Authors: Berninger, V.W., Lee, Y., Abbott, R.D. et al.

Article: Teaching children with dyslexia to spell in a reading-writers’ workshop..

Publication: Annals of Dyslexia (Springer). 63, pages1–24 2013 | DOI: 10.1007/s11881-011-0054-0


To identify effective treatment for both the spelling and word decoding problems in dyslexia, 24 students with dyslexia in grades 4 to 9 were randomly assigned to treatments A (n = 12) or B (n = 12) in an after-school reading-writers’ workshop at the university (thirty 1-h sessions twice a week over 5 months). First, both groups received step 1 treatment of grapheme–phoneme correspondences (gpc) for oral reading. At step 2, treatment A received gpc training for both oral reading and spelling, and treatment B received gpc training for oral reading and phonological awareness. At step 3, treatment A received orthographic spelling strategy and rapid accelerated reading program (RAP) training, and treatment B continued step 2 training. At step 4, treatment A received morphological strategies and RAP training, and treatment B received orthographic spelling strategy training. Each treatment also had the same integrated reading–writing activities, which many school assignments require. Both groups improved significantly in automatic letter writing, spelling real words, compositional fluency, and oral reading (decoding) rate. Treatment A significantly outperformed treatment B in decoding rate after step 3 orthographic training, which in turn uniquely predicted spelling real words. Letter processing rate increased during step 3 RAP training and correlated significantly with two silent reading fluency measures. Adding orthographic strategies with “working memory in mind” to phonics helps students with dyslexia spell and read English words.


Tagged as: letter visualization, orthographic mapping, spell-reading, and spelling


Berninger, V.W., Lee, Y., Abbott, R.D. et al. Teaching children with dyslexia to spell in a reading-writers’ workshop. Ann. of Dyslexia 63, 1–24 (2013).

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