SPELL-Links:
Research based. Results proven.

Improve K–12 student literacy and education outcomes by introducing a new paradigm of effective structured literacy instruction that produces effective writers and fluent readers with strong comprehension and rich vocabularies. 

The Science Behind the System

Building the Brain for Literacy

SPELL-Links uniquely applies clinical and neurobiological brain research, using speech-to-print word study instruction. Speech-to-print structured literacy instruction leverages the biological organization and wiring of the brain for oral language as the gateway to achieve reading, writing, and spelling success for all K–12 students.

Bringing the Research to You

Receive abstracts of new word study research when you connect with educators and researchers across multiple disciplines via SPELLTalk. This FREE online professional discussion group is dedicated to advancing educators’ understanding of current research and best practices in word study and structured literacy instruction.

Wired for Oral Language

Re-Wired for Written Language

Research & Results

​​​​SPELL-Links Outcome Data: The Impact of Transcription Writing Interventions for First-Grade Students (Reading & Writing Quarterly, 2017)​  In this study conducted by the Florida Center on Reading Research (FCRR), low-performing first grade students who received SPELL-Links intervention in small groups outperformed the control group with moderate effect sizes across different measures of spelling and curriculum-based writing.

Morphological Awareness Intervention with Kindergartners and 1st and 2nd Grade Students from Low Socioeconomic Status Homes: A Feasibility Study (Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in the Schools, 2013) This 9-week study examined the effect of morphological awareness intervention on the morphological awareness and literacy skills of students from low socio-economic status homes using a variety of intervention tasks including meta-linguistic analysis word relatives and manipulation of morphemes, methods featured in SPELL-Links to Reading & Writing. Results showed medium to very large clinically significant gains in morphological awareness and literacy abilities across all participants.

Morphological Awareness Intervention with Kindergartners and 1st and 2nd Grade Students from Low Socioeconomic Status Homes: A Small Efficacy Study (Journal of Learning Disabilities, 2013) This 8-week study examined the effect of morphological awareness intervention on the morphological awareness and reading skills of students from low socioeconomic status homes using a variety of intervention tasks including meta-linguistic analysis word relatives and manipulation of morphemes, methods featured in SPELL-Links to Reading & Writing. Students receiving intervention showed statistically significant gains in morphological awareness with large effect sizes on most measures.

Teaching Literacy Using a Multiple-Linguistic Word-Study Spelling Approach: A Systematic Review (EBP Briefs, 2009) A systematic review of the peer-reviewed quantitative research related to language and literacy outcomes in school-age children using a multiple-linguistic spelling instructional approach. Studies that used SPELL-Links to Reading & Writing activities are included in this review.

The Spelling Sensitivity Score: Representing Increases in Accuracy and Complexity (ASHA, 2009) The Spelling Sensitivity Score (SSS), based on the SPELL & SPELL-Links prescriptive and multi-linguistic word study model, represents what children’s spellings reveal about their word study knowledge and captures developmental changes in children’s literacy performance. 

​​Classroom Implementation of the Multi-linguistic Model for Literacy Instruction (ASHA, 2008) This three-year project examined the effects of the SPELL & SPELL-Links prescriptive and multi-linguistic word study model for grades 3–5. The project found that SPELL-Links improves nonsense and real word decoding, as well as spelling accuracy in writing samples. 

Criterion Validity of the Spelling Performance Evaluation for Language and Literacy – SPELL (ASHA, 2006) The criterion validity of SPELL spelling assessment software is established by its significant correlation with the Test of Written Spelling-4 and the Woodcock Diagnostic Reading Battery.

Outcomes Report: SPELL-Links to Reading & Writing (Language and Literacy Learning in Schools, 2004) Third and fourth grade students who received nine weeks of SPELL-Links to Reading & Writing word study and structured literacy instruction demonstrated large, statistically significant gains in spelling skills in comparison to students who received traditional spelling instruction.​

Outcomes Report: SPELL & SPELL-Links to Reading & Writing (Communication Disorders Quarterly, 2004) A fourth grade student showed significant gains in spelling and decoding skills after receiving the SPELL assessment and nine weeks of word study intervention using the structured literacy instruction methods of the SPELL-Links to Reading & Writing word study curriculum.​

Second Chances: Improving Decoding Skills in the Older Student (Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in the Schools, 1999) The assessment and intervention procedures used in SPELL-Links are examined in this 33-hour intervention case study with an adult college student. Post-intervention measures revealed significant improvement in word attack and word identification reading scores with percentile gains of 10 to 14 points and grade equivalent increases of 3 to 5 years across measures. Reading rate increased and error rate decreased, advancing the student from a difficult text to instructional text reading level.

For more research and publications about SPELL-Links, check Google Scholar.

Successes & Testimonials

SPELL-Links Assessment

SPELL-Links assessment will direct teachers toward…aspects of language and encourage the use of more enlightened instruction practices that truly educate students in word study. I am pleased to be among the first to appreciate the excellent work that has gone into this product, and I applaud the authors’ achievement.

Louisa Moats, Ed.D.

The SPELL-2 assessment is critical to discovering the student’s exact needs, so you don’t waste time working on spelling patterns that the student doesn’t need. The curriculum is explicit and systematic and there are a lot of fun activities that the students enjoy.

