A Comparison of the Frequency and the Types of French Spelling Errors Produced by Students Located in Different Demolinguistic Settings

By Maxine Bélanger, Michèle Minor-Corriveau and Roxanne Bélanger.

Published by The International Journal of Assessment and Evaluation

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Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: July 24, 2015 $US5.00

In this study, the frequency and the types of French spelling errors produced by fifth grade students from Northern Ontario were assessed using “Chronosdictées”, a spelling test standardized in France. This study aims to highlight and compare the types of spelling errors exhibited by francophone populations in majority and minority language settings, while providing normative data that will be available for use in francophone minority language settings. A dictation composed of 6 sentences was given to 82 students from the City of Greater Sudbury (CGS). Data was collected and analyzed according to error type: morpho-syntactic, lexical, phonetic, as well as errors of segmentation and omission. The detailed analysis of these errors revealed that the general frequency of spelling errors more than doubled when the dictation was given to French fifth grade students living in a francophone minority setting (CGS, Canada), compared to those in a predominantly francophone location (Paris, France). In addition, this study revealed the types of spelling errors most frequently produced by fifth grade students from the CGS (morpho-syntactic, lexical and phonetic). Furthermore, a more detailed analysis showed that there was no significant difference between the general means of spelling errors produced by the French fifth grade students from the CGS according to gender or school. The conclusion of this study brings the authors one step closer to standardizing and validating a French spelling assessment tool for French students living in minority settings.

Keywords: Spelling Errors, Linguistics, Morphology, Syntax, Grammar

The International Journal of Assessment and Evaluation, Volume 22, Issue 4, December, 2015, pp.17-27. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: July 24, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 712.056KB)).

Maxine Bélanger

Undergraduate Student, Department of Speech-Language Pathology, Faculty of Professional Schools, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

Dr. Michèle Minor-Corriveau

Assistant Professor, Department of Speech-Language Pathology, Faculty of Professional Schools, Laurentian University – Université Laurentienne, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

Dr. Roxanne Bélanger

Associate Professor, Department of French Studies, Bachelor's Program in Health Sciences - Baccalauréat ès sciences de la santé (orthophonie), Laurentian University - Université Laurentienne, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada