South African Journal of Education

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Typing speed, spelling accuracy, and the use of word-prediction

M Herold, J Bornman


Children with spelling difficulties are limited in their participation in all written
school activities. We aimed to investigate the influence of word-prediction as a
tool on spelling accuracy and typing speed. To this end, we selected 80 Grade
4 – 6 children with spelling difficulties in a school for special needs to participate
in a research project involving a cross-over within-subject design. 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 Graded Word Spelling Test
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, and no significant
relationship between spelling knowledge and word-prediction efficacy.

Keywords: spelling difficulties; word approximations; word-prediction;
writing support

South African Journal of Education Vol. 28 (1) 2008: pp. 117-134

AJOL African Journals Online