A Closer Look at Spelling in the Primary Classroom

by Grace Oakley and Janet Fellowes

Chapter 5 - Assessment of spelling


In this chapter we discuss the purposes of assessment and describe key principles and techniques of spelling assessment. We also outline some issues in spelling assessment that the research literature raises. In addition, we provide examples of spelling assessment processes used in the classroom, some of which employ new technologies. As in any other learning areas, the assessment of spelling should be fair, educative, valid, comprehensive, and varied (McMillan, 2000). It should also be embedded in, or closely linked to, the spelling curriculum. Multiple assessments need to be used to assess students’ spelling progress, and these need to be conducted on an ongoing basis to allow the teacher to build a clear and accurate understanding of each student’s learning. Thus, assessment should be seen as a process rather than an isolated act.

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