I am grateful to Megan, an Australian follower of The Spelling Blog, for pointing me to this summary of what seems like a very interesting talk by Dr Misty Adoniou about teaching spelling. Her ideas are similar to mine in many ways but have some really interesting variations. To summarise the summary(!):
- Phonics and visual skills are not the most important indicators of being a good speller
- English is morpho-phonemic (based on meaning as well as sound) and etymology (word origin) plays a large part, so these two aspects should be explicitly taught across the curriculum (if taught in English, of course)
- We need to teach 6 types of knowledge about words to spell them well: meaning, sound, acceptable and typical letter patterns, origins, parts of words and remembering what words look like.
- We should teach spelling strategies through words that learners meet in context in real books rather than having lists of words to learn that illustrate a strategy.
All sounds very sensible to me. Read the whole article here: http://www.atesolact.org.au/
Thank you, Misty, Megan and Tina Williamson, the summary author. More about Misty Adoniou