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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/7716

Title: Listening-spelling strategies in EFL Arab college students
Authors: Al-Jarf, Reima
Keywords: Listening Spelling
Strategies EFL
Arab College
Issue Date: 4-May-2009
Abstract: Spelling is a complex cognitive activity in which several mental processes are involved. Learning to spell English as a second language involves the correct association of spoken sounds (phonemes) and written symbols (graphemes). The correct association of phonemes and graphemes involves phonological, orthographic, semantic and morphological skills on the part of the ESL student. Identifying the strategies that students employ while spelling English words will help instructors in diagnosing students’ spelling weaknesses, and in planning spelling instruction. A strategy refers to the conscious or unconscious processes which students employ in learning and using a second language. It is the way in which a student attempts to figure out the meanings and uses of words, grammatical or spelling rules. A learning strategy may be applied to simple tasks such as learning a list of new words, or more complex involving language comprehension and production (Richards, Platt & Platt, 1992). In this study, a spelling strategy will refer to the mental processes that ESL students use to represent spoken sounds by written symbols. Spelling strategies were classified by researchers in different ways. For example, Beers, Beers and Grant (1977) classified the strategies that children in grades 1 to 4 use in spelling English into: a letter-name strategy, the addition of an incorrect vowel after a correct vowel, using their own concept of silent vowels after long vowels, the incorrect substitution of a short vowel for another short vowel. Spelling strategies that kindergarten, first and second grade children use in spelling L1 were classified by Gentry (1978) into a correct strategy, a transitional strategy, a phonetic strategy, a prephonetic strategy and a deviant strategy. Lennox and Spiegel (1996) identified two spelling strategies: phonological and visual strategies. They defined a phonological strategy as the process in which spelling is based on the relationship between letters and sounds in English. In a visual strategy, the students use a process of direct lexical access. They replicate the form of a word using orthographic memory with no intermediate phonological skills. A review of the spelling literature has revealed that the strategies that students use in L1 spelling were investigated by several studies. Silva & Yarborough (1990) classified spelling errors. Nolen and McCartin (1985) examined the spelling strategies of first through fifth grade students on the Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT). Stuart (1990) investigated processing strategies in a phoneme deletion task. Stuart explored the factors that govern the use of phonological and orthographic strategies in a difficult consonant deletion task by 23 nine-year-old children. Other researchers investigated the spelling strategies that students with learning or spelling difficulties use. Anderson (1985) discussed the errors and strategies of good and poor spellers ranging from middle school to adult age. Sahu and Jena (1986) examined the 2 spelling strategies of advantaged and disadvantages second and fifth grade children. Stirling (1989) investigated the spelling strategies (vowel sounds, doubling, root word, law of probabilities) for the adolescent dyslexic. Perin (1982) investigated the spelling strategies of good and poor readers of 60 15-16 year olds and 34 adult literacy students. Anderson (1991) described young children's spelling strategies. Lennox and Spiegel (1996) investigated the phonological and visual strategies that average and poor spellers between the ages of 6 and 16 use in spelling English.A review of the ESL literature has shown that studies that investigate the strategies that college students use in spelling English as a second or foreign language are lacking. Therefore, the purpose of the present study is to identify the general and specific strategies that Arabic-speaking freshmen students in general and good and poor spellers in particular use in spelling English as a second language. More specifically, the study will try to identify the kinds of general and specific reversal, substitution, omission and insertion strategies that freshmen students use in whole word spelling errors and in faulty graphemes. Moreover, the study will find out whether there is a significant difference between good and poor spellers in the insertion, deletion, reversal and insertion strategies that they use in ESL spelling.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/7716
Appears in Collections:College of Education

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