The Spelling Society’s Guide To Better Spelling

What Kind of Method is Being Used at Your Child’s School?

Various teaching methods have been tried over the years to help children master English spelling and to cope with the fact that ours is one of the most irregular of modern spelling systems. The chances are that the method used in your child’s school will be based on synthetic phonics, because this is the Government’s present preferred method. It is thought to be particularly useful for children at the earliest stages of reading and is based on teaching the child to put together different sound / character patterns to assemble simple words. The method has had some success when matched by adequate teaching resources, but, like all other methods, it can’t overcome the amount of memorisation required for irregularities. The suggestions in this booklet are not intended to cut across synthetic phonics or any other method – they are rather intended to be a supplement, to help the child who is not at the earliest stage of learning to read and write, but is nevertheless having difficulty with spelling. Essentially the approach in this booklet is more analytic, based on the rules of English spelling and distinguishing the reliable from the unreliable.

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