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Method of teaching spelling

4. Method of teaching spelling Miss Kunsang Lhamo, TGT English, TCV Gopalpur.
To know English language it is very essential to know the spelling of words. Writing correctly solely depends upon the knowledge of spellings. There is also competitive value of spellings. In different competitions students often have to express themselves through language and for this writing correctly is very essential.


It is universally admitted that English spelling is full of difficulties. The student is embarrassed to find that there is single 'R' in harassed and is harassed to find that there are two Rs in embarrassed. English spelling system is inconsistent and unsystematic. Moreover, it doesn't correspond to the pronunciation. The unreasonable and unsystematic nature of English spelling makes the Tibetan students confront difficulties while coping up with the spellings but they can do nothing except accept the established spellings.
In order to make the students do some justice to the English spellings, teacher can follow some methods to teach spellings so to make students retain spellings in mind in the long run.


Spellings can be taught through different methods:

1. Rules:

The teacher may tell the students some rules about the spellings as the following:

  1. When 'full' is used as a suffix, its spelling is 'ful'. For example beautiful, careful, truthful but 'fully' is spelled with the double 'l'.
  2. When a noun ends in 'y' preceded by the consonant, plural is formed by changing 'y' into 'I' and by adding "es". For example: baby-babies, story-stories.
  3. Write 'I' before 'e' except after 'c'. For example belief, relief, receive, deceive. Some exceptions are 'leisure' and 'seize'. But rules are at the surface level. They should not take us far.

2. Transcription Method
In this method students should be asked to use their visual, auditory and motor memories to learn the spellings. It is said that spellings are caught not taught. The learners can make use of their visual memory by carefully looking at the word. So the best method is to transcribe the word.


3. Dictionary Method
The student should be asked to consult the dictionary to know the spelling of the words. This method will help them in later life and also it is self learning method.


4. Forming Association
One of the best ways to remember spellings of the words that are likely to be misspelled is to form certain associations around them. For example the word together is often misspelled as 'together'. We can spell this word correctly if we remember the combination 'get' in it. This can be done by remembering the sentence: let us get together. Here are some more-


Familiar: he is a liar if he says he is familiar with her.
Benefited: he is a fit person to be benefited.
Beginning: we stopped at an inn in the beginning of our journey.
Student should prepare a list of words which present spelling difficulties and build association as this will help them to spell the words correctly.


5. Preparing a Spelling Book
Each pupil can be asked to make spelling book for they can look at spelling and retain the spelling in their mind for longer period of time. Since much of the learning takes place through reading, it is very essential for teachers to encourage their children to read. Reading is the best way to encounter the vocabulary and to learn the spellings. Frequent appearance of the word before the eyes of the students will enrich their spelling as well. If above suggestions are followed to some extent, we can improve the spellings of those poor spellers who have all the ability and potential to learn the spellings but fails to know the rules to grab the word and at last suffers in the field of writing.


In the words of H.R Bhatia, "To spell one's word correctly is a part of courtesy to the person who is to read what is written and the absence of it is considered a lack of good education and respectively".