Book: Teaching Spelling

Do your learners struggle with spelling?

This essential manual answers three challenging questions:
•    Why is there a problem with teaching and learning spelling?
•    What can be done about it?
•    How can this be accomplished?

Part One helps teachers understand the systems of English spelling and the regularities, which are not necessarily phonological.  It explores the errors that learners really make and the challenges faced by teachers.

Part Two outlines a fresh, new, multi-dimensional approach to teaching spelling which recognises the need for learner engagement and strategy training as well as work on the patterns found in English orthography.

Part Three of the book presents over seventy engaging and effective activities which are designed to develop a range of strategies and knowledge about English spelling.

Preview the book                            Read a review (EL Gazette - December 2011) 

Buy the book 
There are several ways to buy the book. The recommended retail price is £18.50, but it's much cheaper if you choose Option 1 - buying it directly from me.
    Option 1
    Only £12.99 + shipping
    The book will either be sent directly from the printer or from me. It should arrive within about 3 weeks.You pay by PayPal (you don't need an account). You'll be able to print off a receipt. Please note, I can't send to PO Boxes.

    Please choose price according to location (includes shipping)

    Option 2
    Buy direct from the publisher/printer: Usually £18.50 + shipping. More choice of shipping options.

    Option 3
    Buy from or Also available from other online booksellers.
    Price can vary. You may be eligible for free shipping.

    Option 4
    Order from your local ELT bookseller. You may need this information.
    Title: Teaching Spelling to English Language Learners
    Author: Johanna Stirling
    Publisher: Lulu
    ISBN: 978-1-4476-0678-9


    1. Hi Johanna,

      I'm finding your book so useful. Anything to do with etymology has been totally lacking in many programs I'm familiar with and I think it's so useful. I guess it makes more sense to you in England with Roman ruins and artefacts from many invaders that you can use to make links. Here in Australia that history is not around us.

    2. That's fantastic to hear!

      I can't remember the last time I consciously thought (if you know what I mean) that anywhere I went in the UK was Roman, but I understand what you're saying.

    3. Hi again,

      One thing I've only just figured out from your book is about the spelling of said and their. These are especially interesting for me as I work with many children who struggle with these spellings. What I hadn't figured out but now understand is that the i comes from dropping the y in they and in say, which relates to dropping y in many other words, but usually for adding suffixes such as carry carried, try tries etc.

      However the words I think I can relate said and their to for my students are others where the y is dropped for no particular reason other than to follow a spelling rule such as holiday (holy day) and lollipop (lolly pop). Can you or your readers think of other such examples? If you already have a post on this please direct me!

    4. I may have missed this but does your book exist as an ebook or download anywhere? I am currently living in China as a teacher and thus shipping is a very dicey endeavor.

    5. Yes, there is a (fairly new) digital version of my book. You can get it here:

      If you have any trouble getting hold of it, do let me know. Otherwise I hope you find it useful.

      1. The ebook is longer available I'm afraid