What Research Says About Teaching Spelling
Part II: Establishing Teaching Strategies
Part II: Establishing Teaching Strategies for Spelling
This is a two-part article. In the first part, the three basic approaches to spelling instruction were discussed. Why each has an important role to play in the spelling curriculum was also explained. In addition to the basic approaches to spelling instruction, there are key elements and teaching strategies which contribute to the effectiveness of the spelling curriculum. Research conducted over the last century and a half has given us clear guidelines as to which teaching strategies are most effective. Many of these strategies are applicable to all areas of the curriculum, while others are specific to teaching spelling. In this part of the article, these key strategies will be explored.
This is a two-part article. In the first part (The Basic Approaches to Teaching Spelling), the three basic approaches to spelling instruction were discussed. Why each has an important role to play in the spelling curriculum was also explained. In addition to the basic approaches to spelling instruction, there are key elements and teaching strategies which contribute to the effectiveness of the spelling curriculum. Research conducted over the last century and a half has given us clear guidelines as to which teaching strategies are most effective. Many of these strategies are applicable to all areas of the curriculum, while others are specific to teaching spelling. In this part of the article, these key strategies will be explored.
Multi-level Instructional Materials
The pupils differ in the time at which they need to study particular words, in the types of mistakes they make, in the amount of repetition they need to learn a given word, and the vocabulary requirements of the spelling they need to do in writing. There is a saving of time when each pupil works only with words he needs to learn. Each pupil, ideally, should start at his own level and proceed at the rate at which he makes most progress. Each child should work on his own difficulties and no others.12
While individual differences in all aspects of student growth come forcibly to the attention of those who work with students, research and experience have shown spelling to be one of the areas of the curriculum in which wide differences create instructional problems. Research by Hildreth has consistently shown that within same-age grouped classrooms there is a wide span of spelling abilities and that the span increases with each year of schooling. By the fourth grade, the variation in spelling ability in any typical group will range over five or six grade levels, and it is not unusual to find a range in spelling ability equal to ten school years among students in most sixth grade classrooms.
This variability in spelling is well illustrated by the performances on the Morrison-McCall Spelling Scale (which includes words ranging in difficulty from the first to the eighth grade or higher) of students in one school. Form Three of this test was given to all students at the middle of the term in grades three through six. The results showed that the students’ scores in grade three ranged from the first through the fourth grade level. In grade four, the range was from the middle of the second grade to the ninth grade. In grade five, the scores varied from the middle of the third grade to the tenth grade in difficulty. And in grade six, the students ranged from just below the fourth grade to the senior high school level.
The data for this school are fairly typical of results found in schools all over the country, no matter what kinds of students are enrolled, what grades they are in, or what methods have been used in teaching them. It points to the importance of providing each teacher with a program which allows her to provide each student the appropriate instructional materials at the appropriate time. Such materials are found only in multi-level programs such as the Spelling Power program.
Individualized Lists are Needed
Curtis and Dolch hold that typical grade lists are not good guides to the spelling words children need to study. Completely prescribed lists for the year make it impossible for children to receive drill on words they most need to practice.13
Assigning a weekly word list has definite disadvantages, if the teacher’s goal is that each student masters the entire word list. It used to be assumed that when a word had been taught once, it was “finished.” Now it is known that the first teaching of a word may be only the introduction to a sequence of systematic presentations and reviews. Although some words seem to be universally troublesome, most words vary in difficulty depending on a student’s ability and experience.
In 1975, C. A. McGuigan14 introduced the concept of the “Add-a- Word-List” to address this aspect of learner variability. In his approach, as each word is mastered by the student it is dropped from the list and new words are added. Automatic retention checks of frequently misspelled words were built into the word lists. In addition, a series of review tests were included to assure long-term retention of the spelling words.
McGuigan experimented with this approach at the Experimental Education Unit of the University of Washington with over 30 students ages seven to 13 and in public school classrooms, including adult re-education programs. Data from his investigation indicate that students learn words more quickly with add-a-word lists and have similar or even superior retention than with fixed word lists.
