African American english and spelling

How do second graders spell dialect-sensitive features of words?

Nicole Patton-Terry, Carol Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study explored the spelling skills of African American second graders who produced African American English (AAE) features in speech. The children (N = 92), who varied in spoken AAE use and word reading skills, were asked to spell words that contained phonological and morphological dialect-sensitive (DS) features that can vary between AAE and print- and dialect-neutral (DN) orthographic patterns that do not. Analyses indicated that all children had more difficulty spelling DS than DN features, especially the regular past-tense inflection. Struggling readers had more difficulty spelling both features, after controlling for differences in AAE use. Children in both groups made few AAE-related errors. A significant, though weak, negative correlation was also found between AAE use and spelling of DS features. The findings indicate that linguistic variation should be considered in the differential diagnosis of spelling disorders among African American children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-210
Number of pages12
JournalLearning Disability Quarterly
Volume33
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 16 2010
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

dialect
African Americans
American
Linguistics
Reading
Differential Diagnosis
linguistics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Education

Cite this

African American english and spelling : How do second graders spell dialect-sensitive features of words? / Patton-Terry, Nicole; Connor, Carol.

In: Learning Disability Quarterly, Vol. 33, No. 3, 16.08.2010, p. 199-210.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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