Book review: Spelling and Writing Words: Theoretical and Methodological Advances


  • Mariana G. Cunha University of Porto
  • Rui A. Alves University of Porto



spelling, wordproduction, cognitive processes, bilingual spelling, handwriting


The book Spelling and Writing Words: Theoretical and Methodological Advances, edited by Cyril Perret and Thierry Olive (2019), is an insightful and thorough state-of-the art of the research on written word production and spelling. The works included in this volume are based on the premise that investigating cognitive processes extends our understanding of lexical writing skill. For this purpose, the editors have brought together various researchers that explore many aspects of written word production, so as to provide the reader with updated and in-depth insights on this topic.


Afonso, O., Suárez-Coalla, P., González-Martín, N., & Cuetos, F. (2018). The impact of word frequency on peripheral processes during handwriting: A matter of age. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 71(3), 695–703.

Alves, R. A. (2019). The early steps in becoming a writer: Enabling participation in a literate world. In J. S. Horst and J. von Koss Torkildsen (Eds.), International hand-book of language acquisition (pp. 520–538). Milton Park, UK: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.

Alves, R. A., & Silva, M. (2022). A caligrafia como alavanca do desenvolvimento da escrita. In R. A. Alves and I. Leite (Eds.). Ensino da leitura e da escrita baseado em evidências (pp. 297-308). Porto: Fundação Belmiro de Azevedo.

Bonin, P., Méot, A., Lagarrigue, A., & Roux, S. (2015). Written object naming, spelling to dictation, and immediate copying: Different tasks, different pathways? Quar-terly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 68(7), 1268–1294.

Bonin, P., Roux, S., Barry, C., & Canell, L. (2012). Evidence for a limited-cascading account of written word naming. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 38(6), 1741–1758.

Ehri, L. C. & Nunes, S. R. (2002). The role of phonemic awareness in learning to read. What research has to say about reading instruction (pp. 110-139). Newark, Dela-ware: International Reading Association.

Gillon, G. T. (2004). Phonological awareness: From research to practice. New York: Guilford Press.

Graham, S., & Miller, L. (1979). Spelling research and practice: A unified approach. Focus on Exceptional Children, 12(2).

Graham, S., & Santangelo, T. (2014). Does spelling instruction make students better spellers, readers, and writers? A meta-analytic review. Reading and Writing, 27(9), 1703–1743.

Grosjean, F. (2021). Life as a bilingual: Knowing and using two or more languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. https://doi:10.1017/9781108975490

Isen, A. M., Daubman, K. A., & Nowicki, G. P. (1987). Positive affect facilitates creative problem solving. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52(6), 1122–1131.

Kandel, S., & Perret, C. (2015). How does the interaction between spelling and motor processes build up during writing acquisition? Cognition, 136, 325–336.

LeDoux, J. E. (1992). Emotion and the amygdala. In J. P. Aggleton (Ed.), The amygdala: Neurobiological aspects of emotion, memory, and mental dysfunction (pp. 339–351). Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley-Liss.

Lodge, J. M., Kennedy, G., Lockyer, L., Arguel, A., & Pachman, M. (2018). Understand-ing difficulties and resulting confusion in learning: An Integrative Review. Fron-tiers in Education, 3.

Longcamp, M., Lagarrigue, A., & Velay, J. L. (2010). Contribution de la motricité graphique à la reconnaissance visuelle des lettres. Psychologie Française, 55(2), 181–194.

Longcamp, M., Tanskanen, T., & Hari, R. (2006). The imprint of action: Motor cortex involvement in visual perception of handwritten letters. NeuroImage, 33(2), 681–688.

Longcamp, M., Zerbato-Poudou, M. T., & Velay, J. L. (2005). The influence of writing practice on letter recognition in preschool children: A comparison between handwriting and typing. Acta Psychologica, 119(1), 67–79.

Mangen, A., Anda, L., Oxborough, G., & Brønnick, K. (2015). Handwriting versus key-board writing: Effect on word recall. Journal of Writing Research, 7(2), 227–247.

Mueller, P. A., & Oppenheimer, D. M. (2014). Corrigendum: The pen is mightier than the keyboard. Advantages of longhand over laptop note taking. Psychological Science, 29(9), 1565–1568.

Pacton, S., Sobaco, A., Fayol, M., & Treiman, R. (2013). How does graphotactic knowledge influence children’s learning of new spellings? Frontiers in Psycholo-gy, 4:701.


Pekrun, R. (2005). Progress and open problems in educational emotion research. Learning and Instruction, 15(5), 497–506.

Planton, S., Jucla, M., Roux, F. E., & Démonet, J. F. (2013). The “handwriting brain”: A meta-analysis of neuroimaging studies of motor versus orthographic processes. Cortex, 49(10), 2772–2787.

Poeppel, D., & Hickok, G. (2004). Towards a new functional anatomy of language. Cognition, 92(1–2), 1–12.

Purcell, J. J., Turkeltaub, P. E., Eden, G. F., & Rapp, B. (2011). Examining the central and peripheral processes of written word production through meta-analysis. Frontiers in Psychology, 2:1. https://doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00239

Qu, Q., Damian, M. F., & Li, X. (2016). Phonology contributes to writing: Evidence from a masked priming task. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 31(2), 251–264.

Santangelo,T., & Graham, S. (2016). A comprehensive meta-analysis of handwriting instruction. Educational Psychological Review, 28, 225–265. doi:10.1007/s10648-015-9335-1.

Soulier, L., Simoës-Perlant, A., & Largy, P. (2021). The effect of emotional induction by music on spelling error detection: A study of children and adults. L’Année Psy-chologique, 121, 25-70.

Troia, G. A., & Maddox, M. E. (2004). Writing instruction in middle schools: Special and general education teachers share their views and voice their concerns. Ex-ceptionality, 12(1), 19–37.

Wiley, R. W., & Rapp, B. (2021). The effects of handwriting experience on literacy learning. Psychological Science, 32(7), 1086–1103.



How to Cite

Cunha, M. G., & Alves, R. A. (2022). Book review: Spelling and Writing Words: Theoretical and Methodological Advances. Journal of Writing Research, 14(2), 293–304.



Book review