Effects of a morpheme-based spelling intervention challenging previous results

Viktoria Jöbstl*, Reinhard Kargl, Anna E. Prattes, Elisabeth Beyersmann, Karin Landerl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Downloads (Pure)


Morpheme-based literacy training programs are widely used in German primary schools. This study investigated whether (1) morphological training is effective early in development (Grade 2) and (2) literacy gains can be attributed to advanced morphological processing. Fifty-two German-speaking second-graders participated in an eight-week morpheme-based training program, while an age-matched control group (n = 41) attended regular language classes. All children completed spelling, reading and morphological awareness tasks and participated in a masked primed lexical decision experiment, once before training, and then again following training. We observed training effects for spelling and reading morphologically complex words, with bigger increases in the intervention than the control group. In addition, the masked priming results revealed that lexical decision times decreased more strongly in the intervention than the control group, but there was no clear training impact on the pattern of morphological priming. However, the performance on standardized reading tests and a morphological awareness task did not differ across participant groups. Thus, while written language processing improved, it is unclear whether these effects can be attributed to morphological processing or rather general gains in orthographic knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)651-671
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Electronic Journal of Elementary Education
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Publisher [2021]. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • morpheme-based spelling intervention
  • morphological priming
  • reading
  • spelling
  • visual word processing


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of a morpheme-based spelling intervention challenging previous results'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this