A an extensive strategy for teaching children to spell, incorporating visual memory and spelling memory, pre-communicative writing, and also multiple spelling stages

Psychologists once thought that kids learned come spell by utilizing rote visual memory to string letters together favor beads on a necklace. But that thinking has readjusted in the last 20 years. Researchers have discovered that a child's memory for native is not totally or also principally rote. They have found, instead, the two vital processes come right into play worrying spelling.

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First, us now understand that a kid learns come spell in a approximately predictable collection of actions that build on one one more (Ehri 1986, 1994; Gill, 1992; Henderson, 1990). Second, we also now recognize that spelling memory is dependency on a child's cultivation knowledge of talked and written word structure.

Visual Memory and Spelling Memory

While visual memory — an ext specifically, "orthographic" memory—is vital for finding out to spell, that doesn't work-related alone. Assignment memory—memory because that letter sequences—is amplified by a child's awareness the phonemes, or speech sounds. At an ext advanced levels, spelling memory draws top top a child's knowledge of word structure, words' systematic parts, a word's connection to other words, and also so on. Word knowledge builds systematically on other word knowledge. It's the cycle of success that teachers love to view develop: learning begets learning.

Precommunicative writing Stage

Most young children who space exposed to print in their residences spontaneously start to experiment v writing. Although they may know the name of part letters, identify letter forms, and realize the letters stand for speech sounds, they may not understand what a word is or realize that publish represents words and also that spaces stand for boundaries between them. Analysis at this stage is "logographic," meaning that a son guesses at whole words based upon their visual attributes (Ehri, 1994).

Semiphonetic Stage

After youngsters have experimented with imitative writing and developed one awareness that alphabet letter names, a change occurs. They begin to realize that letters represent speech sounds (Bissex, 1980; Gentry, 1981; Henderson, 1990), and also selectively and predictably use abbreviated spellings.

For example, a child may use a few letters, commonly consonants, to stand for words, syllables, early letters, or pieces of words. Regularly these consonant correspond come an alphabet letter name. In ~ this stage, youngsters may use their knowledge of letter names and also partial phonetic cues to review (Ehri 1994), however their ability to identify and segment word sounds is tho limited.

Phonetic spelling Stage

As youngsters gain an ext knowledge of print and develop one awareness of speech sounds, sound-letter correspondences, and also letter names, they regularly employ a "one letter spells one sound" strategy. This generally occurs in kindergarten and also early first grade. In ~ this point, youngsters "spell" by corresponding sounds to letters and also consistently representing all of a word's sounds. To execute this they count on exactly how words feeling in their mouths.

Widely known as "invented spelling" or "temporary spelling," this process means that children use voice spellings and letter names to represent lengthy or quick vowels and consonants. This stage is common of five- and also six-year-olds who are signaling your readiness to learn conventional order patterns. Below are some common examples of developed spellings:

DA (day)

WEL (will)

KAM (came)

BAD (bed)

FEL (feel)

SAD (said)

LIK (like)

YOH (watch)

FES (fish)

YL (will)

YAR (where)

As children gain exposure to print, exercise writing, and become even much more aware of the sounds in words, they begin to recognize and recall larger orthographic patterns, or "chunks", and also use them come spell various other words. Because that example, a typical first grader's assignment of typical words might readjust over a duration of numerous months together follows:













What do kids need to recognize to move beyond temporary spellings? A lot! to progress, children must master letter combinations, assignment patterns, and also ending rules. Lock must likewise master the phonic facets of consonants, vowels, consonant blends, and also consonant digraphs—and lot more. Once they move from at an early stage to transitional stages, they're on the way to finding out the patterns and also rules that make for an excellent spelling.

Transitional assignment Stage

After kids gain more experience v print, get systematic instruction, and improve their analysis ability, they start to know that most sounds are represented by letter combinations. They see that syllables are spelled in predictable ways and also meaningful components of words, such together grammatical endings and Latin and also Greek roots and affixes, are kept in English. A kid at this phase is likely to do errors such together the following:

PAPRES (papers)

HIAR (hair)

MOVEING (moving)

SRATE (straight)

PLAITID (planted)

NHITE (night)

While these spellings might look an ext "off base" than basic phonetic spellings, such as paprs or har, a boy at this stage knows that many spellings because that sounds require an ext than one letter or contain specific letter combinations. The child is using, yet confusing, build such together multiletter vowel spellings and is now ready for straight instruction in grammatical endings (inflections, such as -ed, -s, -ing, and also so on), base word add to suffix combinations, and facility vowel spellings (Invernizzi, Abouzeid, and Gill, 1994).

