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…





Spelling mistakes

It’s so easy to make those little mistakes and typos (and don’t get me started onĀ auto-correct ‘fails’) … but what about when they’re made in public? If you (or your students) wondered whether small mistakes really matter, you might like to look at this collection of 50 of the Most Unfortunate Spelling Mistakes Ever (from Slice).


SpellingWorks: would we do it differently now?

Back when SpellingWorks was first published, there were books around on phonics, and on spelling rules, but not much on spelling strategies… so we focussed a lot on developing those strategies.

Now I look at the book again, though, I think if I was writing it again, I’d put more emphasis at the start on ‘make sure you have that basis of understanding sound/symbol correspondences in English’.

I think we’re all much more aware now that that that understanding isĀ something you can’t assume (especially for learners from another language background).