What is Wrong with English Spelling?

Many say that English is a very difficult language to learn. In actuality, the grammar and punctuation of English are relatively simple and straight-forward. It is English spelling that provides most of the stumbling blocks.

English spelling is probably the most irregular spelling system of all those based on the alphabetic system. Not only can't you tell how to spell a word from hearing it spoken, you can't predict how a word is spoken from the written word either. This is the unique "double whammy", which makes English spelling so difficult compared with other languages. The reasons are complex and largely historical.

But the economic and social costs are serious. English speaking children take up to three years longer to learn to read and write than others and some never succeed. Our dyslexics struggle in a way that Italian and Spanish children do not. Adult illiteracy throughout the English Speaking World remains a matter of major concern.

The English Spelling Society is an organisation with a worldwide membership which tries to address these problems by:

  •  Raising awareness and promoting research on the economic and social costs of English spelling
  •  Providing resources on the development of English spelling and of the movement to update it
  •  Seeking to open minds to the possibility of an eventual update of English spelling in the interests of improved literacy
Did You Know:

One in five English speaking adults worldwide is functionally illiterate – not able to read signs or fill out a job application

One in five English speaking adults worldwide is functionally illiterate – not able to read signs or fill out a job application

One in five English speaking adults worldwide is functionally illiterate – not able to read signs or fill out a job application

One in five English speaking adults worldwide is functionally illiterate – not able to read signs or fill out a job application

One in five English speaking adults worldwide is functionally illiterate – not able to read signs or fill out a job application

One in five English speaking adults worldwide is functionally illiterate – not able to read signs or fill out a job application

One in five English speaking adults worldwide is functionally illiterate – not able to read signs or fill out a job application

FAMOUS ONES WHO WANTED TO IMPROVE
THE ENGLISH SPELLING SYSTEM
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Charles Darwin
  • Lord Tennyson
  • Mark Twain
  • Theodore Roosevelt