Incidental and informal methods of learning to spell should replace more traditional and direct instructional procedures, according to advocates of the natural learning approach. This proposition is based on 2 assumptions: (a) Spelling competence can be acquired without instruction and (b) reading and writing are the primary vehicles for learning to spell. There is only partial support for these assumptions. First, very young children who receive little or no spelling instruction do as well as their counterparts in more traditional spelling programs, but the continued effects of no instruction beyond first grade are unknown. Second, reading and writing contribute to spelling development, but their overall impact is relatively modest. Consequently, there is little support for replacing traditional spelling instruction with the natural learning approach.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology