Research has offered various perspectives on how students learn to spell in English; however, evidence has
not been substantive enough to provide consensus on whether spelling is acquired in progressive and distinct
stages (Gentry, 2000; Invernizzi & Hayes, 2004), or in more complex, non-linear ways (Garcia, Abbott, &
Berninger, 2010; Sharp, Sinatra, & Reynolds, 2008). Assumptions about the nature of spelling development
have important implications for the way spelling is assessed and taught; however, assessment systems
currently being applied by educators have failed to consider non-linear perspectives of spelling development.