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Teacher guide A comparison of the effectiveness of two strategy tutoring programs for children with persistent spelling difficulties

TLF ID S7021

This teacher resource describes a small-scale research study into the capacity of two strategies of one-on-one tutoring (Look-Say-Cover-Write-Say-Check and Old Way/New Way - Mediational Learning) to help primary school students with persistent difficulties develop effective spelling strategies. It is presented in nine sections: Summary; Target student group; Method; Results; Lessons learned; Next steps; Research base; Further reading and links; and Contacts. The study was conducted by staff and students from the Education Faculty of Avondale College of Higher Learning in New South Wales

Educational details

Educational value
  • This is a valuable resource for teachers and schools concerned about those students who are not attaining the English achievement standard in relation to spelling. The pilot study found that Look-Say-Cover-Write-Say-Check and Old Way/New Way - Mediational Learning were equally effective in significantly improving students' spelling skills in the middle and upper years of primary school. The researchers concluded that one of the most likely factors contributing to the significant improvement was one-on-one tutoring in applicable spelling strategies and spelling rules.
  • The resource identifies several implications for the teaching of the English curriculum and for students' development of the literacy general capability. It confirms that poor spelling skills affect the ability to transmit meaning in writing and cause problems in reading and comprehension. It indicates that instruction in the underlying structure of the alphabetic system leads to significant gains in spelling and word-level reading. It notes that nearly all the children in the study had problems with handwriting due to poor pencil grip and points to research suggesting that spelling development may be 'inhibited by laboured handwriting and uncertain letter formation'.
Year level

3; 4; 5; 6

Learning area
  • English
  • English/Language

    Other details

    • Publisher
    • Date of contribution: 2014-04-04
    • Name: Education Services Australia
    • Organisation: Education Services Australia
    • Address: AUSTRALIA
    • URL:
    • Copyright holder
    • Date of contribution: 2014-04-04
    • Name: Commonwealth of Australia
    • Organisation: Commonwealth of Australia
    • Address: AUSTRALIA
    • URL:
    Metadata contributors
    • Resource metadata contributed by
    • Name: Education Services Australia
    • Organisation: Education Services Australia
    • Address: AUSTRALIA
    • URL:
    Access profile
    • Generic
    Learning resource type
    • Teacher guide
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    Operating systems
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    • macos - minimum version: OSX v8
    • © 2014 Commonwealth of Australia, unless otherwise indicated. This material is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike licence (CC BY-SA 3.0 AU) unless otherwise indicated. You may distribute, remix and build upon this material, provided that you include the acknowledgement '© Commonwealth of Australia 2014' and license under the same terms any new creations you have based on the material.