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Spelling Facilitates Reading: A Tutorial on the Spell-to-Read Approach.

PURPOSE: According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), prevention, identification, assessment, and intervention of children who are learning to read and write are within the scope of practice for school-based speech-language pathologists (SLPs). Furthermore, for SLPs who work in the school setting, it is not uncommon to have struggling readers and poor spellers on their caseloads. Importantly, for students who have difficulty in spelling, their spelling errors are among the early indicators of dyslexia and can provide a means for identifying readers who may benefit from early intervention. SLPs can both assess spelling skills and implement evidence-based spelling and literacy diagnosis and instruction. Spelling instruction in kindergarten through the high school grades that is heavily grounded in metalinguistic activities can provide access to mental representations of word spellings, pronunciations, and meanings; links between whole-word and phonics approaches to reading instruction; and a foundation for reading fluency and comprehension.

CONCLUSIONS: Learning to spell is essential for learning to read. Accordingly, this tutorial aims to elucidate how to (a) assess and identify phases of spelling development and (b) teach spelling to facilitate reading through a listening-first approach.

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