The Three Paradigms of Spelling Instruction

This research paper uses Taylor-Heald’s article on Three Paradigms of Spelling Instruction in Grades 3 to 6 as a basis for identifying each of the methods.

The following paper describes each method in the article by Taylor-Heald, where three paradigms are identified as the traditional, the transitional and the student-oriented. Each of these paradigms is a model for teaching children the basic and fundamental concept of spelling. This paper examines how each method is utilized and also discusses Taylor-Heald’s view on each of the methods. After looking at each of the methods separately, the writer examines, briefly, the major differences between the methods. It then discusses the implications of each of the methods, including how each method is used and the benefits of each method. This also includes looking at various other research studies that offer perspectives on the teaching of spelling. Finally the paper concludes by showing how the student-oriented approach does appear to be the most promising approach, just as Taylor-Heald suggests.
“The traditional paradigm, as the name suggests, is the main method of instruction that has been used in the American school system to teach spelling and also to teach the basics of language. The method is based on students being taught vocabulary in the form of words that do not relate to each other. These words are random and have no relationship to each other, or to anything else being taught to the students. The teacher gives these words to the students, with the students expected to memorize them and the students are tested on this at the end of the week.This approach assumes that students know nothing at the beginning and that all information must be given to them. This includes the idea that children have no knowledge of words, sounds or language.”