Word prediction has been offered as support for children with spelling difficulties. The literature however has shown wide-ranging results, as the use of word prediction is at the cost of time and fatigue due to increased visual-cognitive demands. Spelling support with word prediction is through word completion, keystroke reduction and the interactive process between spelling and reading. The research project was a cross-over within-subject design using 80 Grade 4 – 6 children with spelling difficulties in a school for special needs. The research task took the form of entering 30 words through an on-screen keyboard, with and without the use of word prediction software. The subjects were divided into four groups, who completed the research task in combinations of one of two equivalent wordlists and the presentation order of the typing method used. The Graded Word Spelling Test, administered before the study began, served to investigate whether there was a relationship between the children’s current spelling knowledge and word prediction efficacy. The results indicated an increase in spelling accuracy with the use of word prediction, but at the cost of time and the tendency to use word approximations, which decreased as grade and age increased. Children’s current spelling knowledge could not serve as an indicator of who would be most likely to benefit from word prediction use. The cross-over design counter-balanced the effects of the inequalities in the two wordlists and the effects of practice and fatigue noted in the presentation order. Further research into the impact that more extensive training and practice would have on word prediction efficacy and the usefulness of word prediction in more functional writing is necessary.
Dissertation (M (Augmentative and Alternative Communication))--University of Pretoria, 2005.
Liang, Hsuan Lorraine(University of Pretoria, 2009-06-29)
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