Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Elementary Education


Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education


College of Education


Molinari, Louis


English language--Orthography and spelling; Spelling ability--Testing


Elementary Education and Teaching


The purpose of this study was to determine if implementing a word study spelling program in a differentiated classroom could improve students' long-term retention of spelling words. This study compared a word study program with a more traditional spelling approach. The findings of the experiment indicated that no significant difference existed between the two different methods of instruction.

After receiving parental permission, the study began in a third grade classroom with 20 students. A pretest/posttest design was used in two phases. Phase I of the study used a traditional spelling approach using basal words obtained from the Scholastic reading series. Phase I implemented a word study spelling approach, which used individualized spelling lists derived from a spelling inventory. Approximately three weeks passed within each phase between the pretest and posttest in order to establish retention levels. These results were calculated after both phases were completed and the difference scores in each phase were compared. Also, a non-independent t-test was used to further analyze if one method of instruction provided better levels of retention than the other.

Although the study provided the examiner with comprehensible results, possible recommendations were discussed and further research was suggested.