This PaTTAN webinar, “Teaching Spelling to Intermediate Poor Spellers: It’s Never Too Late,” with Dr. Louisa Moats, discusses explicit, structured language teaching for grades 3-5 students who struggle with spelling. Dr. Moats emphasizes understanding English orthography through five lenses: the language of origin, grapheme-phoneme correspondences, arbitrary letter order and sequence patterns, and morphology. She presents a case study of a dyslexic sixth-grade student and identifies phonological challenges and the need for instruction in advanced orthographic patterns and morphological structures. Poor phonology can hinder spelling, making the orthographic mapping process problematic. Dr. Moats suggests weaving phonological, orthographic, morphological, and syntactic layers together in instruction and providing practice for generalization. The webinar offers examples of lessons and activities to support struggling spellers, aiming to develop their spelling skills effectively.
The strategies discussed in this webinar align with the curriculum expectations in B2 for Language Foundations for Reading and Writing, specifically Word-Level Reading and Spelling: Applying Phonics, Orthographic, and Morphological Knowledge. Phonics knowledge, phonemic blending, and segmentation are crucial for improving reading and spelling. Developing orthographic knowledge aids in accurate pronunciation and spelling choices. Utilizing morphological knowledge and common morphemes enhances reading and spelling. The structured approach involves phonological, orthographic, morphological, and syntactic layers. Ample practice helps students generalize spelling skills to their writing. This webinar provides educators with effective strategies and a structured approach to teaching spelling, empowering them to support poor spellers in grades three and above by focusing on phonics, orthographic, and morphological knowledge, thereby enhancing students' reading and spelling abilities.