This is Johanna Stirling's blog about English spelling. How it works, how to learn it, how to teach it, and how to love it!
Wow! This is so useful, heading over to slideshare to grab the link for my students! Excellent work Johanna.Karenne
This is cool! I was looking for the C+le rule and ran across your website. Thanks for the examples. My oldest is in a Discovery class for his ADD and this is helping me as the parent brush up on things that I know, but can't remember why I know them.....
After having been a good speller for many years, I cannot believe that I'm having difficulty with determining when a word will correctly end with an el - le - or al.
Glad it's useful, Lisa and Karenne. Much more of this stuff coming soon in my book: Teaching Spelling to English Language Learners. Info here: http://thespellingblog.blogspot.com/2009/06/teaching-spelling-to-english-language.html
Don't forget to mention label. Rule doesn't work.
What 'rule'? This is not a rule, it's a common pattern which may help. I've been very careful to point out that this is not always true. You'll easily find other examples: legal, royal, etc. Most spelling 'rules' don't work - that's why I don't use the term. 'Q' is followed by 'u' in native English words - that is perhaps a rule, but beyond that we can only explore patterns or precedents that guide us. But thanks, Anonymous, for giving me a chance to clarify.
I can't wait to share this PP with my students. Thank you. Mrs. Enache
My daughter is almost 9. School is a real struggle for her because she has trouble reading and spelling. She processes things differently than the typical student and has dyslexia. She receives tutoring using the orton-gillingham and wilson method of learning. Unfortunately her school does not. She could not learn her spelling list this week. We discussed the "le"/"el" trick. This is the first time she got every word correct on her "practice test" all year. Your method is very similar to what her tutor teaches her. I look forward looking at the rest of your website to see what else I can teach her. Thank you so much!
Thank you, mother of 9-year-old, for letting me know how well your daughter did and I'm really pleased if I have helped a little. My view is that people need a a variety of methods to learn something as complex as English spelling. The sythetic phonics that many schools use seems too rigid to me, especially for students with different needs such as dyslexia. Do you know a book called 'Seeing Spells Believing' by Stephen Bendefy and Olive Hickmott? It seemed very useful to me for dyslexic students. Give your daughter a pat on the back from me - that success will be really important for her, knowing thatshe can do it!
Thanks so much- I'm tutoring an adult in literacy. He's 47 and never learned to read, but is progressing so fast. Methods like this help so much with his spelling skills!
I'm glad it's useful, Lynn. And thanks very much for letting me know. If there are other aspects of spelling that you would like to see dealt with in the same way, let me know.Johanna
Thank you thank you! This was so helpful with my son! hesaid who ever thought of this is so smart.
This is just what I was looking for to share with a client who asked me the question this morning.
To Anon and Nancy - I'm so glad it was useful. More stuff like this in my book on Teaching Spelling (see top right of this page).Johanna
Johanna,I teach Academic Reading and Writing to Arabic speaking University students, so I see a lot of words like 'hoppy' and 'backbag' in their writing. I showed them your presentation, then your strategy of working with the outlines of words they frequently misspell. I used the word shape generator to make 2 exercises: in the first, they filled in boxes from a list of words. In the second, I dictated several words which they wrote into the boxes. They loved the presentation (so did I!) and the activities. At the end of class they thanked me for a great lesson. So thank you very much! Next, I'm thinking of trying your color-coded vowel strategy. I look forward to buying your book when I get a chance. Theresa
Oh, Teresa. Comments like yours make it all seem worthwhile! I'm very glad it helped them and that they enjoyed it - because often weak spellers hate working on it. Lots of my work has been with similar sorts of students to yours.Let me know how Coloured Vowels goes. And if you want the book, it's available from http://bit.ly/kEsclp or if you're in the UK, email me at johanna(dot)stirling(at)gmail(dot)com
Hi Johanna,We viewed your presentation in class today and did some work on the topic. One group did a search through books to find words to add to the 3 lists and yes the 'le' lists were always longest. Another group made targetted words with the playdough highlighting the endings. Tomorrow we will have 'educated guesses' on a bunch of words (including muggle and puffle - the puffle comes from Club Penguin). We also have dictionaries for checkingThis was terrific!
WooHoo! Thanks so much for your PP. My 3rd grader has a 20 word spelling list with all -el and -le words. Only 3 on her list DO NOT follow your pattern and we have come up with a sentence using those 3 words so that she knows which of the 20 words do not follow the pattern. Expecting a 100% on tomorrow's test!!!
I cannot begin to tell you how thankful I am that this exists!!Thank you so very much!!!