Division of Education
This study assessed the morphological knowledge of kindergarteners and first graders in relation to their early spelling ability. Morphological knowledge was investigated because, in order to spell, children need to understand that words are composed of morphemes and phonemes, and because poor spellers have particular difficulty with inflected forms of words. Kindergarteners and first graders were grouped by their implicit understanding of morphology and were given tests of dictated spelling and morphological analysis. First graders with poor morphological knowledge omitted more inflectional morphemes in spelling and were less able to identify base morphemes in spoken words than kindergarteners and first graders with higher levels of implicit morphological knowledge. The results demonstrate the importance of morphological knowledge in the development of spelling proficiency.
Rubin, H. (1987). The development of morphological knowledge in relation to early spelling ability. Haskins Laboratories Status Report on Speech Research. New Haven, CT: Haskins Laboratories. SR-89/90.
With permission of Haskins Laboratories.