Jocelyn, a third grader struggling in spelling
Jocelyn is in third grade and consistently makes gross errors in spelling. Some of her errors consist of writing the word took as “toke,” went as “wehnt,” little as “litol,” really as “riliy,” and want as “wan’t.” Jocelyn also makes errors using suffixes, such as writing played as “playd,” didn’t as “dident,” goes as “gose” and jumped as “jumpt.” Other mistakes include writing words with missing vowels, such as writing girl as “grl.” Further, she lacks the knowledge of conventional spelling rules such as when to double consonants, writing words like super as “supper” and rabbit as “rabit.”
At school, Jocelyn learns spelling through lists of random or arbitrarily selected words (for example, words that end in le). The teacher has Jocelyn learn the words primarily through drilling methods, such as writing each word five times, putting the words in alphabetical order, or studying consonant-vowel patterns. Since Jocelyn memorizes her spelling words right before the spelling test, she has a good grade in spelling. But because she has never been taught the proper phonetic or letter-sound knowledge, she continues to struggle with spelling in actual writing contexts.