Integration Stage

As students relocate from phonetic (sound) to syllabic (syllable) and also morphemic (meaning) spelling, which frequently occurs after ~ the 4th grade, instruction should yield numerous things: students should begin to continuously spell systematic parts such as roots, prefixes, and suffixes. They should understand that homophones, learned in coherent phrases, demonstrate an important principle that English spelling—that the definition of a word deserve to determine just how it is spelled. They must recognize compounds as such.

Here room some examples:

Children in ~ this stage learn much more easily those root or base words that execute not call for a adjust in sound or spelling when the prefix or suffix is added—such together enjoyment, distasteful, or words through un-, re-, dis-, or -ness—than they learn words such as competition.

By the fourth grade, many students are able to usage their knowledge of prefixes, suffixes, and roots to decipher hundreds of new words encountered in reading. (Before this point, youngsters must have developed at least a rudimentary awareness of these common morphemes in their broadening speaking vocabulary.)

To order words through prefixes and also suffixes, youngsters at this stage need to become mindful of "schwa," or the unaccented vowel. In multisyllable words through affixes, especially those that Latin origin, the interval or stress is typically on the root morpheme; the affixes are often talked with a decreased vowel whose identity can't be determined from together alone (television, incomparable, benefactor).

Knowing the an interpretation of the affix and also its typical spelling can resolve the ambiguity produced by the reduction of a spoken vowel to schwa. Because that example, the "pre" in prescription, or the "re" in alleviate are challenging to determine if one relies only on speech, due to the fact that they are unaccented. They must be learned as systematic prefixes v standard spellings. Otherwise, student can't sound them out successfully.

At this stage, youngsters use a word's paper definition to effectively spell homophones—words that sound alike but are spelled in different ways -- such as two, to, and too and also aloud and also allowed. Children additionally recognize compounds—such as playmate, something, and also boyfriend—and are much more likely come spell them appropriately if the stress and anxiety is on the first word and the boy recognizes words as a compound. If not, the child may spell the "oy" in boyfriend as "oi."

Middle grades Stages

Although we know less around the nature and the succession of stages in spelling development in the middle years, us do know that students continue to construct their concepts of orthography and also their ability to associate spelling patterns v speech patterns. As they learn an ext words and also store much more examples of usual spelling fads in their memory, they rely progressively on analogy tactics to spell (Ehri 1987, 1989). Lock learn new words due to the fact that they are linked in memory v words the share your patterns. This is why it's crucial to emphasize sound and spelling patterns: return students should memorize many specific words, the more they are conscious of the acquainted letter sequences and also repeated patterns in the writing system, the less complicated they have the right to recall them.

When youngsters know coherent word parts, they have the right to think of comparable known words—such as muscle and also corpuscle—and correctly spell them even when they can not recall the native visually. Our most capable spellers use number of sources of linguistic information around words—orthographic, phonological, morphological, and also etymological—to psychic spellings.

What perform these stages typical for assignment instruction?

We now know that whether slowly or at an accelerated pace, all children follow a predictable sequence in finding out to spell. Order knowledge starts to accumulate when kids who are conscious enough of word framework to spell phonetically are taught complex graphemes that comprise most spellings for sounds in an orderly, systematic way. There need to be plenty of examples and also practice in ~ each step of enhancing complexity.

Orthographic knowledge is gained in a around predictable sequence—from separation, personal, instance letters, to patterns within words, to trends that exist throughout several syllables. As children learn the patterns of orthography, they also assimilate the influence of an interpretation on spelling. They are ready to be teach the spellings for morphemes including prefixes, roots, suffixes, and grammatical endings as stable forms. By about fifth grade, good spellers are those who have actually learned to deal with several level of indigenous structure, including sounds, syllables, and meaningful parts.

Learning come spell is both conceptual and associative; kids must find out concepts about language structure at number of levels and remember certain letter sequences. Learning to assignment is learning around words, from all their interesting angles.


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