Beginning spellers need to learn how to pull words apart into sounds, and represent them with letters/spellings. Beginning readers need to recognise letters/spellings, say associated sounds and blend them to make words.
The sounds part of this task (phonemic awareness) is difficult for many, and English spelling is famously complex. Breaking it up and teaching it in an explicit, systematic way maximises everyone’s chances of reading and spelling well. This website aims to help you to help learners read and spell words (decode and encode), so they can move on to build other vital literacy skills like fluency, vocabulary, comprehension and written expression.
This site includes resource lists to help you find high-quality resources, many of which are part of synthetic phonics programs.
The Spelfabet materials were designed by an Australian Speech Pathologist for non-experts to use to teach struggling spellers/readers, including students with speech-language and cognitive difficulties, to sound out words. They’re carefully-sequenced, easy-to-use, affordable, downloadable and reproducible, and should be used with decodable books.
This website includes:
- Video tours of Spelfabet materials: workbooks, games, movable alphabet.
- Freebies: Download free workbook sample pages, picture books, spelling lookup booklet and/or a wordbuilding game.
- Spelling tests: Not sure where to start? Try these video spelling tests.
- Spelling lists: Find free, carefully sequenced spelling lists targeting one new spelling at a time, the many ways each English speech sound is spelt, and the main sounds represented by each spelling pattern.
- Blog: Reviews of resources and teaching strategies, plain English versions of professional/academic information, and the occasional rant or reflection on the way early literacy is taught.
- Consulting: Assessments and goal-setting and programming for struggling readers/spellers, and workshops for schools.