Using SpellingWorks: for teachers and tutors

If you’ve read an earlier post on ‘Would we do it differently now?’, you’ll know that if I was writing this book again, I’d put far more emphasis on making sure that learners have a good understanding of sound-symbol correspondence in English.

At the same time, they need to know that every pattern has exceptions (even short vowels can confuse, with busy/friend/son) and that the range of spelling options for long vowel sounds (meet, meat, mete?) make it essential for them to work out their own ways to remember which word they’re thinking of.

This is why I think an understanding of the history of the English language (and spelling system) is helpful, because it adds a bit of interest to what can otherwise seem a massive task… So even if you don’t want to impose that on your learners, it can be great to find out a bit more yourself. Then when someone complains about the spelling of ‘night’, you can explain how it was once pronounced…