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What do teacher educators know about English spelling?

Abstract

Teachers’ knowledge of literacy has gained considerable interest over the last three.decades, largely with a focus on the basic language constructs of phonological. awareness and phonics. Fewer studies, however, have focused on spelling. Given the. close relationship between reading and spelling and the necessity of an explicit. understanding of the phonological, orthographic, and morphological patterns of English. spelling in the science of teaching reading, the current study examines educators’. knowledge of English spelling. Specifically, this pilot investigation focuses on those. who are teaching the teachers—teacher educators from multiple institutions throughout. the United States, who completed a survey assessing their knowledge and. understanding of the phonological, orthographic, and morphological aspects of English. spelling. Moreover, the survey assessed the 85 teacher educators’ self-efficacy in. teaching spelling and their philosophical stance on spelling instruction. Findings. indicate that the teacher educators feel they were not prepared to teach spelling, although they believed that some of the pivotal characteristics of spelling (i.e., morphological awareness and alphabetic principle) are important in teaching spelling. Additionally, while teacher educators were able to determine some of the correct. spelling patterns, many spelling patterns posed problems for them. Lastly, teacher. educators overall lacked knowledge concerning spelling for diverse learners. Research. and practice implications for teacher education and preparation are discussed.

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Conceptualization: [Ramona T. Pittman] and[Amanda L. Lindner]; Methodology: [Shuai Zhang] Formal analysis and investigation: [Shuai Zhang] and [Emily Binks-Cantrell]; Writing—original draft preparation: [Ramona T. Pittman], [Amanda L. Lindner], [Shuai Zhang], and [Emily Binks-Cantrell]; Writing—review and editing: [R. Malatesha Joshi], [Ramona T. Pittman], [Amanda L. Lindner], [Shuai Zhang], and [Emily Binks-Cantrell]; Funding acquisition: [Not applicable]; Resources: [Not Applicable]; Supervision: [Not applicable].

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Correspondence to Ramona T. Pittman.

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Pittman, R.T., Lindner, A.L., Zhang, S. et al. What do teacher educators know about English spelling?. Read Writ (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-022-10326-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-022-10326-x

Keywords

  • Encoding
  • teacher educators
  • Linguistic diversity
  • Spelling
  • Teacher knowledge