students. It would be beneficial to combine the use of writing samples, which potentially would allow for a variety of error types, with a word dictation task, which can control for specific type s of linguistic features elicited. This type of writing sample would be important as it is possible that bilingual students are having difficulty with more linguistic features than those identified in this study. Second it would be valuable to further in vestigate the application of the POMAS S in differentiating if individual children or adolescents are having difficulty in one language versus the other or if they are evidencing difficulty across both languages, which may be indicative of a language disor der. To achieve this aim it would be
72 important to conduct a study of a larger sample of Spanish English bilinguals that include d multiple grades and proficiency levels as a way to establish a baseline for what were typical phonological, orthographic, and morphological patterns of spelling errors. Then, a study on children suspected to have a developmental delay can be conducted by analyzing their spelling errors and comparing their errors to those of typically developing bilingual children to note possib le linguistic features that suggest language impairment.
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83 A ppendix
84 Appendix A POMAS Spanish ( POMAS S ) Coding Categories for Grades 5 9 Category Code Description Example Incorrect/Correct Form PO POA Allophones bestimos/vestimos PO POLR Letter Reversal Maimi/ Miami PO POVDS Vowel Dependent Spellings jugetes/juguetes PO POVM Missing Vowels enjague / enjua ge PO POVS Vowel Substitutions puda/poda P PALS Acceptable Letter String toribino/ tormenta P PCD Consonant Sequence Deletion satrera / sastrera P PCE Consonant Error agudaron/ayudaron P PCR Cluster R eduction tae/ trae P PDIP Vowel for True D iphtho ng empiza/ empieza P PDV Devoicing acuerto/ acuerdo
85 P PFCD Final C onsonant D eletion hiciero/ hicieron P PFR Fronting somo/como P PNE Nasal Error imvita/ invita P PPA Phonological Phoneme Addition carron/ carro P PSON Sonorant consonant sequence reduc tion tedriamos/ tendriamos P PSR Syllable reduction regan/ regalan P PST Stopping trasco/ frasco P PSYN Syncope respetosa/ respetuosa P PVO Voicing baleta/ paleta P PVOCR Vocalic /r/ sivieron/ sirvieron P PUNLS Unacceptable Letter String I ha t O OAT Tonic Accent a qui/ a qu O OAB Abbreviation 3/ tres O OCE Consonant Error gerrelas/gemelas O O L D Letter doubling hippoptamo/hipoptamo
86 O ODI Digraphs carera / carrera O ODV Dialectal variation juimos/fuimos O OEI English influence classes/ clases O OG A Grapheme addition ba/hba O OLC Letter Confusion (b/d, d/b) sada/saba O OLI Other Language Influence parquen/parking O OLN Letter Name por k/porque O OLP Letter part nino/nio O OLR Letter Reversal probelma/problema O OLS Letter sound (s/z, s/c, y/ll) empesamos/empezamos, conoser/conocer, eya/ella O OOW one word ha cer/ hacer O OPN Proper name mxico / Mxico O OSL Silent letter /h/ omitted ablar/ hablar O OUD Unnecessary Diacritic resbio / recibio
87 O OVDI Vowel Dependent Spelling qu e res/qui eres O OWB Word boundary agustar | a gustar M MTD Diacritical accent (tilde diacrtica) (makes difference in grammatical function and/or word meaning) que/qu solo / slo M MCS Code Switching lunch/almuerzo M MNP Noun plural mi/ mis M MNSY Non word syno nym esquipie/ cortar M MRVT Regular Verb Tense hablando/hablaban