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Spelling Help: Overcoming A Spelling

Spelling is one curriculum area in which neither creativity nor divergent thinking is encouraged. Only one sequence or arrangement of letters can be accepted as correct; there is no compromise or leeway.

English spelling is particularly difficult. Over the centuries the pronunciation of English has deviated ever further away from the spelling. Many languages have reformed their spelling to adjust to such changes, but English has not. It teems with spelling and pronunciation challenges… words like buffet, cousin, canyon, cough, and mosquito.

What makes spelling even more difficult is that the written form of the English language has an inconsistent pattern. Only approximately 50% of spellings follow regular phonetic rules. The irregular pattern is illustrated in the following limericks:

A king, on assuming his reign,
Exclaimed with a feeling of peign:
"Tho I'm legally heir
No one here seems to ceir
That I haven't been born with a breign."

A merchant addressing a debtor,
Remarked in the course of his lebtor,
That he chose to suppose,
A man knose what he ose,
And the sooner he pays it, the bedtor!

And now our brief lesson is through –
I trust you'll agree it was trough;
For it's chiefly designed
To impress on your migned
What wonders our spelling can dough!

Although learning to spell correctly is a difficult task to master for most children, it is especially difficult — and sometimes impossible — if there are underlying shortcomings. The skill of spelling embraces many subskills. Subskills of particular importance are

  • the ability to analyze, i.e. to perceive the whole in its individual parts,
  • auditory perception of letter sounds and auditory memory,
  • decoding skills, and
  • visual memory for sequences.

Shortcomings in one or more of these subskills can greatly affect a person's spelling ability. Edublox programs are effective in overcoming spelling problems by addressing these underlying shortcomings.

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