Archive | Spelling

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Spelling Rules Rule

        If you are not a particularly good speller, the more spelling rules you know and understand, the better your spelling becomes because it gives you a framework to determine the most likely spelling of a word and this is supported by a growing body of research (see the references below).  Yes, […]

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‘le’ or ‘al’???

When you hear /l/ at the end of a word with more than one syllable, it is often difficult for children to know whether to write ‘l’, ‘ll’, ‘le’, ‘el’ or ‘al’. However, with some orthographic knowledge it is possible to deduce which is the most likely letter combination. ‘ll’ is most commonly used at […]

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Look Cover

The Problem with Look-Cover-Write as a Spelling Strategy

Look-Cover-Write (or for many students GUESS) is a spelling strategy commonly used to teach spelling. However, research recently published by Dymock and Nicholson (2017) showed that students who were taught spelling using a rule-based approach had greater transference to spelling new words compared to students who were taught using look-cover-write-check, and this was true for […]

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Do we say ‘t’ in witch?

I often have a discussion with people as to whether or not particular letters are pronounced in a word (e.g., the ‘t’ in witch). I have always argued that we only think we hear the ‘t’ because we know how the word is spelled.  So, for example, if I was to record you saying, “I […]

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Letter Sounds Matter

Which is more important – knowing the name of letters or knowing the sound of the letters? The importance of knowing letter names versus letter sounds in early literacy development has long been debated. Similarly, should we be teaching letter sounds first and then letter names or is the reverse order of more benefit, or […]

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