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This study includes a spelling inventory and attitude survey that were administered to pre-service education undergraduates. Analyzed using traditional performance levels as guidelines, no students scored at an independent level, 71% scored within an instructional level, and 29% scored at a frustration level. Inventory results and survey comments demonstrated the students’ heavy reliance on letter/ sound correspondences to guide their attempts at spelling. The majority commented that, as a teacher, they would help struggling spellers by telling them to “sound out the word.” Results suggest that, as future teachers, pre-service students must be instructed beyond the alphabetic stage and shown how to explore the pattern and meaning layers of English.

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