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Can you "teach" someone to spell?

(23 Posts)
AnonymousBird Sun 20-Mar-16 13:26:47

DD (Y5) has always found spellings quite hard to remember for the long term. Short term for a test fine, but hard after that.

Her standardised spelling age has plummeted, and I am quite alarmed to have found this out. Clearly, this is something she struggles with so I don't want to put pressure on her, but wondered what I can do to support and help her gain confidence with this.

I am talking to her teacher about it, but would welcome any thoughts and ideas please.

mrz Sun 20-Mar-16 13:41:32

Happymummy007 Sun 20-Mar-16 16:20:43

I think reading helps hugely when spelling anything. My DD has always been a reluctant reader, and I'm sure that this has had an impact on her spelling ability (like yours she can remember anything for a test, but can't remember spellings longer term). However I have noticed a huge improvement since she's started reading for just 30 minutes every day. Does your DD enjoy reading?

Lurkedforever1 Sun 20-Mar-16 18:31:40

Reading. Dd never learnt to spell in the normal memorising way, and yet has always found it easy. Purely because she was/is an avid reader. When she was little she'd quite often write a word and then from having read it in books recognise it looked 'wrong' and correct it through trial and error. She'd remembers odd snippets like i before e except after c, or the origins of 'itis' meaning inflammation, but has never sat and memorised spellings.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sun 20-Mar-16 18:48:17

I think for most children, spelling is a skill that has to be taught. So it definitely can be taught.

If you've got half an hour spare, The first three videos are a good introduction to helping children who might be struggling a bit.

irvine101 Sun 20-Mar-16 18:53:05

Totally agree with reading. Plus, my ds watches everything with subtitles.
He never needed to practice spelling.

Smartiepants79 Sun 20-Mar-16 18:59:09

I know my school use something called ŵord wasp to help kids who read and write well but struggle with spelling.
I don't use it personally ( we have a teaching assistant who has been trained to implement it) but we have had some success with it.

mrz Sun 20-Mar-16 19:11:19

I know lots of avid readers who are atrocious spellers. I was hopeless at school.

Ferguson Sun 20-Mar-16 19:36:08

Knowing some of the rules, and starting to UNDERSTAND them is probably important. This book will help, and can be used from Reception to the start of Secondary school:

An inexpensive and easy to use book, that can encourage children with reading, spelling and writing, and really help them to understand Phonics, is reviewed in the MN Book Reviews section. Just search ‘Phonics’ and my name.

littlequestion Mon 21-Mar-16 23:30:20

Thanks for the video link

mrz Tue 22-Mar-16 06:53:05

how yo correct spelling errors

mrz Tue 22-Mar-16 06:56:46

To not yo scroll down for dos and donts for teaching spelling

TheFurryMenace Tue 22-Mar-16 07:05:01

My DD7, is a fantastic reader, but an awful speller, so I would have to disagree with those who say reading is key. I would really like to help her. Teacher is not much help.

forkhandles4candles Tue 22-Mar-16 08:24:52

Yes, my daughter is a brilliant reader and a really really bad speller. Words like what and how still not grasped. But, as teacher confirms, she is reading and comprehending at a greatly advanced level. I don't know what to do either.

getoffthattabletnow Tue 22-Mar-16 08:39:33

Ds1 has always been a terrible speller.He gets words right for short term tests then spells them several different ways in his next piece of writing.He was diagnosed as being Dyslexic a year ago.He can actually spell the same word 5 different ways in the course of a single paragraph.They will all be phonetically correct.
Apparently learning the spelling 'rules' helps to a limited extent.However I've been told that many Dyslexics never become brilliant spellers.I don't know how this will affect future GCSE/A level results where spelling and punctuation are becoming more important.

irvine101 Tue 22-Mar-16 08:53:25

When my ds is learning new word, he always breaks them down into segments.
It seems to help him remember it and retain it.

SugarplumMary Tue 22-Mar-16 09:45:07

This is a timely thread for me and I'll go through all the links carefully.

We did apple and pears and there had been massive progress. So I can recommend it to all those who don't know where to start.

However I though we'd do this and it would all be fixed. There is now a strategy in place broking words down - lots of work linking sounds and letter and words lot and lots of practise.

Her teacher last year was thrilled with her progress this years initially said she just needed to be careful with her spellings. Last parents evening everything was great but the spelling which is markedly poorer than expected but not enough the school will throw resources at it something we've heard before.

We are pretty much at the end of the apple and pears program so I don't know what to do next. There is massive improvement but there is still a problem.

SugarplumMary Tue 22-Mar-16 09:46:02

breaking words down hmm.

Enb76 Tue 22-Mar-16 09:59:34

My daughter is a good speller but some things have helped massively. We find a way to make the word interesting - a list of words is highly dull. So each word has to have a hook. For examples if the word 'friend' was on the list - we say "Aiyee, there's my friend" (aiyee showing the order of 'i' and 'e') or for 'creature' the creature was 'creat'ed. We also find the commonality and exception within lists. We also do things like look at roots of words and what they mean which opens up lists of other things that are spelled similarly. I think it was mainly making it fun and not a chore that's helped the most. Admittedly, we only spend about 10 mins on spellings per week so it's not hard to keep the fun going for that amount of time

irvine101 Tue 22-Mar-16 11:59:24

Sugar, that's what my ds seems to do. Like "ac / ci / den / ta / lly". And he is a great speller. He always get 10/10 for spelling. smile

guerre Tue 22-Mar-16 12:03:04

I think it depends on the learner. For me it was the exposure to the shape of words from huge amounts of reading, for DH it was hours and hours of difficult learning by rote struggle (dyslexic).

SugarplumMary Tue 22-Mar-16 12:48:46

Wasn't something that came automatically to mine - it's taken a lot of teaching and drilling.

We used to have the problems getoffthat talks about - multiple ways of spelling same words in same piece of writing - most phonically plausible though few right letter in wrong place suggesting it was a string of letters learnt not sounds combinations - but all that has diminished as we've worked through the program.

Plus scores in spelling tests have gone up - but written work still has a lot of mistakes. I think it's the written work and spelling that is worrying the teacher more than spelling test results.

Still read through the links and there are many other things to try.

MilkRunningOutAgain Tue 22-Mar-16 19:35:27

My DD does spellings for 10 minutes most mornings in the car on the way to school. She gets 10 words a week to learn. She breaks the words down into syllables with my help, we exaggerate the sounds in each syllable verbally, then she spells them out to me verbally. We look for patterns and similar words, going far wider than the 10 words on the list. We've been doing this for over 2 years and her spelling age has improved by 4 years, it was awful and now for the very first time she has the same spelling age as actual age. She has recently moved up spelling groups and is becoming far more confident in her writing. She has worked really hard at this. I think what has helped is lots of repetition and breaking things down, and talking about spellings regularly.

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