Word spelling assessment using ICT: The effect of presentation modality

Menelaos Sarris, Chris Panagiotakopoulos

Abstract


Up-to-date spelling process was assessed using typical spelling-to-dictation tasks, wherechildren’s performance was evaluated mainly in terms of spelling error scores. In the presentwork a simple graphical computer interface is reported, aiming to investigate the effects ofinput modality (e.g. visual and verbal) in word spelling. The software was constructed withthe view to measuring both spelling error and production time scores. The main purpose wasto not only to examine spelling strategies used by primary school children, but also to provideeducators with a useful tool that incorporates ICT technology. Within this framework, teacherscould exploit the benefits of computerised spelling assessment and adjust their teachingmethods towards a more effective approach of helping children master spelling skills. Theresults indicate that the presentation format has no impact on accessing abstract wordrepresentations, yet it accounts for variations in both time production scores and spellingerrors. Spelling in Greek, albeit being a relatively consistent orthographic writing system,seems to pose difficulties to young spellers. Our data suggest that the particularities of theGreek orthography may need to be tackled using other than the standard spelling-to-dictationtask used in primary schools. Computer-assisted teaching methods could exploit theirflexibility in presenting different input modalities and therefore serve as a useful tool inteaching spelling.

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