Graham, S., Santangelo, T. (2014) Does spelling instruction make students better spellers, readers, and writers? A meta-analytic review. Reading and Writing October 2014, Volume 27, Issue 9, pp 1703-1743.
Some scholars have argued that spelling should not be directly or formally taught as such instruction is not effective or efficient. The authors conducted a comprehensive meta-analysis of experimental and quasi-experimental studies to address these claims. Results provided strong and consistent support for teaching spelling, as it improved spelling performance when compared to no/unrelated instruction or informal/incidental approaches to improving spelling performance. Increasing the amount of formal spelling instruction also proved beneficial. Gains in spelling were maintained over time and generalized to spelling when writing. Improvements in phonological awareness and reading skills were also found. The positive outcomes associated with formal spelling instruction were generally consistent, regardless of students’ grade level or literacy skills.