A comparison of standardized spelling assessments: Do they measure similar orthographic qualities?

Mary Beth Calhoon, Daphne Greenberg, C. Vincent Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Many students, with and without learning disabilities, have been found to increase their reading skills through the use of data-informed individualized reading intervention; however, less is known about how to use assessments to individualize spelling intervention. Standardized spelling tests commonly assess spelling by asking students to spell the "whole word correctly" from a list of words. While these tests are reliable and valid, the orthographic qualities of each word item have never been examined. This study investigated which orthographic qualities standardized spelling tests measure and whether they measure the same knowledge equally. Five standardized tests and their alternate forms (when available) were compared according to the frequency of the number of syllables, the syllable types, the consonant graphemes types, and the vowel types represented. Results indicated that tests vary in their measurement of orthographic knowledge. These findings provide an initial understanding of the types of information these assessments provide that could inform instruction as well as diagnose learning disabilities. Implications and future directions are discussed with regard to students with learning disabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-170
Number of pages12
JournalLearning Disability Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 16 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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