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date: 15 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews empirical findings about children’s spelling development, with a focus on alphabetic writing systems. The chapter describes the extent to which research evidence accords with the predictions made by three prominent models of spelling development: phonological, constructivist, and statistical learning. Within this framework, models are evaluated for their ability to both describe children’s spelling across development and to explain developmental change by specifying underlying mechanisms. The review offers insight into the current state of our knowledge of children’s spelling development, gained through years of impressive empirical research. This work has furthered our understanding of children’s developing sensitivity to spelling regularities based on the phonology, morphology, and orthography of words. Yet the review also highlights a clear need for further research in order to clarify points of disagreement between existing models; this pursuit will benefit from spelling research that covers a greater diversity of writing systems.

Keywords: spelling, phonology, morphology, orthography

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