14. Written Expression and Spelling

  1. Melissa Lee Farrall

Published Online: 27 JUN 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118092668.ch14

Reading Assessment: Linking Language, Literacy, and Cognition

Reading Assessment: Linking Language, Literacy, and Cognition

How to Cite

Farrall, M. L. (2012) Written Expression and Spelling, in Reading Assessment: Linking Language, Literacy, and Cognition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/9781118092668.ch14

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 27 JUN 2012
  2. Published Print: 21 MAY 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470873939

Online ISBN: 9781118092668



  • writing definition;
  • expressive language skill and writing;
  • working memory and writing;
  • dysgraphia;
  • written expression assessment;
  • scoring writing samples;
  • spelling;
  • history of English;
  • handwriting


Challenges in the definition of written expression are discussed with respect to the implications for test design. Written expression is considered from the perspective of writing as a cognitive process with a focus on oral language foundations and working memory. Writing disorders, specifically dysgraphia, are described; the role of handwriting and spelling is reviewed. Direct and indirect methods of assessing writing skills are described, and formal tests of written expression are compared in terms of the skills measured. Suggestions are made for the assessment of spelling and a process is provided by which writing samples can be evaluated informally. Recommendations are made for instruction based on findings related to handwriting, spelling, and writing skill. A case study is provided.