Archive | Spelling


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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ch or tch??

The rule for determining whether or not to add the ‘t’ before ‘ch’ is: Add ‘t’ before ‘ch’ after a short vowel. For example, the following words all have a short vowel immediately in front of ‘ch’ and therefore require the silent ‘t’ – catch, fetch, stitch, notch, hutch. In contrast the following words either […]

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Using Metalanguage to Teach Spelling

In English, spelling a word requires you to integrate orthography (the correct sequence of letters and combinations of letters) to phonology (sounds in the word) with a knowledge of morphology (word parts that signal meaning and grammar) (Garcia, Abbott, & Berninger, 2010). Metalanguage is language used to describe and analyse languages. Daffern (2011) argues that […]

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Spelling in Middle English

If you are a poor speller, you may wish that you were a scribe in the 13th century.  During this Middle English period there was a huge amount of variation in the spelling of words. For example, in the Oxford English Dictionary of that era there were over sixty variants of the spelling of ‘night’: […]

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spelling mistakes

Modifying Spelling Programs

  I had a long discussion with a classroom teacher who was frustrated with the lack of depth in the spelling program that she was mandated by the school to use. We brainstormed strategies that she could use to stay true to the program and at the same time add in the elements she saw […]

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