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SAT spelling test 2013

(21 Posts)
mrz Tue 08-Jan-13 17:20:10

Sorry Starfall in what way do you consider it is going backwards?

Mashabell Tue 08-Jan-13 07:18:07

I just don't understand why we have to go backwards?
Nor do I. I can't understand why we can't modernise English spelling. Or at least make logical, regular spellings as acceptable as the crazy, illogical variants,

e.g. defiant/defient (because the main pattern is -ent, e.g. absent, accident, ancient....)
definite/definate (because the main pattern is -ate, as in 'deliberate, delicate, obstinate.....)

I would even go a step further and make the dropping of useless -e endings optional too (definat/definet, to deliberate - but a deliberate act).

We know that the spelling mistakes which children and adults commit are nearly all due to very silly ancient spelling quirks which have become enshrined in dictionaries and continue to be copied. Insisting that they must be perpetuated causes endless hassles, wastes learning time and prevents many children from ever becoming proficient readers or writers.

Startail Mon 07-Jan-13 20:58:51

I'm just glad that dyslexic DD1 is at senior school, she'd probably have scored about 2%, I'd probably get 4%.

Why in earth in this age of spell checkers and autocorrect aren't they teaching something useful, like spotting all the common confusions these amazing machines cause?

Definite, defiant etc being my nemesis!

Likewise, years of stress and marks for tidy hand writing. DHs is utterly illegible. His ability to type beautifully worded technical reports helps keep a roof over our heads, but no way do I let him write a shopping list.

My uncle marks History A'levels, he says in all the years he did it they one had one paper no one could read.
Nowadays, I'm sure that girl would have a lap top.

Sorry, I just don't understand why we have to go backwards?

makemineagin Mon 07-Jan-13 14:35:57

mrz. thank you for the link.

makemineagin Mon 07-Jan-13 14:33:26

Many thanks everybody. Cece, i was after an idea of the type of level/words as my daughter is starting to panic! in a calm voice advised that she need not worry. We have some books but not specifically spelling....not helped by the fact that last years yr6 said how hard the spellings had beensad
Mashabell thank you info really helpful and she has been able to see this to get an idea.
I have no intention of DD trying to learn all poss spellingssmile more take care with current work and pronounce words correctly and slowly before writing down. DD was fantastic at Phonic spelling so much so that work sometimes looks and reads like at txt message...I guess the 29% score wouldn't include an ability to txt speak.

mrz Sun 06-Jan-13 17:18:11

There isn't a pass mark masha

Mashabell Sun 06-Jan-13 17:13:03

most children will do very well
Sure. If the pass mark is set low enough.

mrz Sat 05-Jan-13 09:33:41

Well we haven't got 15 years the test is in May and I predict that most children will do very well despite your doom and gloom

Mashabell Sat 05-Jan-13 09:05:26

the 'u' in guide isn't surplus; it serves to stop the 'g' becoming soft
Yet 'give, git' and 'giggle' get by without it.
U can use various mnemonics to help children remember irregular spellings, but it's the need for them that makes them problematic.

^ A bigger problem is just getting the children to consider those alternatives, and to think about the word and the position of the sound and to look at it and decide if it looks right^
That is what learning to spell English 'correctly' is all about, and why it takes around 15 years to perfect, and why the percentage of really good spellers is quite tiny.

MorningPurples Fri 04-Jan-13 23:48:09

"with omitted doublings: popular, celebrated, television;"

words from latin or greek origin often don't double the consonant after short vowels; this is a reasonably regular pattern that can be recognised with a bit of experience.

"with needless doublings: immediately, attracted. "

not needless at all; words with prefixes ending in a consonant and roots that start with a consonant end up with doubles for exactly that reason; children are likely to be familiar with the im/in/il etc prefix (as well as others), and able to recognise roots like media and tract. It's a useful rule that applies in many words. Words like 'remedial' would make it clear that the 'media' part is a root, and words like 'impossible' would remind them that 'im' is a prefix, so shouldn't be a surprise that they are doubled.

"Other words with surplus letters:
Guide, caught, friends, temperature.

The rest contain assorted minor horrors
(laugh, design, alphabet, picture). "

the 'u' in guide isn't surplus; it serves to stop the 'g' becoming soft, and that's also a sensible rule that applies in a reasonable number of words.
the 'a' in temperature can't be heard if the word is said quickly, but again it is obvious from a study of root words, and I often encourage pupils to get into the habit of thinking of related words, as it's a useful strategy for learning unstressed vowels, swallowed syllables, etc. I'd consider 'alphabet' pretty regular by that age, as they've met lots of 'ph' words, and the 'ture' is also a common ending. 'sign' is another root that can be heard in related words such as 'signature'.

so a reasonable knowledge of phonics, and where and how certain sounds are more common in particular circumstances, would help a lot with this list, and I would expect a Year 6 child to know that.

