Teachers who understand that spelling is a complex developmental process can help students acquire spelling competency. Initially, the teacher must recognize five stages of spelling development. Once the stages are identified, the teacher can provide opportunities for children to develop cognitive strategies for dealing with English orthography, and assess the pupil's development. This article demonstrates a scheme for categorizing spelling development and shows ways to foster pupils' spelling competency. In doing so, it integrates important work by Bissex (1980), spelling researchers, and reading/language researchers over the past decade.
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