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And Here’s How To Do It!
Early Years K-8 (May, 1985)
Dr. J. Richard Gentry
Professor of Elementary Education and Reading
The teacher’s awareness of children’s developmental spelling progress enables her/him
to respond intelligently and more instructively as children progress toward spelling
competency. A good place to begin gaining a better understanding of the developmental
spelling process is to administer a developmental spelling test.

Administering the Developmental Spelling Test
Administer the developmental spelling test on page 2 to your students. The test is
designed for pupils in the lower elementary grades, but can be administered to students
at upper levels who are experiencing difficulty with spelling. When you administer the
ten-word spelling list, you will obtain spelling that can be categorized into five
developmental stages: (1) precommunicative, (2) semiphonetic, (3) phonetic, (4)
transitional, and (5) conventi