Spelling for grown-ups 1: /s/ spelt C and /j/ spelt G17 Replies
Hooray for recent media reports of a greater emphasis on phonics in the draft Australian National Curriculum.
I’m not a fan of some of the other proposed changes, but more and better teaching of phonics and word-building should prevent a great deal of reading/writing failure, especially among disadvantaged students.
Unfortunately, adults – including many teachers – tell me that they were never taught much about how our spelling system works. This makes it hard for them to teach it well.
I’ve therefore started making a series of what I hope are helpful 5-minute videos for adults about major spelling patterns. Here’s the first one:
Once teachers understand our spelling system, and aren’t hamstrung by unhelpful curriculum requirements, they’ll drop unhelpful spelling-teaching approaches like rote-memorisation of high frequency wordlists, silently writing the same word in many different colours, and other activities not focussed on linking a word’s sounds, spellings and meanings.
Teachers will be able to systematically, explicitly and authoritatively teach how speech sounds are represented by spellings, and how many long words are built from meaningful parts with special spellings. This will help many more children learn to spell and read successfully.