The impact of invented spelling on early spelling and reading


  • Margarida Alves Martins
  • Ana Albuquerque
  • Liliana Salvador
  • Cristina Silva



early reading, invented spelling, spelling programme


Various authors argue that invented spelling activities with preschool-age children help them to analyse the oral segments of words and to discover the relations between those segments and the corresponding letters. Several studies have shown the impact of invented spelling programmes on early spelling, but few experimental ones have looked at the impact of invented spelling on early reading. Our aim was to assess the impact of an invented spelling programme on children’s early spelling and reading. We worked with 108 five-year-old Portuguese children who were not able to read or write. Their initial cognitive ability, knowledge of letters and phonological awareness were controlled. Children were randomly divided into an experimental and a control group. They were evaluated in a pre- and a post-test in which they were asked to write and read a set of words. The experimental group participated in a 5-week invented spelling programme. We expected the experimental group to have better post-test scores than the control group. Data analysis showed statistically significant differences between the two groups, with the experimental one having better results in spelling and reading than the control group, supporting the idea that the acquisition of spelling and reading may be mutually facilitative.



How to Cite

Martins, M. A., Albuquerque, A., Salvador, L., & Silva, C. (2013). The impact of invented spelling on early spelling and reading. Journal of Writing Research, 5(2), 215–237.