In the case of high attaining, phonemically aware, bilingual Year One children, can spelling tests using phonemically irregular words be an effective strategy in order to improve spelling?
Poor spelling can stifle creativity and limit the range of vocabulary that young children may attempt to use, which will in turn limit the quality of their writing. Many schools look to utilise spelling tests as a strategy designed to improve spelling despite valid criticism from educational psychologists and linguists for being anachronistic and incompatible with the way that pupils actually learn to spell (see the work of Charles Read who describes spelling as a creative skill). Yet could spelling tests aid pupils learning with English as an Additional Language considering their potential lack of exposure to written English morphology? This study observed notable improvement in target language spelling in both experimental and naturalistic conditions even 4 weeks after initial testing. However, the impact on promoting a broader range of spelling strategies and in particular morphological awareness appears more limited.