The relationships among orthographic components of word identification and spelling for grades 1-6 Academic Article uri icon


  • Students in grades 1-6 who were part of the norming sample for the Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement took both a word identification task, Reading Decoding, and a spelling test. Each word in both tests was coded for linguistic components: number of phonemes, consonant blends, vowel digraphs, consonant digraphs, r-controlled vowels, silent markers, and regular or irregular pronunciation/spelling of the word. For each student a regression analysis was performed to predict whether the student could successfully pronounce (spell) the word using the linguistic components as predictors. The regression weights were then used in various multivariate analyses along with overall word identification and spelling performance to investigate relationships among the variables. Correlations among the two sets of variables, word identification and spelling linguistic components and achievement, indicated generally high correlations at all grade among linguistic components and achievement, and between word identification and spelling achievement. Structural equation models were developed at each grade, treating linguistic components as exogenous variables and achievements as endogenous. Specific patterns varied at each grade level that appeared to be consistent with instructional emphases at each grade level in both reading and spelling. For example, phonemic length was important at grades 1-2 but not beyond, for both reading and spelling, while components such as vowel digraphs and silent markers vary with grade in their importance for reading and spelling. Word regularity is more important to spelling than reading beyond grade 2, as students encounter increasing difficult spelling words. Regularity in word identification does not appear to play a role in upper grade activities. 1999 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Willson, V. L., Rupley, W. H., Rodriguez, M., & Mergen, S.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Willson, VL||Rupley, WH||Rodriguez, M||Mergen, S

publication date

  • January 1999