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This research investigated “Challenges faced by regular teachers in some selected schools in Tombel.” The main research question of the study was, do regular teachers face problems in teaching children with spelling problems? The research design used in the work was the descriptive survey research design while the study consisted of only pupils with spelling problems from Government school Tombel Group One and Two, catholic school Tombel, Government School Ngapand Presbyterian School Tombel. The population size of teachers who answered the questionnaires concerning the pupils was 50.10 per school. The closed ended questionnaire was used and the major findings revealed that teachers face challenges in teaching children with spelling problems as/ home background is a major cause of spelling problems, likewise teachers teaching methods also is a cause of spelling problems again, children are also unable to discriminate certain sound and words. Inattentiveness is also a cause of spelling problems in pupils.






1.0 Introduction


Education process develops an individual intellectually, emotionally, spiritual and physically so that all may become fully participating members of the community (Tambo 2003). Children face spelling problems at the elementary level which makes them unable to read and spell at the upper level. We shall also discuss some of the challenges faced by regular teachers in teaching children with spelling problems in the write up accordingly.




1.1 Background To The Study


A teacher is on who impacts knowledge to a learner. If they do not enjoy what they are doing, the students will be able to tell. They also must enjoy being around their students. A teacher who cares for their students is going to help that individual succeed in their life in the future. Teachers are of various categories namely regular teachers and special teachers. The former are the normal teachers while the latter are those who have been trained to handle special needs. As for the regular teachers they teach using didactic materials, teaching methods and try to solve problems of special needs children even though they have not had a training on special education. Therefore, they would obviously face problems in teaching children with spelling problems which would be seen in the write up. And the sound is straight forward as each letter or letter combination almost always represents one certain sound. The way in which letters are arranged in sequence to produce the pronunciation of a word is referred as spelling or orthography. In some languages, the correspondence between the letter.


White Smoke (2002), the way in which letters are arranged in sequence to produce the pronunciation of a word is referred to as spelling or orthography. In some languages, such as Spanish, the correspondence between the letter and the sound is fairly straight forward as each letter or letter combination almost always represents one certain sound. For example, compare the Spanish maleta with its English equivalent suitcase. The pronunciation of the vowels a and e in the former remains relatively constant across words, whereas that of u, i, a, and e in the latter is far from being stable across the English vocabulary, the largest and richest of all languages.


During the rather complex history of English, the language has been subjected to numerous influences that resulted in it actually becoming a mixture of other languages, benefiting from abundant contributions to its vocabulary, but also blending different spelling systems. These contribute to the irregular and sometimes incredibly inconsistent and confusing spelling of the written language, which in turn interacts with a varied and sometimes unpredictable pronunciation. In order to master English spelling, one needs to learn a great many spelling rules and be aware of the numerous possible letter combinations.


One of the most notorious inconsistencies among letter-sound correspondences is represented in the various sounds of the letter combination ough. Robert A. Heinlein in his novel The Door into summer came up with the following sentence to demonstrate this: “Though the tough cough and hiccough plough him through.” Though is pronounced as slow, tough as huff, and cough rhymes with off. Hiccough is pronounced as cup, plough as how, and through rhymes with you. Such spelling inconsistencies were ridiculed by playwright George Bernard Shaw, who suggested that the word fish should be spelled ghoti, as gh would stand for f (laugh), o for i (woman in the plural as pronounced /wimin/) and ti would replace sh (as in nation).


However still, despite the bad reputation English spelling suffers from, hundreds of millions of English learners all over the world have managed to overcome it as they strive to improve their knowledge of the undisputed international language, used daily on millions of Internet sites – all in English. A perfect tool to help you in the process of mastering English spelling is the White Smoke online grammar and English writing software, which relies on cutting edge artificial intelligence algorithms that provide contextual proofreading any text you write in any application.


When the Anglo-Saxons started arriving at the British Isles around the 5th century AD, the Germanic roots of their language gradually created the core of Old English vocabulary, similar to modern German words, such as father, mother, daughter, son, under, hand, house, and cow. These were originally spelled and pronounced differently, but were transformed due to later linguistic changes. Additional contact with the language of the indigenous Celts and ongoing word borrowing from Latin speaking merchants, Roman conquerors and Christian monks have resulted in more words that integrated different spelling systems (street, plant, altar, kitchen, butter, wine).


