Reading and Writing

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 145–163

How poor readers and spellers use interactive speech in a computerized spelling program

  • Barbara W. Wise
  • Richard K. Olson

DOI: 10.1007/BF01027489

Cite this article as:
Wise, B.W. & Olson, R.K. Read Writ (1992) 4: 145. doi:10.1007/BF01027489


The ‘Spello’ program was designed to use interactive speech feedback on a talking-computer system to improve children's spelling and phonological skills. In two versions of the program, the synthesizer pronounced the word to be spelled and the student tried to type in the word correctly. Both versions of the program showed the students which letters were correct in their spelling attempts. One version pronounced only the target word, as often as the child requested. The other version also provided intermediate speech feedback for children's spelling attempts, so they could hear how their own attempts sounded, and compare them to the target word. Twenty-eight children aged seven to fourteen studied 16 words they had misspelled on pretests and 16 words of related word structure. For children ten years or older, training with intermediate speech feedback led to greater benefits in phonological coding skills than training with word-only feedback, reflected in the ability to read nonsense words related in structure to the trained words. Intermediate speech feedback also led to a marginally significant advantage in spelling the trained words. When the groups switched conditions, however, there was no difference in their tested skills after a second week of training.


Computerized spelling training programInteractive speech feedbackPrintsound relationship



Reading with orthographic and speech segmentation


Wide range achievement tests of spelling and reading

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara W. Wise
    • 1
  • Richard K. Olson
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ColoradoUSA