help please with ea words - teaching dyslexic DD

(57 Posts)
betterwhenthesunshines Mon 04-Feb-13 19:25:52

DD is 8, in Yr 3 and has a dyslexia diagnosis. We are helping her a lot at home and things are improving although still extremely variable. Her reading especially has improved (EasyRead system) and she no longer panics and can consistently sound out new words, is reading more fluently and she now seems to have a good phonic grounding.

However it hasn't yet transferred to her spelling which is still a tricky area. Any tips for when the -ea- sound makes the short 'e':
bread, spread, head, lead (as opposed to the simple bed, fed, led, shed)

and when the long 'ea'
reach, teach, speak, creak, knead, bead

and when the 'ee'
need, greed

lead tricky one this "My pencil has lead in it"
"My dog has a lead" "I led the horse to water"
Should she just be trying to learn the different words in different scenarios, or is there any rhyme or reason? Any 'rules'?

PS I don't really want a lecture on why English spelling should be changed Masha grin just some tips about the best way to help her!

betterwhenthesunshines Tue 05-Feb-13 15:19:22

That sounds good progress derekthelady - a term and a half only - it's good when you can see the results isn't it? Does your son feel he is improving? More confidence? I know what you mean about too much going on - but we have finished doing daily vision therapy exercises and reading programme so I think we could go back to this now.

We started with book A so I will need to do a placement test to see where to re-start.

Mashabell Tue 05-Feb-13 15:45:01

^Any tips for when the -ea- sound makes the short 'e':
bread, spread, head, lead (as opposed to the simple bed, fed, led, shed)

and when the long 'ea'
reach, teach, speak, creak, knead, bead

and when the 'ee'
need, greed^

There are no rules, but I can give u all the common words with them.
Short e
39 words just have a surplus a:
Read (yesterday), lead (in petrol),
bread, breadth, breakfast, breast, breath, breathalyse, cleanliness, cleanse, dead, deaf, dealt, death, dread, dreamt, feather, head, health, heather, instead, leant, leapt, leather, meant, measure, pleasure, realm, spread, stealthy, sweat, thread, threat, treacherous, tread, treasure, treasury, wealth, weather.

Because there is generally no doubling after vowels spelt with two letters, and the letter v is generally not doubled, except in a few modern words like ‘chivvy’,

11 words have no doubled consonant after their spelling for short /e/ (unlike jelly, wedding, teddy)
Jealous, meadow, ready (already), steady, threaten, weapon, zealous,
Endeavour, heaven, heavy.

Another 17 words have assorted variants for e or are accompanied by other inconsistencies:
Peasant, pheasant, pleasant,
any, many, said, says, every, seven, Wednesday,
friend, heifer, jeopardy, leopard, bury,
leisure, lieutenant [lesure, leftennant in UK; leesure, lutennant in US].

Most stop now.
Will find u the ee ones (and break, create, etc) tomorrow if interested.

derektheladyhamster Tue 05-Feb-13 16:04:39

I'm really pleased. At the end of yr 4 he struggled with the sentence, 'How much for fish and chips' now he can spell words like 'watched, thirsty and biting'

Incidentally, the spellings of words like meat and meet, are introduced at the end of apples and pears book b.

betterwhenthesunshines Tue 05-Feb-13 17:25:11

Just done the level 51 placement test with her and she got them all right grin grin and also got correct the ones from previous placement tests that we had done earlier last year ( I checked those too to see if it was just a lucky day!!). It's so good to keep a record of this stuff so you know things are actually progressing.

mrz Tue 05-Feb-13 17:32:27

learnandsay perhaps you should read the original post and see what the OP asked before being so dogmatic

mrz Tue 05-Feb-13 17:37:26

lead tricky one this "My pencil has lead in it"
"My dog has a lead" "I led the horse to water"
Should she just be trying to learn the different words in different scenarios, or is there any rhyme or reason? Any 'rules'?

learnandsay Tue 05-Feb-13 17:37:38

You have a point?

mrz Tue 05-Feb-13 17:43:58

Check your facts before you post ...

learnandsay Tue 05-Feb-13 17:45:18

Indeed, quite correct.

mrz Tue 05-Feb-13 17:53:46

So you did see the OP as "Any rules?"

