Date
16 August 2020

Teach spelling skills explicitly

Teach learners to spell according to the sounds of words, break up words phoneme by phoneme

On this page:

On this page:

Current page section: Teach spelling skills

Go to top of current page: Teach spelling skills

Show list of page sections

Components of spelling instruction

Components of spelling instruction

Spelling instruction should include:

  • Alphabetic principle – knowledge of which individual letters match up to sounds, in a left to right sequence
  • Pattern information – which groups of letters function as a pattern to represent sounds, for example, CVC (Consonant/Vowel/Consonant) pattern to form short vowels – “cat” or CVCe/CVVC patterns to form long vowels as in “same” or “meat”
  • Spelling variations based on word origins – for example, “ch” sounds like /ch/ in Anglo-Saxon words like check, /sh/ in French words like niche, and /k/ in Greek words like chaos
  • Meaning information – which groups of letters represent meaning (the prefix re- as in “redo” meaning to do again).

Source: Reading Rockets (opens in a new tab/window)

Teach word patterns systematically

Teach word patterns systematically

Teach word (or phonic) patterns systematically.

Explicitly teach students how to use word patterns when they are attempting to read and spell new words so they can go on to do it independently (Chapman & Tunmer, 2019).

Break words into syllables

Break words into syllables

Understanding syllables helps students learn to spell words correctly.

Teach different types of syllables (open and closed) and what occurs when syllables join together within a word.

Use word hunts

Use word hunts

Word hunt activities help students make the connection between spelling words and reading words.

Use texts students have previously read. Focus on patterns within words, following the particular spelling patterns they are learning.

Practise through repetition

Practise through repetition

Provide a wide range of tools and opportunities for students to practise listening to, making, and writing words.

Useful resources

Useful resources

Website

Spelling

Publisher: Literacy Online

Visit website

Writing for impact Teaching students how to write with a plan and spell well

Writing for impact: Teaching students how to write with a plan and spell well

Publisher: NZCER Press

Price: One off charge NZ$90.00

Visit website

Website

Spelling instructional guidelines

Publisher: WETA Public Broadcasting

Visit website

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Support early literacy development through a structured literacy approach”:

Return to the guide “Dyslexia and learning”

Guide to Index of the guide: Dyslexia and learning

Top