Archive | Spelling

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Silent ‘b’

Learning to spell many English words correctly can be a long and difficult journey. Why for example do we have a silent ‘b’ in words like bomb, climb, debt and doubt? Often the answer lies in tracing the word back to its origin.  For example, the English word ‘doubt’ comes from the Old French word ‘doute’, which […]

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Master Morphemes

Morphemes are the smallest unit of meaning in a word and each morpheme provides either semantic (an understanding of meaning) or syntactic (set of rules, principles, and processes that govern the structure of sentences) information. Many English words often consist of multiple morphemes (base or root words, prefixes and suffixes). Base words and prefixes contain […]

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The Impact of Learning to Spell on Reading

A meta-analysis by Graham and Santangelo (2014) of 53 studies which encompassed 6,037 students from kindergarten through to 12th grade found that the explicit teaching of spelling resulted in consistent and significant improvement in spelling (regardless of the students’ grade level or literacy skills) compared to no instruction in spelling or informal/incidental approaches to spelling. […]

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Wine/Whine Merger

The ‘wh’ letter combination can be pronounced /w/ with the ‘h’ not pronounced (e.g., white). It can be pronounced /h/ with the ‘w’ not pronounced (e.g., who) and in some dialects of English it is pronounced /hw/. The placement of the ‘h’ before the ‘w’ indicates a voiceless single consonant sound that is somewhere between […]

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