Effects of the Test-Study-Test Approach
If the purpose of the pretest is clearly understood and the errors made are immediately and carefully corrected by the student, and if children understand that alert, conscientious correction of the test contributes greatly to the elimination of errors, the corrected test is by far the most efficient learning procedure.15
Research (first conducted by Kingsley in 1923) has repeatedly shown that the test-study-test plan is the most effective for the study of spelling. Research has produced about twice as many investigations favoring the test-study-test versus the study-test plan. The test-study-test plan involves the use of the following procedures: a pretest of a list of words is given the student, the student then studies the words missed on the pretest, and a final test is given to verify that he has learned the words.
This approach enables the student to get full recognition for words the spelling of which he has already learned in another context, and thus enables him to concentrate upon those difficulties that have been identified by the pretest. Limiting a student’s study to his identified needs is more efficient; and it generally produces a more favorable attitude toward his instructional program.
The debate regarding the test-study-test plan vs. the study-test plan has often been centered not on its effectiveness but on at what grade levels it should be used. In 1931, Gates16 concluded that the test-study-test plan was most effective with students beyond grade three only. Investigation summarized by Ernest Horn in 196017 concluded that the test-study-test method is superior with all classes and at all grade levels. However, many educators (including this writer) express concern that students in the lower grades (kindergarten through grade two) will benefit more from the study-test method, because of their limited writing vocabulary. Students who are likely to misspell every word on the pretest will profit emotionally from a method which allows them to study the words prior to any testing.
In 1947, Thomas Horn concluded through scientific research that adding the simple immediate-self-correction step to the test-study-test plan produced significant gains in spelling achievement.18 His findings are consistently reaffirmed by studies, most recently in 1980 by Fitzsimmons and Loomer.19 Horn’s immediate-self-correction step requires the teacher to provide the student with the correct spelling immediately after he has attempted spelling the word.
Research has shown that the self-corrected test is the most efficient single learning procedure in spelling instruction and study. On the basis of such findings, it is difficult to justify having students exchange spelling papers or to have the teacher correct them.20
One of the reasons that the immediate self-correction step is so effective is that with 44 sounds in the English language and approximately 250 ways to write them, the student will often puzzle over the appropriate spelling for the sound he hears. The immediate self-correction gives him the answer immediately after he has puzzled over it. With the self-correction process, everyone learns from his mistakes; some learn to avoid them, others to repeat them.
Notes on the Immediate Correction Process: Many teachers may be concerned that the self-correction process forces the student to concentrate on his errors. Their natural reaction is to feel that it is best to keep the student from seeing his error to prevent him retaining a faulty visual impression of the word. To refute this philosophy, Gillingham and Stillman make two very good points: “First, a poor speller is usually a poor speller because he does not retain clear visual images of words, so he will not likely remember the appearance of the wrong spelling. Second, people do not go through life with a patient mentor always at hand to obliterate the wrong and substitute the right.”21 They add that the self-correction process “will be a greater boon to train them into more and more knowledge and skill in detecting their own mistakes.”
The value of the immediate self-correction, when combined with the other procedures in the Spelling Power program, should not be underestimated. According to research done by Thomas Horn and others, the effect of the immediate self-corrected test is the single most important factor contributing to success in spelling study. It alone will contribute 90 to 95 percent of the achievement resulting from the combined effects of the pronunciation exercises, corrected test, and study sheet work.22
The success of self-correction as a learning tactic may be related to three factors. First, students may feel more personally involved with their own learning when they correct their own work. Second, the immediacy of feedback during the self-correction may influence learning. . . Finally, the discrimination involved in correcting one’s own spelling may result in closer attention to misspellings.23
“Reinforcement” is the term used by psychologists, and other specialists in the learning process, to explain the extra-strength learning which occurs when students find out immediately whether they are right or wrong. When a student finds out immediately, while the elements of the problem are fresh in his mind, his knowledge is “reinforced”: if he finds he is right, he becomes positive; if he finds he is wrong and checks at once to find out why he was wrong, he can sort out the points of the words that puzzled him and becomes sure of them.
For example, suppose you ask him to spell “buoyant.” He starts to write but hesitates; “Is it b-u-o or b-o-u or maybe b-o-i or even b-o-y?” After deciding about that, he puzzles further, “And is it e-n-t or a-n-t?” Having then written the word one way or another, he wonders whether he has spelled the word correctly. By confirming the correct spelling immediately, while he still remembers what parts of the word troubled him, his knowledge of the spelling of “buoyant” and words like it will be much surer.
