L2 (second language) Spelling

  SLA Topics   Writing Topics 
1400 Sample of L2 Spelling Mistakes L2 Writing Systems 

Categories of mistake
Insertion whewre (ns), vocabularly (ns)
Omission final <e>  mad (ar), morphem (g), softwar (gk)
<a> <e> <i>
catagories (bm), penecillin (ns), privite (gk)
thort (ns)
Transposition percieved (ns), foerigners (ch), assinged (u)

Comparison of spelling mistakes by L1 children (NFER), L2 users (EFLtest) and L1 users (Wing & Baddely), based on Cook 97

L1 children L2 adults  L1 adults
N 1492     375     40    
Insertion  17.0% 22.3% 21.8%whewre ns, vocabularly, ns
Omission 36.0%  31.5% 42.8%mad ar, morphem g, softwar gk
Substitution 19.0% 31.7%  27.9%categories bm, penecillin ns,privite Gk
Transposition  5.0% 3.2%  0.9%percieved ns, ch, assinged u
Phonological 19.0%  3.7% 3.5%thort
Other 3.0%  7.6% 3.2%


Chikamatsu, N. (1996), ‘The effects of L1 orthography on L2 word recognition’, Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 18, 403-432

Cook, V.J. (1997), ‘L2 users and English spelling’, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development,18, 6, 474-488

Koda, K. (1996), ‘L2 word recognition research: a critical review’, Modern Language Journal, 80,iv,450-460

Koda, K. (1996), ‘L2 word recognition research: a critical review’, Modern Language Journal,80,iv,450-460

Words commonly misspelled by L2 users

accommodating, because, beginning, business, career, choice, definite, develop, different, describe, government, interest(ing), integrate, kindergarten, knowledge, life, necessary, particular, professional, professor, really, study/student, their/there, which, would

Some common L2 users' mistakes

because: beause, beaucause, becase, becaus, becouse, becuase,beacause, begause, becuas

address: adres, adress, adresse

business: busines, bussines, buisness, bussiness

grammar (etc): gramma, grammatikal, grammer

professional: profesional,professinal,proffession

sincerely: sinarely, sincerelly, sincerley, sincersly

student etc: studet, stuienet, studing, studyed

Paper on L2 spelling