A survey to determine writing vocabulary and spelling ability of children in grades II to VII inclusive



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Of the many vocabulary studies which have been made in recent years, few have been directly concerned with the scientific determination of children’s writing vocabulary in and out of school, as shown by their spontaneous writing at different grade levels. A definite need for the exploration of this field has been expressed by educators nationally. This study was, therefore, undertaken in accordance with the following recommendations made by the Committee on Spelling as found in the fourth Yearbook of the National Education Association, Department of Superintendence, 1926: I. A more extensive study should be made of the writing vocabulary used by school children in and out of school. The present studies are either inaccurate or too limited. II. A more adequate count is needed of the vocabulary of children at different ages. The purpose of this study was to carry out an investigation: 1. To determine the number of words used by children in writing letters, according to grade level; 2. To determine the richness and scope of children’s vocabularies; 3. To determine frequency of words used by children; 4. To determine which words the children wish to use, but are unable to spell; 5. To determine which words are most frequently misspelled; 6. To make this a comparative study of grades II to VII inclusive. In order to carry out these investigations, a survey was made of the writing vocabulary of elementary school children from every section of Texas in grades II to VII inclusive as revealed by their spontaneous letters