derektheladyhamster Tue 05-Feb-13 18:05:42

It's great when you can see the progress, well done to your dd grin

kesstrel Tue 05-Feb-13 18:08:27

OP: I believe Debbie Hepplewhite at Phonics International uses a mnemonic story system for these sorts of spellings. She says, quote: "I call it 'word associations' where you need to group and associate certain words together as falling under the umbrella of the same spelling variation.Then these words can be part of a story so that there can be visual images of the storyline - and the storyline itself." I think the idea is that the child is more likely to be able to remember a mini-story made up of words that share the same spelling, so that it can then act as a mnemonic. She has a message board on her Phonics International website, so you could ask her about it.

plusonemore Tue 05-Feb-13 18:14:04

Not you two again mrz and lands? Are you stalking one another? wink

mrz Tue 05-Feb-13 18:25:40

No plusonemore but are you stalking us?

Mashabell Wed 06-Feb-13 07:55:14

I was in a hurry yesterday and missed your PS
I don't really want a lecture on why English spelling should be changed Masha

I don't usually do that.
I merely show people what there is to learn.
I gave u all the tricky words with alternative spellings for short e yesterday. There are not that many of them, but they occur in quite a few high frequency words, as u can see.

Learning to spell words with the ee sound takes quite a while. After consonant doubling, it's the second most unpredictable part of English spelling.

This is partly because an exceptionally large number of words have two spellings for the /ee/ sound (47):

Bee/be, beech/beach, been/bean, beet/beat, breech/breach, cheep/cheap, creek/creak, deer/dear, discreet/discrete, eerie/eyrie, eve/eaves, feet/feat, flee/flea, freeze/frieze, jeans/genes, Greece/grease, heel/heal, hear/here, key/quay, leech/leach, leek/leak, meet/meat, need/knead, pee/pea, peace/piece, peek/peak, peel/peal, peer/pier, reed/read, reek/wreak, reel/real, seamen/semen, see/sea, seem/seam, seen/scene, serial/cereal, sheer/shear, sheikh/chic, steel/steal, sweet/suite, tee/tea, teem/team, wee/we, week/weak, wheel/weal, geezer/geyser, leaver/lever.

The spellings for the other 363 relatively common words are completely unpredictable:
Achieve, adhesive, agree, albino, antique, appeal, arena, aubergine.
Beacon, bead, beak, beam, beard, beast, beaver, beef, beer, beetle, belief, believe, beneath, between, bikini, bleach, bleak, bleat, bleed, bleep, breathe, breed, breeze, brief.
Cafeteria, caffeine, career, cathedral, cease, cedar, ceiling, chameleon, cheat, cheek, cheer, cheese, cheetah, chief, chimpanzee, Chinese, clean, clear, clementine, codeine, colleague, comedian, compete, complete, conceal, conceive, conceit, concrete, congeal, convene, convenient, cream, crease, creature, creep.
Deal, dean, debris, deceive /deceit, decent, decrease, deed, deep, defeat, demon, diesel, disease, domineer, dream, dreary, dungarees.
Each, eager, eagle, ear, ease, east, Easter, eat, eel, engineer, equal, era, even, evil, exceed, experience, exterior, extreme.
Fatigue, fear, feast, feature, feeble, feed, feel, female, fever, field, fiend, fierce, fleece, fleet, freak, frequent, frontier.
Gear, geese, genie, genius, gleam, glean, greed, green, greet, grief, grieve, employee, guarantee, guillotine.
He, heap, heat, heath, heathen, heave, hero, hyena, hygienic.
Imperial, increase, indeed, inferior, ingredient, intermediate, interviewee.
Jamboree, jeep, jeer.
Key, keel, keen, keep, kneel.
Lead, leaf, league, lean, leap, lease, leash, least, leave, legal, legion, lenient.
Machine, magazine, margarine, marine, marquee, material, me, meagre, meal, mean, measles, medieval, medium, meek, mere, meteor, meter, millipede, mosquito, mysterious, near, neat, needle, niece.
Obedient, ordeal.
Peach, peat, peep, people, perceive, period, peter, pierce, pioneer, pizza, plasticine, plead, please, pleat, police, polythene, preach, precede, preen, prestige, previous, priest, proceed, proceedings, proceeds, protein.
Quay, queasy, queen, queer, query.
Ravine, reach, really, reap, rear, reason, receive /receipt, recent, recess, reef, regime, region, relay, release, relief, relieve, repeat, retreat, reveal, routine.
Sardine, scheme, scream, screech, screen, seal, sear, season, seat, secret, seed, seek, seep, seesaw, seize, sequence, sequin, series, serious, serum, she, sheaf, sheath, sheep, sheet, shield, shriek, siege, ski, sleek, sleep, sleet, sleeve, smear, smithereens, sneak, sneer, sneeze, souvenir, speak, spear, species, speech, speed, sphere, squeak, squeal, squeamish, squeeze, stampede, steam, steep, steeple, steer, strategic, streak, stream, street, succeed, superior, supreme, swede, sweep, sweet.
Tambourine, tangerine, teach, teak, tear, tease, tedious, teeth, teetotal, theatre, theme, theory, these, thief, thieve, thirteen, tier, torpedo, trampoline, trapeze, treacle, treason, treat, treaty, trustee, tweed, tweezers.
Unique.
Vaseline, veal, vehicle, Venus, volunteer.
Wean, weary, weasel, weave, weed, weep, weir, weird, wheat, wheedle, wheeze, wield, wildebeest, wreath.
Year, yeast, yield.
Zeal, zero.