Susan Condrin, MA, CCC-SLP

SPELL-Links to Reading & Writing

The curriculum is…amazing. I love that it has writing and even reading activities to go along with the lesson plans. I’m really blown away by the detail of these lessons. I’m trained in Orton Gillingham, and I’ve dabbled in Words Their Way. Your SPELL-Links program is better than the two of these combined with a shot of steroids. It’s fabulous.

Jen Preschern, MS, CCC-SLP

The greatest reward of choosing to include SPELL-Links in my intervention is how I see it impacting my students. There is an “a-ha” moment that I have noticed with many of my students when they realize they can read and write words without arduously memorizing them first. They become more engaged in the process and intervention comes alive.

Sherri Givens, Speech-Language Pathologist

My son enjoyed the sessions and remained engaged throughout each session. The instruction made a lot of sense to him, and it was fun to get answers correct, especially being able to spell words he didn’t previously know how to spell. He even said it was fun and looked forward to the next session. Priceless!

Louise D., Parent

SPELL-Links Wordtivities

It’s very difficult to find evidence-based group instruction curriculum, and Wordtivities certainly fits the bill. It doesn’t simply focus on isolated areas pertaining to reading or spelling, but rather teaches the students to integrate all areas of language including phonology, morphology, semantics, and syntax to become better readers, spellers, and writers.

Tatyanna Elleseff, MA, CCC-SLP, Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care, Smart Speech Therapy, LLC

SPELL-Links eStickers

One thing SPELL-Links eStickers magnified amazingly for us is that we could see so clearly, for example, if a child needs work on Strategy 6, that tells us they need more time to learn the allowable spellings for a certain sound. BUT if a child needs work on Strategy 13, that tells us that this child may be a more sophisticated speller; they know all the allowable spellings. Now they need practice figuring out which one to use for a specific word.

Danielle Morris, Literacy Coach, The School at Columbia University

What I liked about the SPELL-Links eStickers report was that it put my observations into a quantifiable number.

Julie Current, MS, CCC-SLP

SPELL-Links Strategies by the Numbers

I love the fact that SPELL-Links Strategies by the Numbers is based on the connectionist research model, which views spelling and reading as a ‘dynamic interplay of phonological, orthographic, and semantic knowledge.’ Consequently, the strategies in this book focus on simultaneously developing and strengthening phonological, orthographic, semantic, and morphological knowledge during reading and writing tasks.

Tatyanna Elleseff, MA, CCC-SLP, Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care, Smart Speech Therapy, LLC

The SPELL-Links strategies are so universal and applicable to both reading and writing. I love seeing that moment when my second graders realize, “Oh, wait—this strategy works for writing, too!” There is such a sense of relief when my students realize that the process CAN get easier, and they CAN do it. The fact that the strategies are helpful beyond a specific vowel sound or word is just what my students need.

Sara Kaiser, Classroom Teacher/Reading Interventionist

SPELL-Links WordUP!

This app has been a wonderful, quick start to my early literacy-based sessions. My first-grade students are quickly engaged with the simplicity of the app (they learned the buttons/options quickly), and they cheer each other when they get an answer right. My older students are even willing to give it a try. I have noticed progress with their auditory perception of sounds and their ability to link sounds and letters. Great app!

Speech-Language Pathologist

I wanted a game for the iPad to boost my son's spelling skills. This app is different than other apps we've tried because it makes my son hear a sound and then pick what letter(s) spell that sound. We have fun with this app and love the sound effects.

Parent

This is a great tool for my students to practice their word level reading and apply what they know about allowable spellings. It’s a fun way for them to really think about how words are spelled. I use this at the end of our tutoring sessions and like that I can customize the words for all the different ages and levels of kids who come to our center for tutoring.

K-8 Tutor

SPELL-Links Professional Development

This workshop was jam-packed with information on how to implement SPELL-Links to Reading & Writing. I learned so much. Thank you.

Sarah Glaser, Title I Reading Instructor

For anyone who is waffling about whether the workshop will really, truly change how you can implement effective therapy, I urge you to take this step!

Loretta Gibson, Speech-Language Pathologist

The best part of the online workshop was seeing the methods and materials implemented with an actual student by a master clinician.

Barbara Sykes, Speech-Language Pathologist

After taking your course, I was inspired and purchased SPELL-Links for my most dyslexic clients. It has been a slow process for them, but we are tenacious and after using if for the last 6 months, we are getting improvement in their phonological awareness, reading fluency and spelling. The most interesting development has been in the speech production of a severely apraxic 4th grader. After doing the visualization lesson where she searches for patterns and words inside a word, we have seen improvement in her awareness of her most difficult sound group—the various r-colored vowels. Having that knowledge has dramatically improved her speech production. My team of SLPs and literacy specialists are all excited about using SPELL-Links for a variety of challenges!

Jodie Schuller, MA, CCC-SLP

I love the webinars I’ve attended and utilization of SPELL-Links/the Connectionist Model has changed my approach and thought-process as a therapist (for the better!). It feels very holistic and is effective. Aside from reading needs, I’ve even found significant benefit in setting the foundation for the reading in my late-preschool/early-elementary articulation therapy utilizing the foundations of SPELL-Links. I highly recommend clinicians sign up for the webinars—very useful information to have!

Katie Pilant, Speech-Language Pathologist

Join the Discussion

SPELLTalk is a free, online discussion group for literacy professionals who want to advance their skills and knowledge of current research.