Applying the choice/no-choice methodology: the case of children's strategy use in spelling


  • Lemaire P
  • Lecacheur M

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The present study illustrates the usefulness of the choice/no-choice method to investigate age-related changes in children's strategies. This method enables independent assessments of strategy use and execution. It is applied in children's spelling strategies. Third- and fifth-grade children were asked to write down words using a dictionary or not (choice condition). Then, they were successively required to spell words using each strategy (no-choice condition). Performance showed that (a) strategy choices and accuracy differed in younger and older children, (b) strategy eft effectiveness was the strongest predictor of children's strategy use, and (c) having the choice resulted in higher level of spelling accuracy (especially in older children) than having no choice. We discuss the implications of these results on how the choice/no-choice method can be useful for understanding and investigating children's strategy choices in spelling and other cognitive domains.

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