Title page for ETD etd-09232004-105149

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Herold, Marina
URN etd-09232004-105149
Document Title The use of word prediction as a tool to accelerate the typing speed and increase the spelling accuracy of primary school children with spelling difficulties
Degree M (Augmentative and Alternative Communication)
Department Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Advisor Name Title
Dr J Bornman
Prof E Alant Supervisor
  • keystroke reduction
  • on-screen keyboard
  • word approximations
  • spelling accuracy; spelling difficulties
  • word completion
  • word prediction
  • writing support
  • Graded Word Spelling Test
  • functional writing
Date 2004-08-09
Availability unrestricted
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.

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  02appendices.pdf 3.72 Mb 00:17:13 00:08:51 00:07:45 00:03:52 00:00:19

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