What Happens When a Teacher Uses Metalanguage to Teach Spelling?

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While learning to spell in English is integral to becoming a literate writer, it is a complex and gradual skill to master. If English spelling is understood from a phonological, orthographic, and morphological perspective, its transparency becomes evident. The case study described in this article shines a light on an Australian Year 4 classroom teacher and one of the students in the class. It illustrates the importance of teacher knowledge in the linguistics of spelling and how teachers can apply their content and pedagogical knowledge to encourage children to talk about the spelling strategies they use. Teachers who model and encourage the use of metalanguage while integrating spelling instruction with meaningful reading and writing experiences can empower students to build autonomy and confidence in their spelling.




Daffern, T. (2017). What Happens When a Teacher Uses Metalanguage to Teach Spelling? Reading Teacher, 70(4), 423–434. https://doi.org/10.1002/trtr.1528

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