“Hard Spot” Identification Is Not Advised
It is important not to confuse the effectiveness of the self-discovery of errors made possible through the immediate self-correction procedures with the concept of pre-marking “hard spots.” Several studies have been made of the value of using diacritical marks, pre-marking hard spots with colored pencil, writing words in separate syllable form, or calling attention to incorrect forms. The first such study was conducted in 1927. After studying 4,000 pupils and over 500,000 words, Tireman24 concluded that pre-marking “hard spots” actually lowered spelling scores. In a later study by Gates25, it was shown that prior identification of hard spots in words was impractical because different students experience different “hard spots.”
Horn’s work with self-corrected tests has suggested that one of the reasons the self-corrected test seems so beneficial is that the student discovers his own “hard spots.” Schonell’s26 recommendations that the student discover his own common errors by underlining them with a colored pencil seems to confirm this philosophy.
Multi-Sensory Study Approach Required
Research by Hildreth and others has shown that there is a direct correlation between learning style or modality and spelling ability. Spelling is primarily a sensory-motor habit. The correct spelling of a word is both learned and recalled by repeated motor reactions to certain sensory stimuli. Most successful spellers depend upon one of their senses to tell whether the word is right or not.
Most good spellers can tell you whether the word “looks” right or wrong. Their memory is predominantly visual. They have become successful spellers because traditional instructional approaches have been limited to visual approaches. (Most evaluations of spelling ability also favor the visual learner.)
Poor spellers tend to have poor visual recall. They learn best through other sensory input. Some learn best through auditory impressions. They depend on remembering the sounds of the letters being recited in order. Still others learn well by recalling physical or tactile impressions. Individuals in this last group would recall the spellings in terms of lip and throat movements (by saying the letters) and the movements of the hand in writing the word. Tactile learners are aided in learning the spelling of words by the stronger sensation of “feeling” or touching the shapes of the words.
Armed with this information, it would be easy to assume that one should determine the student’s learning style and then teach in an appropriate manner. This would be a mistake. First, it would be impractical to create a separate spelling curriculum for each student. Furthermore, it is important to remember when discussing the application of learning style theory that while each person has a predominant learning style, we all learn through all of our senses. Additionally, it should be remembered that dominant modality also has developmental factors. For example, Piaget and others found that very young children learn through auditory avenues; early elementary ages tend to be kinesthetic and concrete; while older students tend to rely on their abstract reasoning or analytical powers along with visual recall.
Finally, using an exclusive learning style could possibly result in the neglect of other important skills. For instance, proofreading is primarily a visual task. To develop this skill, a strong emphasis should be placed upon visual discrimination in the presentation of words for study. This emphasis should be both on building visual discrimination skills and utilizing such skills. In this regard, presenting words in columnar form is more efficient than presenting them in context. A child should be taught to observe the whole word in isolation, to observe the word syllable by syllable, and to note any peculiar combinations of letters. Developing auditory discrimination, needed for accurate pronunciation and application of phonetic principles, is also very important.
Because each person’s optimum learning style varies, as we have seen, spelling study must include procedures which help all learners succeed. The multi-sensory testing and 10-Step Study steps developed for use in the Spelling Power program are those accepted as being the most effective for the systematic study of spelling words. What is more, the Spelling Power program’s proprietary steps were designed to incorporate all these research-proven approaches and strategies. There is no other program that uses this stream-lined approach to facilitate efficient use of both parent and teacher time and energy, because it was developed especially for the Spelling Power program.
Spelling Rules Should Be Taught
Earlier in this article, the work of Hanna, Hanna and Hodges27 was discussed. Their gigantic “computer-based study” at Stanford University, which involved the analysis of 17,000 words, proved the value of teaching students phonetic principles. This research was not limited to phonetic principles; it also included linguistic principles which affect the proper spelling of words, for instance, the rules for adding suffixes to words. This research showed that phonetic generalizations and linguistic principles cover one or more elements of 85 percent of the words analyzed.
Not only did this landmark study show that rules apply to at least some part of many words, they showed that the exceptions to these rules were less frequent than had been previously thought. Another of the valuable outcomes of this research was learning that there are 46 rules and linguistic principles which have few or no exceptions and apply to the largest number of high frequency words. (Some of the rules used in the study, while stable, affect so few words that it would not be economical in terms of instructional time to teach them.)
Their research also suggested that word selection and organization according to these key linguistic principles can be an aid to spelling study. Knowing these principles and rules can help the student to develop the ability to spell an unstudied word and probably spell it right because the pattern has been learned.
Linguistically oriented spelling material lends itself well to various teaching strategies not peculiar to linguistics: for example, the inductive approach, arriving at patterns or generalizations from observing words in word lists, not just mechanically memorizing them, and a “spiral curriculum,” or teaching the same principles over and over but with ever-increasing ramifications.28
In relation to the value of the direct teaching of spelling rules, Horn states that “the only spelling generalizations that should be taught as rules are those that apply to a large number of words and have few exceptions.” The following generalizations, in addition to the basic phoneme-grapheme relationships (especially vowel sounds), are those that most linguistic experts agree are profitable for your student to learn.
- When spelling words of one syllable ending in a single consonant, preceded by a single vowel, double the final consonant before a suffix beginning with a vowel. (lag, lagging; plan, planned) (Spelling Power Group Rule 34.)
- When spelling words of more than one syllable ending in a single consonant, preceded by a single vowel, double the final consonant before adding a suffix if: 1) the syllable preceding the suffix is accented, 2) the last syllable ends in a consonant with one vowel before it, and 3) the suffix or ending begins with a vowel. (occur, occurred; prefer, preferring, preference; repel, repellent; travel, traveled, traveling; but admit, admittance) (Spelling Power Group Rules 32, 33, and 34.)
- Finally, preceded by a consonant, changes to ie before adding an s. (army, armies; fly, flies but turkey, turkeys; attorney, attorneys because a vowel precedes the y) (Spelling Power Group Rule 32.)
- In adding a suffix to a word ending in silent e, retain the e if the suffix begins with a consonant, but drop the e if the suffix begins with a vowel. (Spelling Power Group Rules 26, 27, 32, and 34.)
- Add s to words to form plurals or to change the tense of verbs, but es must be added to words ending with the hissing sounds (x, s, sh, ch). (glass, glasses; watch, watches, check, checks) (Spelling Power Group Rule 30, 31, and 32.)
- When s is added to words ending in a single f, the f is changed to v and es is added. (half, halves; shelf, shelves) (Spelling Power Group Rule 31)
- In the ei, ie combinations (pronounced e as in feel) i comes before e except after c. (believe, receive) The most common exceptions to this generalization are contained in this sentence: “Neither leisurely financier seized either weird species.” (This rule is not specifically taught as a group rule, but is associated with Spelling Power Group 7.)
- Use a hyphen in compound numbers from twenty-one to ninety-nine, and in specific fractions: twenty-five dollar bills ($25), twenty five dollar bills ($100) (the hyphen prevents confusion) three-fourths, four and two-thirds, thirty-hundredths, thirty-one hundredths). The hyphen should also be used in compound nouns such as son-in-law. (Spelling Power Group Rules 36, 38, and 39.)
- The letter q is always followed by u in common English words. (queen, quite) (Spelling Power Group Rule 21.)
- No English words end in v. (glove, love) (Spelling Power Group Rule 23.)
- Proper nouns and most adjectives formed from proper nouns begin with a capital letter. (America, American) (Spelling Power Group Rule 35.)
- Most abbreviations end with a period. (etc., Nov.) (Spelling Power Group Rule 41.)
- The apostrophe is used to show the omission of letters in contractions. (he’s, don’t, it’s, ain’t) (Spelling Power Group Rule 37.)
- The apostrophe is used to indicate the possessive form of nouns but not pronouns. (boy’s, dog’s, its, theirs) (Spelling Power Group Rule 40.)
There are some exceptions to these generalizations (that is why we usually call them generalizations and not rules), but they are sufficiently universal to aid spelling instruction. The Spelling Power program provides for instruction and review of the phoneme-grapheme relationships of vowel sounds in groups 1 to 20, 25, and 29 and spelling generalizations in groups 21-24, 26-28, 30 to 46 of the Spelling Power Flow-Word-Lists. However, you should provide more direct instruction on each spelling “rule” to your student before he encounters it the first time on a Flow-Word-List.
Foran makes the following conclusions regarding such instruction:
- Only one rule or skill should be introduced at a time.
- A rule should only be taught when it is needed.
- The teaching of rules should be integrated whenever possible with the arrangement or grouping of the words in the lists.
- Once the generalization has been introduced, it should be systematically reviewed and applied. Both in original teaching and in reviews, emphasis should be upon the use of the rule rather than upon the mere memorization of the verbal statement.
