How to Teach Spelling
There are a
lot of English teachers out there who don't know how to teach spelling.
Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All English Tenses
In fact, there are a lot of teachers out there who don't think it is
important. But that's not true.
Although bad spelling doesn't always prevent someone from being
understood, it can leave a bad impression on the person reading
whatever has been written.
Good spelling is important in business
, but also in general English. For example in job applications
Although spell checking software can correct some mistakes, it
doesn't correct everything
, and even now, not everything is
written on a computer.
What can you do to help teach spelling?
1. Correct mistakes
If you see that your student has made a spelling mistake, correct it.
Write the word correctly at the bottom of the paper, or in a vocabulary
notebook, and give your student the task to learn the correct spelling
before the next lesson.
2. Have spelling tests
I give my students 5 level-appropriate words each lesson and test them
on the spelling in the next class.
Sometimes I offer prizes if they get them all correct and can use them
in a sentence.
3. Play spelling games
All of these games reinforce correct spelling:
- Spelling Bee type games
- Word games such as Scrabble
- Word-search races
- Mixed up letters to make into words
4. Drill spelling
It's an old-fashioned method but it works.
Choose a word that students often make mistakes with and get one
student to spell it.
Then ask another one, then another, until the whole class have said it
5. Teach spelling rules
Many students love learning language and spelling rules
Little rhymes and songs also help with these, for example, "i before e, except after c"
are easy to remember.
Worksheets reinforce the rules, and many are available online.
6. Praise good spelling
Teachers often neglect to praise their students, but positive praise
for good spelling will encourage your students to try hard with their
7. Encourage your students to read
is one of the best ways to improve spelling, and writing in general.
Provide a selection of interesting
for your students to use outside the class,
as well as a selection of reading activities in the class.
8. Use dictionaries in class
Try to encourage your students to use English language dictionaries
to check definitions.
In addition to the many benefits of using good dictionaries, in the
process of finding each word, they will become more familiar with the
way it is spelled.
9. Teach prefixes and suffixes
There are many ways to do this, and a lot of great activities in
teaching resource books and online.
If students know the prefix and suffix rules, their spelling will
10. Give your students writing tasks
I've met teachers who don't like giving writing
tasks, because they are
difficult and time-consuming to mark.
Encourage cooperation between students, as well as peer correction
sometimes, and this could make the task easier for you.
Teaching spelling is important and hopefully with some of these
suggestions of how to teach spelling, your students will improve!