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SHOOT THE MESSENGER AND DISREGARD THE MESSAGE? CHILDREN’S ATTITUDES TOWARD SPELLING

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Children’s attitudes toward spelling were assessed using a person perception paradigm. Second, fourth, and sixth graders read stories that either were spelled correctly or contained misspellings. After reading each story, the participants completed an attitude questionnaire assessing attitudes toward the message and the messenger. Results indicated that even second graders had a negative attitude toward both the message and the messenger as a function of misspellings and that children’s negative attitudes increased across grades. However, negative attitudes were specific to the task; children did not hold more negative attitudes toward math ability of the author or likeability of the story and the author as a function of misspellings. As well, attitude was related to spelling ability; better second-grader spellers had more negative attitudes than did less able second graders.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Univeristy of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Publication date: April 1, 2000

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