Development of rule-based verb spelling in Dutch students
Although verb spelling is rule-based, it is a relatively difficult aspect of Dutch orthography. Assink (1985) was the first to show that Dutch verb spelling is affected by two factors, namely, frequency of occurrence of the verb and the context in which the verb appears. This study is a developmental follow-up on his work, in which students of two age groups and three different levels of education, that is, students from primary school, secondary school, and university students, participated. It appeared that frequency and context already affect spelling behavior in the early stages of learning to spell. These aspects are still prominent determinants in the group of most experienced and good spellers, albeit the relative contribution of each of the determining factors changed over time. The interpretation of these findings was that verb-spelling performance in Dutch is not just the result of its inherent difficulty, it is also affected by the fact that it requires continuous active monitoring of the spelling process, while being involved in a main literacy activity.
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