- Spelling generalizations should be taught inductively rather than deductively whenever possible.
|If you find this article helpful, then share it with your friends|
Skill Building Activities Are Important
An effective spelling program must include skill building activities that appeal to the students. Some students are self-motivated. They enjoy academic work and, therefore, naturally enjoy the spelling studies and exercises of a well-planned workbook. Other students, however, require additional motivation. Among the spelling activities they look for are high-interest, game-type exercises, such as puzzles, anagrams, and code solving to practice the words. These exercises often focus on the letter arrangement of the spelling words, rather than on word meanings or context.
Many exercises can also be used to teach and reinforce spelling rules and other related skills. Since generalizations (spelling rules which are generally true) should be taught inductively (through understanding) and not as memorized statements, games and puzzles offer the student a valuable and interesting “discovery” method.
McSweeney has demonstrated the need for inclusion of activities that transfer words to writing in order to maintain spelling vocabulary. To demand arbitrarily that a word be written “50 times to stamp it on your mind” may not accomplish the intended purpose. In fact, as various investigators, such as Peterson and Dunlap, have shown quite conclusively, learning may progress in direct opposition to the factor of frequency of repetition or drill. Drill appears to be an effective aid to learning, chiefly when it is but a part of a larger configuration involving student interest, understanding, desire, and purpose.
Wagner29 and others concluded that games and puzzle-type activities and exercises should be part of the formal spelling program. Therefore, “Discovery Activities” should not be used as a reward, they should be considered a basic part of the spelling program.
Plan to Study Spelling Every Day
In addition to checking spelling accuracy in written work, time should be set aside every day of the week for all students (above second grade) for specific and systematic spelling study. This daily period should include a short period for the initial study or review of troublesome words as well as specific instruction in related spelling skills. One or two periods a week are not frequent enough for economical learning and retention.
According to Ernest Horn’s summary of spelling research in the 1960 edition of the Encyclopedia of Educational Research30, there appears to be general agreement that this daily spelling period should not consume more than 15 minutes. Spending more than 15 minutes does not result in comparable increases in spelling achievement. In fact, there is some evidence that extending the length of time spent can often have a negative effect on the results and especially upon the attitudes of students.
Research by Horn and others provides evidence that spirited, expeditious work in the spelling period has the most favorable influence on learning. Making students study words which they already know how to spell, or having them do meaningless exercises in relation to the weekly list, is not only time wasted but is often detrimental in terms of student achievement and attitude. Therefore, the spelling period should be limited to active, meaningful work that enables each student to focus upon his own problem words and special needs for 15 minutes each day.
In addition to a consistent schedule for spelling study, a consistent approach or lesson format is also a factor in instructional effectiveness. According to research, when the students’ study follows a consistent format, they can then focus on the words and/or skills being taught, not the ever-changing lesson format. This does not mean there should be no variety in activity, but only that there is a definite, predictable format to the lessons.
Positive Attitudes and a Spelling Conscience
The development of a spelling conscience—a real desire to spell correctly—is a major goal in all spelling instruction.31
The greatest force which impedes the learning of spelling is a lack of interest or the presence of undesirable attitudes toward spelling instruction. Encouraging a positive attitude towards spelling study and toward becoming a competent speller is crucial to the effectiveness of the program. To accomplish this, Bruner stresses the need for teachers to appeal to curiosity, to the need for competence, to the need for identification with a nurturing adult, and to the need for responding to others and working cooperatively with them toward an objective.32 These motives are as applicable to spelling as they are to other learning activities. Assuming that these categories provide an adequate basis for facilitating maximum learning, how then can they be used in today’s spelling program?
1. Developing interest in words: Interest in improving spelling often can be increased by talking about words, their derivations and their peculiarities, by bringing in rare and amusing words, by having fun and playing with words, by talking about classes of words and related words, synonyms and antonyms, simplified spelling, disputed spellings, through pronunciation and syllabication practice, and dictation in context. Knowledge of the roots of words, the evolution of language, and the derivation of words are also of some help in spelling irregular and unusual words.
2. Showing the student that the words taught are those most likely to be needed by him now and in the future: Students sometimes get the wrong notion that textbook writers and teachers accumulate all the difficult words and assign these for study. This creates a negative attitude among students who feel that the teacher is trying to assign words that are most likely to produce errors. It is usually therefore helpful to discuss with the student the basis for the spelling curriculum.