I personally still think that there is a place for some degree of memory work with spelling irregular words, particularly the tricky bits of words, but I don't think it generally needs to be an letter by letter strategy. Just learning the bits that are somewhat irregular will help. For young children I do encourage some memory work when the words are not using common spellings of a particular sound, and they need to use those words before they have learned the more advanced spellings, but by Year 6 they should have moved beyond a really simplistic one letter-one sound phonics strategy anyway. Many words have regularities when you look at larger groups of letters. A bigger problem is just getting the children to consider those alternatives, and to think about the word and the position of the sound and to look at it and decide if it looks right, etc, rather than simply using the first choice that comes to mind, which is often too simplistic.

I think there are times when too much insistence on teaching phonics in a certain way can be difficult for some dyslexic pupils. For example, learning that 'ai' is one of several possible ways to spelling the short 'e' sound, because it does so in 'said' (and maybe 'again', but not a whole lot else), is counterproductive for my dyslexic pupils, because they are struggling enough to remember that 'ai' usually says long a. Giving them too many alternatives for each sound is overwhelming and confusing, and they then revert to rote/visual memory for everything, which is exactly the strategy that I am trying to steer them away from using most of the time. If I can get them to learn the strongest phonic correspondences solidly (which they do find quite difficult), and to then use that phonic strategy the majority of the time instead of their natural tendency of trying to visually memorise everything (which becomes too great a task and ends up leading to mixed up letter order, phonetic implausibilities, etc), then they are able to 'save' their good visual memory skills for some of the more irregular words. I entirely agree that in those words, you can work out a phonic correspondence for which letters are responsible for which sounds, but in my experience it hasn't been helpful for spelling to give so many choices to memorise for a given sound for these children. There are a few that they find easier to learn as whole words, and for others I tend to teach them the 'tricky bit' as an exception (like telling them that in 'said' you need to spell the 'e' sound with ai, rather than having them learn it as a standard correspondence; or that 'people' has the extra 'o' in, rather than teaching 'eo' as one of several combinations that says long-e, because they are then very likely to mix up 'ea' and 'eo' and forget which one normally makes the long-e sound). This is likely to be a much greater problem for those with dyslexia, however, and children who learn to read normally may take it in their stride.

I also spend time on learning where and when particular choices are more common, which includes thinking about word analysis, position of the sound in the word and other general rules (e.g., teaching 'ck' as one choice for the 'k' sound isn't helpful on its own, but rather needs to be taught as a choice that is used in a very specific set of circumstances and not in others). I dislike 'phonic' spelling lists where the words are actually quite unusual or have the sound in quite a strange position, in order to show a certain sound, instead of pointing out that that sound is most common, for example, in the middle of a word.

That list of words seems pretty reasonable to me, and fits pretty well with the sort of higher-level phonic analysis that I would want Year 6s to have done.

mrz Fri 04-Jan-13 21:51:17

It's worth 20 marks (29%) in the level 3-5 test and 15 marks in the level 6 test (30%)

cece Fri 04-Jan-13 21:05:36

TBH there are usually similar words to this every year. <shrugs>

Some children do well in the test. Others not so well. Sometimes we get children who score 0.

It's worth 20 or 10 points isn't it this year? Can't remember off hand and can't be bothered to get my info out of the bag. But not sure how many that is out of as the Government are still making the scoring system up as they go along...

cumbrialass Fri 04-Jan-13 19:45:08

I'd better start my year 6's memorising them all now then!

mrz Fri 04-Jan-13 18:21:37

"It looks as if they will be mainly words which contain tricky bits which have to be memorised word by word, which cannot be learned with just phonics"

So with almost three quarters of a million possible words in the OED do you really think that is going to be a feasible strategy considering the test is in May?

Mashabell Fri 04-Jan-13 07:33:41

I looked at the sample words for the new test:
Dinner, following, sudden, different, kennel, popular, celebrated, television, immediately, attracted, laugh, guide, design, caught, friends, obvious, alphabet, temperature, picture, information.

They show that they will be predominantly words with irregular spellings and also that the designers of the test are aware that the two main English spelling problems are inconsistent consonant doubling and surplus letters. (Some words have more than one irregularity.)

Sample words with regularly doubled consonants:
dinner, following, sudden, different, kennel;
with omitted doublings: popular, celebrated, television;
with needless doublings: immediately, attracted.

Other words with surplus letters:
Guide, caught, friends, temperature.

The rest contain assorted minor horrors
(laugh, design, alphabet, picture).

Two words have relatively easy spellings:
information, obvious.

It looks as if they will be mainly words which contain tricky bits which have to be memorised word by word, which cannot be learned with just phonics.

mrz Fri 04-Jan-13 07:03:05

No they aren't words from Y1-6 lists and there aren't lists to learn in advance.

cece Thu 03-Jan-13 23:40:16

Not that I know of.

Are there word lists? Or is it any word from y1 - 6 from the spelling guides?

mrz Thu 03-Jan-13 19:29:32

cece Thu 03-Jan-13 19:21:29

There is one example for the new format. TBH it is pretty similar to past spellings tests. So just look for any previous sats writing test - the writing was part of it.

Out of interest why do you want to see it?

makemineagin Thu 03-Jan-13 19:16:49

I am struggling to find examples of the type of words that could be used in the above. anybody able to help? tried Dofe site sad

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