Speling?  Spieling?  Spelling? Spealing?

Moya Gibb-Smith
Fast ForWord, Spelling

For some folk, these words: Speling, Spieling, Spelling, Spealing,  look so similar that it’s very confusing.

Which one is the correct one? 

Good spelling is vital because it allows the writer to focus on what they want to say. It frees up brain space for their ideas to flourish.

As children learn to spell, their knowledge of words improves, and this makes reading easier.

But is English predictable enough for explicit spelling instruction? Well, researchers have found that nearly 50% of English words are and that another 34% are predictable, except for one sound.

In order to be a good speller, you need to be able to analyse sounds in words.

First, you have to be able to hear the individual sounds clearly.

Anyone who has had ear problems in early childhood could have difficulty distinguishing one sound from another and that’s going to make spelling harder.

You need knowledge of sounds and letter patterns. You need to be aware of the word’s internal structure, its sounds, its syllables, and meaningful parts.

Once you can clearly identify all the speech sounds then you need to be able to analyse the sounds and decide how the word should be spelled from the number of different options available.

Is it ph or f? c, k or ck?  ee or ea?

Should I double a letter at the end of the word when adding an ‘ing’? 

That’s where spelling rules can help, and I’ve found a page which can take you through some of the common rules here.

The old and tired “look, say, cover, write” hasn’t been shown to be effective in teaching children how to spell because we don’t learn to spell using our visual memory.

Instead, researchers have found that children who have improved their spelling after explicit spelling instruction based on the alphabetic principle (the idea that speech sounds are represented by letters in printed words) also improved their word recognition, handwriting, and composition skills.

There are three types of information that will make spelling much more predictable: 

  1.  code knowledge (understanding the sound-letter associations)
  2.  syllable patterns and meaningful parts of words (morphology)
  3.  word origin and history, (etymology)

Spelling is most obviously connected to writing. Research has found that poor spelling, not only causes embarrassment to the student but affects composition and the transmission of ideas. Students write fewer words and stories of lower quality.

If you’re a poor speller you often limit yourself to words you can spell, which means you lose expressive power. Not only that but you’re judged by your poor spelling at school and later in the workplace.

Spelling also has a strong relationship with reading comprehension. The correlation between spelling and reading comprehension is high because both depend on a common denominator: proficiency with language.

If being a poor speller is something you or your child have experienced and if you have a history of ear infections or some problem with hearing, then Fast ForWord may help improve your situation. Fast ForWord retrains the brain to hear and distinguish the sounds of English. If you can hear the difference between sounds, then you have a much better chance of being able to analyse the sounds in words to spell them correctly.

Get Started with Fast ForWord Here