The effects of morphological instruction on spelling among Hong Kong Chinese primary grade students: A randomized-controlled trial study

The effects of morphological instruction on spelling among Hong Kong Chinese primary grade students: A randomized-controlled trial study

First Author: Shen QIAO -- The University of Hong Kong
Additional authors/chairs: 
Susanna Siu-sze Yeung
Keywords: Morphological Awareness, Spelling, Intervention, Primary education
Abstract / Summary: 

Purpose: This study examined the effects of English morphological instructions on spelling among Hong Kong Chinese-speaking third graders who learn English as a second language.

Method: A cohort of third graders (N=29) were recruited from a local primary school to participate in this study. There were matched on literacy and linguistic measures at pretest and randomly assigned to receive instructions on 1) compounding morphology + derivational morphology; 2) derivational morphology or 3) business-as-usual. A total of 15 sessions (30mins/per session) were delivered by trained research assistants over 8 weeks. Students were assessed on MA tasks (inflectional awareness, derivational awareness and compounding awareness) and spelling tasks before and after the interventions. Children’s non-verbal intelligence were included as a control variable.

Results: Results showed that group 1 outperformed group 2 and group 3 on morphological decomposition task. However, the three groups didn’t differ significantly on spelling measure.

Conclusion: Though the results showed that three groups didn’t differ significantly on spelling measure, the reasons could be the short instruction time and small sample size. Future studies should explore the optimal instruction time and replicate the study in a bigger sample size.