University of Iowa

Predicting Kindergartners' End of Year Spelling Ability from Their Reading, Alphabetic, Vocabulary, and Phonological Awareness Skills, and Prior Literacy Experiences


This study examined the role of home literacy, parental education, and demographic factors in addition to conventional literacy skills at the beginning and end of kindergarten in predicting end-of-kindergarten spelling achievement. The study involved 9 schools and 29 classrooms serving an economically and ethnically diverse population (N = 288). Students spelled three types of words: sight words, decodable real words, and decodable pseudowords; spellings were scored to allow partial credit for invented spelling. Results from a three-step hierarchical regression indicated the variables accounted for 66% of the variance in spelling scores, with the single strongest spring predictor being a 1-minute letter-sound fluency test. Implications for instruction and for identifying students at risk for spelling and reading difficulties are discussed.


Al Otaiba, S., Puranik, C., Rouby, D. A., Greulich, L., Folsom, J. S., & Lee, J. (2010). Predicting kindergartners' end of year spelling ability from their reading, alphabetic, vocabulary, and phonological awareness skills, and prior literacy experiences. Learning Disabilities Quarterly, 33(3), 171-184.

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