So teachers/spelling schemes pick out a few at a time, group them in different ways and just plug away at it.
It obviously takes quite a while to learn them all.

Mashabell Thu 07-Feb-13 10:37:39

I wonder if many of u are aware that the adding of ea to English spelling in the 15th century was a deliberate undermining of earlier greater English spelling consistency (e.g. erly, lern, hevy, tred, erth - speke, reson, beleve) as found in Chaucer who died in 1400?

maizieD Thu 07-Feb-13 16:49:21

I wonder if many of u are aware...

Quite honestly, marsha, I don't think that many of us care...apart from in a history geekish way.

(hmm does 'us' spell 'yous' in marsha land?)

mrz Thu 07-Feb-13 17:26:28

One of the reasons <ea> was added to English spelling was the pronunciation of the sound changed after the Norman conquest

Mashabell Fri 08-Feb-13 10:22:54

One of the reasons <ea> was added to English spelling was the pronunciation of the sound changed after the Norman conquest

The conquest was in 1066.
The short e sound was spelt e (brest, fethers, in stedde) and the ee sound with e-e (leve, sleve, beleve, treson) until 1430, when Chancery scribes who had previously written only French and Latin had to switch to English.

There is no evidence for any sudden change in pronunciation, just the spelling, especially as many writers did not adopt the Chancery spellings immediately and carried on spelling the old way for another 100 years.

There is not the slightest evidence whatsoever that words which had different spellings earlier (erly, lern, deth - yere, lene, speke), and which still have different sounds now, suddenly changed to one and justified the new use of ea for both (early, learn, death - year, lean, speak).

We can speculate why the Chancery clerks did this, but they clearly messed up English spelling quite deliberately.

maizieD Fri 08-Feb-13 12:41:20

We can speculate why the Chancery clerks did this, but they clearly messed up English spelling quite deliberately.

Are you using 'deliberately' to mean 'purposely' or to mean 'purposely with malicious intent'?

It all sounds a bit conspiracy theorist to me...

learnandsay Fri 08-Feb-13 13:03:28

It doesn't matter why the clerks did it. Their documents were only meant for the civil service. It just so happened that their script was the easiest one available at the time for the newly emerging printing presses. So if I was you I'd blame the printers not the clerks.

maizieD Fri 08-Feb-13 18:08:39

I'm not altogether sure that Chancery documents were printed at an early stage anyway. So why should printers be influenced bythe spellings of chancery clerks? Most early printed material was ecclesiastical in origin and tended to be books.

learnandsay Fri 08-Feb-13 23:09:51

Because the printers were business people and they printed for whoever could pay. And in the 1470s the most demanded style of print for commercial purposes in London was Chancery Standard. So, guess what got printed.

Euphemia Sat 09-Feb-13 08:23:21

All this is very jnteresting, but it doesn't help the OP to help her child right now, does it?

Euphemia Sat 09-Feb-13 08:24:34

Did I really just type jnteresting? grin

Can't see properly in the morning! grin

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now