Spelling for Life: Uncovering the Simplicity and Science of Spelling

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There is a myth that English spelling is unnecessarily complex. It is spread by those who don’t understand the writing system. Spelling for Life offers lucid, accessible tools which help to reveal that, when explicitly and systematically taught, spelling is scientific, law-abiding, and even elegant.

It takes hard work and it takes much thought to ‘look under the bonnet’ of the writing system and that’s why it can be preferable for teachers to issue random word lists for memorization in the hope that some children will learn to spell.

Many people struggle to spell due to coping strategies developed in place of explicit instruction. Often, students who can read and express themselves competently nevertheless find spelling difficult. False assumptions about spelling only perpetuate their difficulties.

Spelling for Life enables teachers and students to:

  • learn what the common spelling coping strategies are
  • gain insights into undoing poor spelling habits
  • work together to reveal patterns not only in regular spelling but also in words which on the surface seem to break the spelling rules
  • practice successful spelling strategies, progressing from simple to complex words rapidly and with confidence.

Using a synthesis of theory, research, and teaching experience, the fascinating nature of English spelling is systematically teased out. The examples and exercises offer an encouraging, accessible way to implement the program of study and strive to reveal the beauty of spelling. Aided by example lessons, formative assessments and unique tools, this highly acclaimed overview of spelling succeed in developing theory and practice in the writing system for teacher and student alike.

Publication date: October 2009