Robin van Rijthoven

56 Chapter 3 Research among typically developing children pointed out that combining reading and spelling during instruction can be beneficial for both learning to read and learning to spell (Conrad, 2008; De Graaff et al., 2009; Ehri, 2000; Ehri & Wilce, 1987; Ellis & Cataldo, 1990; Fitzgerald & Shanahan, 2000; Ise & Schulte-Körne, 2010; Ouellette & Sénéchal, 2008). Such results emphasise the importance of high-quality bi-directional relationships of orthographic representations in learning to read and spell. As a case in point, Ouellette and Sénéchal (2008) found that children in kindergarten who received combined reading and spelling instruction showed a more analytical approach and better integration of phonological and orthographic knowledge, which benefited their reading as well as their spelling development after a four-week training. A transfer effect from training spelling on reading development has also been evidenced (Conrad, 2008; Ehri, 1989; Graham & Hebert, 2011; Ise & Schulte-Körne, 2010; O’Connor et al., 1995; Ouellette et al., 2017), which suggests that the addition of spelling instruction and practice may result in more refined representations as compared to only focusing on reading abilities. For instance, Ehri (1989) found that better spelling leads to more fluent and automatic word identification skills and thus better word reading accuracy due to the necessity of having high-quality representations for spelling. This necessity arises from the fact that spelling is more difficult to learn than reading (Bosman & Van Orden, 1997; Ehri, 1997; O’Connor et al., 1995). Interventions on reading and spelling There is a large research base on interventions for struggling readers. A recent metaanalysis by Galuschka and colleagues (2014) pointed out that a phonics intervention is generally most effective, with significant effects on word reading and pseudoword reading with a transfer to spelling levels. However, most phonics interventions focus on reading and do not combine reading and spelling instruction in one intervention. Only a few studies investigated the benefits of a phonics through spelling intervention (Galuschka et al., 2014). To begin with, Lovett and colleagues (1989) randomly assigned 178 poor-reading children between the ages of 8 and 13 years to phonics instruction with writing activities, a language stimulation program, or a control condition. Both experimental conditions led to improvement in word reading and writing but not in pseudoword reading. The phonics intervention including writing activities, however, showed better generalization of skills to untrained words. In another study, Lovett and colleagues (1990) tested two versions of phonics instruction with writing activities. In a group of 54 disabled readers, a whole-word training was compared to a whole-word training supplemented with phonological and orthographic recoding. Both conditions included writing activities and showed significant effects on word reading accuracy and fluency