3. Limiting the student’s study to those words which tests have shown him to be unable to spell: Most students want to be treated as individuals and this includes receiving credit when credit is due. A more positive attitude can be expected when students know they will be given credit for words they already know how to spell.
This approach also enables the student to see for himself that any word that he is required to study is a word that he is unable to spell. The pretest before study can be used effectively to show the student which words he has already learned and which ones he must study.
4. Opportunity for success: Motivation is key to spelling success and to the transfer of spelling words into daily writing. An effective spelling program includes opportunities for the student to experience success. More simply stated, success breeds success in spelling.
Proper placement within the spelling program is essential to this source of motivation. A student who misses most of the words on the pretest becomes overwhelmed and discouraged. Conversely, a high degree of success on the pretest means that 100 percent success on the retest is a reasonable and attainable goal.
5. Providing the student with a definite and efficient method of learning: Some students do not know how to study on their own. If such students are poor achievers, their attitudes toward spelling can often be improved when they realize that the teacher is actually interested in helping them to study and learn.
6. Knowledge of results: The student’s knowledge of progress or success is another important source of interest and other desirable attitudes. According to Skinner, “positive reinforcement” of correct responses or immediate feedback is crucial to continued progress.
On the human level, praise, gifts, money and privileges of various kinds can serve as reinforcers. The most easily applicable reinforcer is simply knowledge of results. When a human learner emits a response, and this response is then shown to be correct, this knowledge of results is found to reinforce with sufficient potency to obviate any other “rewards.”33
7. Emphasizing individual progress: Most teachers use a variety of techniques for keeping students informed of their progress. The important aspect here is not the record keeping itself but the appropriate utilization of such information. The major emphasis of these records is to keep each child informed of his current progress in relation to his past performances.
8. Teacher attitudes: The teacher’s own attitude toward spelling is an important factor in determining her students’ attitudes and consequently how well they learn to spell. Enthusiastic, sympathetic teachers often get good results even though they do not otherwise make use of the most efficient learning procedures. Conversely, teachers who use efficient procedures, but in a mechanical way without enthusiasm or sympathetic understanding of the needs of individual students, get poor results. There is no reason why enthusiasm, sympathy, and efficiency should not be combined.
Closely related to the above teacher-student relationship is the portrayal of the teacher as a role model. The interaction of children with warm, nurturing adults usually results in at least a modicum of identification. If these adults are highly motivated toward competence, the students then tend to assume the same attitudes. If the teacher can be such an individual, she increases the level of motivation of her students. By providing a day-to-day working model with whom students can interact, she becomes someone whose standards they respect. The teacher who recognizes her potential influence will strive to establish the quality of relationship which will facilitate identification and also manifest the enthusiasm and learning habits which merit adoption by the student.
9. Peer interaction and socialization: Peer interaction also offers numerous possibilities for use in facilitating learning. Teachers should create spelling activities that permit students to work in pairs or small groups. These groups may work together to discover spelling rules and patterns or to gather information about words which will assist them in learning more readily. They may play games or apply practice techniques that will make the spelling of words more automatic. Tutoring and testing can be carried on efficiently; and when care is exercised in setting up pairs and groups, high levels of motivation can be maintained.
Spelling Power is Research Based
The teaching strategies and techniques described in the two parts of this article are in no way intended to be a complete list of the key ingredients of an effective curriculum, nor do they represent the only factors included in the Spelling Power program. They do, however, represent those factors which have been universally proven, yet frequently ignored, in the creation of other spelling programs. I have highlighted them in this article to bring them to your attention so you will understand their relevance to the Spelling Power program’s effectiveness.
The Spelling Power program has been designed to meet the requirements of effective spelling instruction (as established by reliable, proven research) some of which has been summarized in this article. Spelling Power constitutes a complete spelling curriculum, for age eight through college level. Using this program, any student (within a class or family) may start where he is and move ahead as fast and as far as his learning rate and capacity will let him to reach the program’s objectives.
The Spelling Power program helps your student reach the Spelling Learning Objectives (listed in Part I (The Basic Approaches to Teaching Spelling) of this article) by providing him with an integration of the three basic approaches to spelling instruction along with strategies, techniques, and principles discussed in this article. Research has overwhelmingly and consistently shown when you combine all of these elements your student to become an efficient, excellent speller.