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Quick and Dirty Approach to Spelling


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English spelling is difficult for two main reasons, English letters don't make sense and teachers pretend that they do. If you really want to help someone read or spelling in English, you need to be honest with them and give them proper tools.

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Quick and Dirty Approach to Spelling

  1. 1. Quick and Dirty Approach to Spelling Judy Thompson
  2. 2. How Today is Going to Go 1. What is Literacy? 5 minutes 2. How do we compare internationally? 5 minutes 1. What is the big problem? 15 minutes 2. What is the solution? 15 minutes 3. How to teach spelling 10 minutes
  3. 3. 1. The ability to read and write (including spelling) 1. Knowledge that relates to a specific subject We are going to talk about functional literacy in terms of ability to read and understand the directions on a bottle of Aspirin. Inextricably linked to writing is spelling What is Literacy?
  4. 4. • The adult literacy indicator measures the proportion of the Canadian population aged 16 to 65 that is able to understand and use information, such as news stories or instruction manuals. • 51% read at Level 3 • Level 3 is considered to be the minimum level required by an individual to function in a modern society and economy. (Sources: Employment and Social Development Canada & Canadian Council on Learning) Adult Literacy
  5. 5. (Conference Board of Canada) 2. How We Rank
  6. 6. • Conference Board of Canada 2013 Canada gets a “C” and ranks 8th out of 13 countries on the percentage of adults scoring low on adult literacy rate tests. • Four out of ten Canadian adults have literacy skills too low to be fully competent in most jobs in our modern economy. We Aren’t Doing Well
  7. 7. 1. English doesn’t make sense as in letters don’t represent sounds 1. Spelling is challenging for the same reason - letters don’t represent sounds 1. If one figures out the game of reading and can intellectually manage the lack of logic, they forget that inglish duznt mayk sens 1. Blame the student when things don’t work out 3. English is Problematic Because:
  8. 8. wuz iyl sed ayt Play the Game - If English Made Sense thu siks iyern kwiyer
  9. 9. wuz iyl sed ayt thu siks iyern kwiyer was I’ll, isle, aisle said ate, eight the six iron choir Did you get?
  10. 10. The travesty is that educators are not straight about the problem probably because we don’t know what to do about it • ‘Sound is out’ we urge for our non-phonetic language • Is i before e except after c a rule if it has hundreds of exceptions? (No). • When 2 vowels go walking they can make any sound at all • Arranging words alphabetically doesn’t work - the dikshunerey is useless unless you already know what the word means, how to spell it and how it’s used The heart of our trouble is with our foolish alphabet. - Mark Twain English doesn’t make sense and we step right over this instead of giving our students half a chance by dealing with the mess straight on. inglish duznt mayk sens
  11. 11. Students aren’t really paying attention. The little guy in front on the right is in trouble. One Saving Grace in the System
  12. 12. The Problem
  13. 13. English Needs A Bridge (How many vowels in English?)
  14. 14. 4. The Solution
  15. 15. Regardless of spelling, these are Gray words because of the main vowel sound: day, way, play rain, train, vain cane, vane, lane eight, weight, vein they, hey great... Colors hold the vowel sounds that letters don’t. Colors are the bridge from listening to spelling. Gray Words
  16. 16. The Breakdown is Here
  17. 17. See How Words Sound
  18. 18. ‘O’ Makes Many Sounds Blue, Gold, Brown, Mustard...
  19. 19. • Memorize a few hundred words to start • Look at the clues around the word – pictures, context and other words • Context not grammar is the access to fluency for ESL (btw) • It is about giving real pathways and categories for learners to store and access the language they encounter on their own 4. Spelling and Reading
  20. 20. uv iz iyl sed ayt thu siks iyern kwiyer of is I’ll, isle, aisle said ate, eight the six iron choir Spelling with Color
  21. 21. 1. Memorize then teach learners the 16 colors and their vowel sounds 2. Read the same books aloud over and over again 3. Run your finger under the words as you read 4. Play games with the sounds, “What color is your name? What color is this word _____?” 5. When the learner starts to read prompt them with the color of the words they stumble on The system translates seamlessly to multi- syllable words. How You Teach Your Students to Spell
  22. 22. • The sound & collocation dictionary that categorizes the 2,000 most common words in English into their 16 color chapters • It includes the spelling, pronunciation and literal meaning of each word and is rife with the expressions and the idiomatic use of every entry • It is a dictionary for learners Grass is Black
  23. 23. Beginner Flashcard Word List
  24. 24. Denise Eide the Logic of English
  25. 25. Rita Baker – Brain Power The Global Approach
  26. 26. • We aren’t doing well teaching reading/spelling • No one can sound out English, spelling never tells us how a word sounds • Learners need a real bridge to connect sounds to symbols. • Colors are the simple, all inclusive connection from reading/writing to listening/speaking • Simple books, repetition, awareness and good resources • Teach colors (vowel sounds) as access to spelling Recap
  27. 27. • Sign up for free materials and notices about upcoming webinars: • • Free Videos on Thompson Language Center YouTube channel • Please Sign Up