DERET – German Spelling Test for the Fifth and Sixth School Year

Qualitative and quantitative analysis of errors in spelling, to allow different levels of analyses for a heterogeneous population of users

Project description

After finishing the conceptualisation of the DERET 5-6+ the procedure was standardised since November 2009. To develop the DERET 5-6+ the word material and spelling requirements of selected curricula and current school books were analysed in depth. Analyses of the syllabus showed that in addition to writing the ability to identify errors is also a significant learning goal from the fifth year of schooling onward. Thus apart from the spelling tasks a text with errors was developed, in which pupils are required to identify the typical errors for their age-group. Studies on the validity of the text with errors showed that it is a highly economical and objective screening procedure for determining below average spelling achievements.

The focus of the scientific work conducted with the financial support of Hogrefe Publishers is the qualitative analysis of errors, which is to be allowed for in addition to the quantitative analysis of errors. The intention is to provide different levels of analyses for a very large and heterogeneous population of users. To do so the DERET 5-6+ offers two kinds of analyses of errors. The scale analysis, a traditional procedure to analyse errors according to categories of errors, for example, will help teachers to assess the curricular contents that pupils have mastered or not in the domain of spelling ability. Initial analyses of the reliability of categories of errors showed that this approach, propagated especially by linguists, is empirically supported and that the categories of errors can be attributed properties of a scale. In contrast to the primary school level, however, not all of the categories of errors remain empirically important. The DERET 5-6+ is thus based on an age-specifically limited system of categories of errors. The competence analysis based on Reuter-Liehr enables an assessment of the developmental level of the pupils' written language development and the competence level that a therapeutic intervention might need to target. Reuter-Liehr's (2008) language-symptomatic and symptom-oriented concept of supportive intervention postulates a total of seven levels of learning that children have to pass through chronologically during the reading-writing therapy. At present this intervention orientated conception was tested to determine whether it can also be regarded as a general model for writing development and whether it is able to describe the developmental level of writing attained by young secondary school pupils. This analysis is intended to support reading-writing therapists, but also teachers providing remedial instructions in German. The aim is to develop an economic, and with regard to the aims, also an exhaustive method to evaluate data for this very detailed analysis of errors. A Software was being adapted to simplify the evaluation and thus to increase the objectivity and economy of the test.



Project Details

Completed Projects
Department: Education and Human Development
04/2007 – 10/2012
External funding