Spelling list helper
ARRGHHH!! Weekly Spelling Lists -
A Blog series on how to HELP with Spelling and NOT just memorising skills
“It’s only week 3! How are we going to cope with these weekly spelling lists and tests ALL term!” a mum of a Grade 2 child, with the dreaded spelling list in hand, cried as she entered my clinic this week.
Many parents (and young students) feel overwhelmed with having to learn a list of seemingly unrelated words EVERY week!
Are you looking for a better way to REALLY help your child learn spelling. Something better than having the children memorize words for a Friday Spelling test only for them to forget them next week. They can write them in the list but can't seem to spell the very same words in a sentence!
can they read the words?
It is no surprise that there are some links between reading skills and spelling skills.
Reading and spelling do actually use different but related mental processes (decoding vs encoding). This is why some children might be great readers but may not be great at spelling?
Ask the child to read the words.
Spelling is likely to be more difficult if they cannot read the words.
Observe which words they read easily and which ones they had to “sound out”, try a couple of times to get it right or asked for help with.
Ask your child to look closely at the letters and the sounds they make for all the “hard to read” words. Begin spelling the words they can read easily while you consolidate their reading of the “harder” words.
can they say the words?
Sometimes children may say words back to themselves incorrectly.
They may mix the letters up or leave out parts of the words (e.g., they may say “hopital” for “hospital”; “dok” for “dog”).
They are likely to make the same mistakes in spelling as in saying the
words (e.g., spelling it by leaving out the sounds or mixing up the letters).
Ask the child to rehearse saying the word helping them to emphasis the correct order of the sounds or making sure all the syllables are said clearly.
Clapping out longer words to make sure all the syllables are
included can help (e.g., re– mem – ber)
This is particularly relevant if the child has had speech delays in the past or currently have speech difficulties (e.g., dyspraxia).
It is important to check to see if the child has residual speech errors.
Common errors such as saying the “th” sound as a “f” sound often comes out in a child’s spelling (e.g., saying or spelling “think” as “fink”).
Another common residual error is saying a “w” for “r” (e.g., “red” is said as “wed”). Even an untreated lisp (an incorrect production of the “s” sound) can impact on spelling.
If your child is over 5-6
years of age, then all speech sounds should have matured. Contact us at
SpeechNet Speech Pathology if you feel a speech screen is required to “fix” up
these last speech sound errors before they appear in the child's spelling.
do they know the meaning of all the words?
Check they know the meaning of all the words. Ask them “what is a ______” or “Tell me what ________ means”. Even if you think they know the meaning of the word, check!
You could be surprised what words they don’t “really” know the meaning of. Sometimes they may have an idea but it may not be spot on. Even grammar or site words carry meaning e.g., “she” refers to a girl/ lady/ female
The research has shown that there is a strong link between literacy skills and vocabulary skills. Children with a history of delayed language that “catch-up” in the pre-school years, sometimes find language difficulties “re-emerge” in the school years.
This is because each year of school requires higher and higher level language skills – more vocabulary, more abstract vocabulary and higher expectations to learning things faster.
This can then involve having to read and spell more complex words! A lot of people that see children having problems with spelling do not think about how “language” skills could be dragging the spelling backwards.
Speech Pathologists can do vocabulary tests
and language tests to eliminate these factors as affecting literacy and /or can
provide therapy sessions to bolster language skills.
HELP IS HERE!
THE WEEKLY SPELLING LISTS
AS A PARENT YOU WANT
THE BEST YOU CAN
FOR YOUR CHILDREN
THE SPEECHNET TEAM