Young Children's spelling representations and spelling strategies

Sarah Critten, Lee Sheriston, Franceska Mann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
45 Downloads (Pure)


While traditional models of spelling describe the skills and knowledge required for development, the underlying cognitive processes that drive spelling success are often overlooked. Ninety-six English-speaking children, aged 5-to-7 years, completed two tasks which provided a direct measure of their spelling recognition and spelling production, respectively. Using a combination of performance measures and self-explanations, we assessed the relationship between children's performance on both the recognition and procedural tasks. Two separate hierarchical cluster analyses identified distinct profiles based on children's spelling recognition and spelling production, respectively. While these different profiles appeared related, log-linear analysis confirmed that the relations between recognition and production profiles were strongly moderated by children's spelling experience. Overall, the findings provide further support for application of the Representational Redescription (RR) and Overlapping Waves (OW) models in relation to young children's spelling acquisition within an English orthography.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-44
Number of pages11
JournalLearning and Instruction
Early online date10 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016

Bibliographical note

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Learning and Instruction. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Learning and Instruction, [46, (2016)] DOI: 10.1016/j.learninstruc.2016.09.001

© 2016, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


  • Spelling
  • Implicit
  • Explicit
  • Representations
  • Recognition
  • Production


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