The Viking invasions of the 9th century brought an influx of spelling conventions from Old Norse, which in addition to contributing words such as want, take and sky also caused the Old English word schirt to be written as both shirt and skirt, with the meaning of the two later diverging to denote two different pieces of clothing. Middle English saw a dramatic influence on English spelling with a torrent of Norman-French words coming into use starting from the 11th century. It is estimated that about 40% of currently used English words are derived from French, which has obviously brought with it yet additional spelling conventions (not changed for reasons of prestige), and word roots and suffixes that formed longer English words than before (parliament, justice, ornament, pleasure, establishment, foundation etc.)


Printing was at its early stages and there was still no set spelling standard, which would only later be canonized in dictionaries and language manuals. Divergent spellings for the same word occurred very often, sometimes even in the same sentence. This resulted, for instance, in the letter o bearing three different pronunciations in l ove, grove, and prove; the consonant digraph th replacing older letters; and o sounding like u in come, son and love.


From the 15th century onwards, the phonological phenomenon known as the Great Vowel Shift caused numerous vowel pronunciations to change into those more familiar to us today and thus marked the transition into Early Modern English. The spelling, however, remained as it was and still represented the Middle English pronunciation, adding another dimension to the bewildering English spelling saga.


Instead of initiating a full realignment of English spelling according to commonly accepted conventions, the expansion of printing has actually fossilized both old and new irregularities with remnants from all the language sources, which by then had been contributing to the ever-growing English vocabulary. The additional silent “magic” e, common to many words in English, followed these developments, in addition to the ough conundrum, illustrated above.


The English Renaissance of the 16th century boosted a renewed interest in classical Greek and Latin, bringing in a new wave of borrowed words, either with their original spelling (a now silent b in debt to resemble the Latin debitum, s in island as in Latin insula instead of Norse igland) or anglicised along the lines of the new spelling practices. This again amounted to yet further spelling diversity in words such as democracy, theory, physics, and rhythm from Greek (y in the middle of a word indicates Greek origin); medicine, library, recipe, conviction, and index from Latin.


The rise in education, printing and reading; English replacing Latin in church services; upward social mobility, and increased communication among the different parts of English society were some of the initial steps to finally start bringing order to the English spelling chaos, which by now had been set in print.


The publication of the first significant English dictionary by Samuel Johnson in 1755 and others that followed, the publication of the King James Bible in 1611, and the literary works of William Shakespeare mark the onset of Modern English. As written communication was becoming more prevalent, there was less leeway for spelling deviance. The British economy and naval trade prospered, allowing for culture and science to flourish, ever contributing to the development and enrichment of the printed lexicon. The 19th century revolutionized science and technology and gave rise to even more words, prefixes and suffixes from classical languages (cholesterol, telegraph, telephone, cyanide, and philanthropist).


The British colonization of America and other imperialist ventures around the globe allowed English to literally usurp a great deal of languages for more and more words that still keep spicing up English orthography with spelling irregularities. A major development following the global expansion of English is the spelling differences between British and American English, initially instigated by the publication of Noah Webster’s American Dictionary in 1828.


Words are constantly being added to the English language and are transcribed using the Roman alphabet (mustang, algebra, bungalow, samurai, and voodoo, to name a few). The global mass media and the Internet constantly bring world cultures and languages into dynamic interaction that yields more diversity and richness in every aspect of our lives. The lexical and orthographical richness of English is a challenge worth overcoming in the quest for proficiency in the language common to us all.


