TOPIC 10. ORTHOGRAPHIC CODE OFTHE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. PHONEME-GRAPHEME RELATIONSHIPS. DIDACTICPROPOSALS FOR THE WRITTEN CODE.APPLICATION OF ORTHOGRAPHY INWRITTEN PRODUCTION.
INTRODUCTIONA Language’s orthography is the body ofstandardized rules for its writing system.“Orthography” is often used synonym of“spelling” but also deals with other elementssuch as punctuation and capitalization.English language is famously difficult for itscomplex spelling rules. As stated in RoyalDecree 1513/ 2006, students have to learn thefour language skills (listening, speaking, readingand writing). Orthography is an essential part ofwritten communication.
ORTHOGRAPHIC CODEEnglish language has often little correspondence between spoken(pronunciation) and written (spelling).• English orthographic rules did not begin to solidify untilaround the time of Geoffrey Chaucer and the advent of theprinting press.• The eclipsing of English by French during the NormanConquest where a large number of loan words, withoutanglicised, were incorporated into the lexicon.• The “great vowel shift” was a period of radical changes inEnglish pronunciation taking place between 1450 and 1750.Writing (and therefore spelling) is a graphic representation of the spoken word.Consequently, nearly every sound can be legitimately spelled in more thanone way, and many spellings can be pronounced in more than one way.
English spelling rules• To form past simple of the regular verbs adding “ed” or“ing” to create the gerund form. E.g. work/ worked/working. Irregular verbs are unpredictable and havethree forms e.g. eat/ ate/ eaten.• Many adverbs are formed adding “ly” to adjectives(manner adverbs). E.g. slow/ slowly.• To form most comparatives and superlatives adding “er”and “est” to adjectives. E.g. fast/ faster/ fastest. We use“more” and “most” when an adjective has more than onesyllable.• To form the plural, add “s” to the end of the word. E.g.dog/ dogs.• Capital letters: the first letter of a word is capitalized inproper nouns (specific person, place or thing. E.g.London) and when is followed by a point.But even the best rules have their exceptions.
British and American spellingWebster (*) EnglishAmericanEnglishFinal -l is always doubled after one vowel instressed and unstressed syllables in Englishbut usually only in stressed syllables inAmerican English.(*)rebel > rebelledtravel > travelledrebel > rebelledtravel > traveledSome words end in -tre in English and -terin American English.(*)centre/ theatre center/ theaterSome words end in -ogue in English and-og in American English.analogue/ catalogue analog/ catalogSome words end in -our in English and -orin American English.(*)colour/ labour color/ laborSome verbs end in –ize (Oxford spelling) or-ise in English but only in -ize in AmericanEnglish.realise, realizeharmonise, harmonizerealize/ harmonize
PHONEME -GRAPHEME RELATIONSHIPS• Vowels can be defined as linguistic sounds produced witha relatively open vocal tract ad little impedance to airflow.
PHONEME -GRAPHEME RELATIONSHIPSA consonant is a speech sound that is articulated withcomplete or partial closure of the upper vocal tract.
PHONEME -GRAPHEME RELATIONSHIPS•Glides or Diphthongs are combinations of twovowels which form a single syllable. They havethe same length as long than pure vowels. Thestress in the glides appears on the first element.In English we can find eight glides:•Semivowels: We can find two consonants thatshare characteristics of vowels and consonants.They are /j/ and /w/. They are pronounced likevowels but we use them like consonants sincethey appear before vowels.
DIDACTIC PROPOSALS FOR ORTHOGRAPHY1. Controlled practice: the teacher concentrates on the usage of wordsand sentences. We can use games such as Bingo; match the picturewith its word or definition, Hangman, order the letters of a word, orderthe words in a sentence, spelling dictation, etc.2. Directed practice: the teacher concentrates on definitions,descriptions, letters, and easy written compositions. Students cancreate language on their own by following certain patterns or usingtemplates. E.g. Pen pals. They can complete a text with words from aword bank (Fill the gap activities), punctuate the text, find mistakes andcorrect them, order parts of a text, etc.3. Free practice: the teacher gives freedom to students to write without apattern or guide. They can use the dictionary to check words, writeabout the topic they prefer and use this information to create a posterto be hung on the classroom wall, etc.The ability to write (of which orthography is an essential component) isobviously related to the ability to read. Written production can not,therefore, happen prior to written comprehension.
Teacher’s strategies for correcting• The words that frequently appear printed in textsor reading activities are easy to remember and,therefore, learners don’t often make mistakeswhen spelling them.• Correct all mistakes is not very good for thestudents, since they have little incentive to thinkabout what they did wrong.• Emphasise the mistakes that we consider themost important.• Point out the errors, providing only basicinformation about the type of error, allowing thestudents to correct them themselves. We canmark grammatical error using (gr), spelling errors(sp), etc.
Teacher’s strategies for correcting• Associate errors with an image.• Write down the misspelled word severaltimes.• Look up its definition in the dictionary.• Add it to his or her personal spellingdictionary for quick future reference.• Additionally, teachers can provide a list ofthe most commonly misspelled words forthe students.