Because it is often assumed that difficulties in spelling are of phonological origin, the aim of this study was to examine whether emphasis on the pronunciation of individual graphemes is beneficial for learning to spell words in poor spellers. In the first experiment Dutch children with a spelling deficit had to practice words in two types of exercises: (1) full production after memorizing the orthographic pattern, and (2) a special pronunciation, so-called spelling pronunciation, accompanied by full production after memorizing. Spelling pronunciation showed to have no additional effect on spelling. The orthographic information might have overruled the effect of spelling pronunciation. Therefore, in Experiment 2 orthographic information was excluded from the comparison between training with spelling pronunciation and training with normal pronunciation. Spelling pronunciation appeared to be more effective than normal pronunciation. However, spelling pronunciation was as effective as priming the orthography in memorization training, which may indicate that the common process of uncovering orthographic details is the main driving force for accelerated learning. © 2005 John Benjamins Publishing Company.