The program developed by Leigh retained conventional spellings but, for the first time, the sound a letter represented, not its name, was the entree to reading and spelling words. The sound of each letter was pronounced and then blended together to produce the word. For example, when seeing CAT the child now pronounced the sound of each letter /kuh/-/a/-/tuh/ and blended or fused these sounds into the complete word /cat/. Similarly, when spelling sounds and the coded each sound with the appropriate letter or combination of letters word that pronounced orally, the child first isolated the individual in the latter half century 20th century, research in the filled of linguistics began to reveal that English orthography (the spelling patterns) represented logical and predictable relationships rooted in semantics (word meaning) as phonology (speech sounds). Extensive research conducted within this linguistic framework supported the conclusion that English spelling represented a morph phonological system, where in the letter symbols relate to the speech units of the language but the structural or meaning units (e.g, roots and affixes) determine spelling and pronunciation – the words look similar even if they are pronounced differently (Crowder and Wagner, 1992).


Subsequently, as an outgrowth of extensive research conducted in the McGuffey reading clinic at the university of Virginia, an approach to spelling instruction was developed that elucidated three layers of information in the spelling system: the alphabetic or letter-sound layer; the pattern layer (which links variant spelling of a sound to its position in a syllable). Research over the past 20 years had addressed the question of how we learned learn to spell from a variety of theoretical perspectives, resulting in two theories that attempt to explain the underlying mental processes involved in spelling and two that attempt to explain how people learn to spell. Arising out of this body of research are a few common conclusions that have relevance for adult literacy instruction:


Both visual and auditory systems play important roles in learning to spell.

Learning to spell proceeds in a predictable, developmental sequence.

Phonological processing abilities are essential for growth in spelling.

Reading experience supports spelling development.

Pronunciation of words affects spelling accuracy.

Analysis of spelling errors is useful for assessing spelling status and differentiating instruction for clusters of students having similar skill needs.

Direct instruction involving letter-sounds associations, syllable structures, spelling patterns and dedication forms is essential and is most effective when coupled with reading and writing activities that are personally meaningful.

Teaching children with spelling problems comes with a lot of challenges faced by regular teachers. Here we have two issues as stake. The teachers and the pupils. The manner in which the teacher presents his/her concept and the way the pupils receive and retain the concept. Therefore, teachers need to break all the barriers or challenges in order for pupils to assimilate the lesson properly.


In this work we are going to use the following theories namely Albert Bandura’s social learning theory (1994-1995). The behavior theory by Ivan Pavlov (1849-1946) and the orthographical theory and practice (1986).


According to J. Richard Gentry (Heinemann 2004), good teaching of spelling may be coordinated in a teaching framework for teaching words, teaching spelling patterns, teaching strategies, and teaching important spelling principles or rules. Automatic and correct mastery of appropriate words at each grade level aids spellers in developing knowledge and predictability of spelling patterns as well as in developing knowledge of the strategies they need to spell even those words that are not studied formally. This section seeks to present a comprehensive framework appropriate for instruction during phase II, when children are adding new entities to the dictionary in their brains and learning new patterns and strategies that can be generalized, in adding new vocabulary words that fit known spelling patterns and increasing the number of words their brain recognize and retrieve automatically and correctly. The framework includes explicit study of words presented in word list form, explicit study of regular patterns that can be generalized, and focus on effective strategies, the teaching of a few good rules and the connection of spelling with other content areas, with an emphasis on connecting spelling to writing. It includes whole group, small group, and individual instruction. The framework is writing based and includes the study of misspelled words gleaned from children’s independent writing




1.2 Statement Of The Problem


Persons with spelling problems are often seen helpless b the society and as a burden by families and teachers. They face problems in schools, at home in their community and in the world at large. They are always lost and confused. Even with the aid of the teacher, teaching        sound and word building, pronunciation of letters and words, they are still unable to spell. It is against this backdrop that a study on challenges faced by regular teachers, in teaching children with spelling problems in some selected schools in Tombel was proposed and carried out.




1.3 Propose Of The Study


1.3.1 General Objective


To examine challenges faced by teachers, in teaching children with spelling problems in some selected schools in Tombel.


1.3.2 Specific Objectives


To determine if home background has an impact on persons with spelling problems.

To find out if the teacher’s teaching method had an impact on person with spelling problems

To identify if discrimination by the teacher has an impact on person with spelling problems

To investigate if inattentiveness by pupils had an effect on person with spelling problems


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