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2013 Master's Level Graduate Research Conference

Session I - Session II - Session III

Eye Movements and Orthographic Processing in Unexpectedly Poor Spellers

Spelling has provided a source of frustration for language learners at many stages of the learning process. We expect that our reading skills should match our spelling abilities since the same mechanisms are being used for both processes. When there is a deviation from this expected pattern the individual will show a decrease in ability for one skill and not the other. Visual processing of a word’s spelling and an individual’s spelling ability are connected most clearly for irregularly spelled words (i.e. dough). These words tend to affect the spelling abilities of naturally poor spellers more than good spellers regardless of overall reading ability. In this study good and poor spellers’ visual processing of regularly and irregularly spelled words is analyzed using an eye movement tracker. This processing is linked to both spelling and reading ability. It is hypothesized that individuals with poor spelling ability struggle to process visual information when attempting to learn the spellings of new words. The anticipated results are a reduction in ability to learn spellings for all participants when the words are irregularly spelled, with greater spelling errors for poor spellers than good spellers. The poor spellers are predicted to show more random pathways of fixation when looking at a word they are studying. These results will illustrate the language processing stage that is most responsible for spelling deficits in good readers

Presenter: Maryjo Manzer (College at Brockport) -- mmanz1@brockport.edu
Topic: Psychology - Panel
Location: 219 Hartwell
Time: 9:15 am (Session I)