247.  What do you think of this idea:  Using Word Search for Spelling:

ANSWER:

I think it is an idea whose time has come!!! -- I use Word Search to check my own spelling!!!     

Several recent studies have demonstrated that readers can read with perfect fluency and comprehension (INDEPENDENT READING LEVEL) entire passages or reading selections about well-known topics in which many –literally ALL—words in a reading selection have the correct FIRST and LAST letters, but the letters in between FIRST and LAST letters in the words may be totally, completely out of order.   To be a proficient speller, then, may require special skills that help the reader focus on the spelling of the words and NOT on the overall meaning of the reading selection.

This research raises many questions about teaching spelling skills, and ONE of the most important questions raised by the research is exactly what you have asked: Should we spend time memorizing the correct spelling of words or should that time be better spent doing something else relating to spelling skills? 

The research clearly points to the need of exposing students repeatedly to words that are correctly spelled so that students “absorb,” “memorize,” “intake” the correct and complete image of a word and its shape.  This research clearly points to the need of having students read extensively on topics that they know well and understand thoroughly.  

Similar research dealing with correct-FIRST-LAST-letters in words where the order of the letters between FIRST-LAST is random but the TOPIC of the reading selection may NOT be WELL KNOWN to the reader (that is, the reader may be reading at the FRUSTRATION LEVEL) has not been published, or, at the time of this writing is NOT KNOWN to me.

I can give you, however, one particular example in which Spell Check worked well for a Special Education 7th grader who was a reclassified English Learner, that is, an English Learner who had managed to develop highly proficient ORAL English skills and fairly advanced Reading English skills so that he could follow silently, with great accuracy, a tape-recorded reading selection played for him.

When it came time to write about the tape-recorded reading selection he had heard, the student would use a computer.   He would write down what he wanted to say.   As he wrote, the computer signaled his many mistakes.   Using spell check and his mother’s assistance, he would CHOOSE the correct spelling he had intended to write from the choices given in Spell Check.   Laboriously, but successfully, this student would produce fairly readable English compositions using both Spell Check and Grammar Check of his computer assisted writings.

 

 


For more in-depth information, classroom demonstrations, and "coaching" of new and/or experienced teachers, Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK offers:

1. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
2. Cross Cultural Diversity - Multicultural Strategies
3. Effective Instruction for English Learners (L.E.P. students) Parts 1, 2, 3, 4
4. Promoting Academic Success in Language Minority Students
5. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
6. Oral Language / Literacy Skills / Higher Order Thinking Skills
7. 50/50 Dual Language Programs: design, planning and implementation
8. The Structure of English / The Structure of Spanish
9. Transition: Introduction to English Reading

Web Site Programs for Teachers: Numbers 1, 5, 7, 8, and 9.
Web Site Programs for
Paraprofessionals: Number 3.
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Identifying / Responding to Students' Language Needs
Phonemic Awareness: Teaching English phonics to L.E.P. students
Relationship Between Reading, Writing and Spelling
Improving Reading Performance -- Building Oral Language Skills)

Write and e-mail any additional questions you may have, and Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will establish with you, your school or district a Technical Assistance Service Contract. Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will answer all your questions promptly and to your satisfaction.

 

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CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK, Ph.D.

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3113 Malcolm Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90034-3406

Phone and Fax: (310) 474-5605

E-mail:  csssadek@gte.net