Is it flour or flower?
Spelling in English can be bizarre, and English speakers are happy to tell you all about it. Everyone has asked, “Why do you pronounce ‘there’, ‘they’re’, and ‘their’ the same, when they have completely different meanings and spellings?” All of these English spelling exceptions can be confusing for the new English learner.
Making a spelling mistake in English is embarrassing in social situations. But misspelling English words at work causes unnecessary miscommunication and problems. Fortunately, we have an easy fix for you! Start mastering your English skills by applying these simple spelling strategies.
Spelling Strategy #1: Phonetic Spelling
Is it I or eye?
English is a phonetic language, meaning the letters create combinations of sounds. While the English alphabet has 26 letters, it also has 44 unique sounds. Letters are written and sounds are spoken. Once you understand the 44 sounds or ‘phonemes’ in English, you’ll be able to spell the words correctly when you hear them.
Spelling Strategy # 2: Visual Spelling
Is it borrower or borrowur?
Many English teachers use visual stimulation in their lessons. It’s important to activate your creative brain and your critical thinking brain at the same time. To practice this strategy, you can begin playing word games like pictionary or word search. Have fun while you learn to spell correctly!
Reading children’s books with pictures is a great way to visually place the correct spelling of a word into your memory. Your brain will be able to quickly recall the spelling of a word with a picture attached to it. This technique can be achieved with picture flash cards as well.
Spelling Strategy # 3: Spelling Through Pronunciation
Say the word before you spell it.
Learning spelling through pronunciation is one of the most effective strategies. Before you spell the word try sounding it out. Then try saying each letter while you are writing the word. This will improve your pronunciation and spelling at the same time.
Spelling and pronunciation are equally important. The Loora app is ideal because you can practice your pronunciation of words while visually learning how to spell. Use Loora’s pronunciation tool to improve your spelling while you try to beat your pronunciation score.
Spelling Strategy # 4: Rule-Based Spelling
‘I’ before ‘E’, except after ‘C’.
Most English students are taught from a very young age these important spelling rules. Put them to memory now and you’ll thank yourself later.
Here are some of the most popular rules taught by English teachers worldwide:
- ‘I’ before ‘E’, except after ‘C’ – The most popular English rule to put to memory. Remember that the vowel ‘I’ always goes before the vowel ‘E’, except when there’s a ‘C’ right before the vowels. ex: niece, ceiling
- ‘S’ never follows ‘X’ – some students get confused when they hear the /s/ sound when pronouncing words with ‘x’ but while the /s/ sound is pronounced, it is never written. Instead that sound is achieved with ‘c’ after the ‘x’. ex: excite
- Every syllable contains a vowel – Syllables are the building blocks of a word. To practice, try saying the word out loud while clapping on the beat. To figure out how many syllables there are, just count the claps in a word. Remember that every syllable must have a vowel.
- Most common words don’t end with a ‘V’ or a ‘J’ – If you’re spelling a word and it ends in a ‘v’, chances are there’s a silent ‘e’ letter at the end. Also words that seem to end with a /j/ sound, actually end with a ‘-dge’. ex: Hive, and Judge
Spelling Strategy # 5: Dictation
There’s no better way to learn to spell than through dictation. Find an audiobook that is easier than your current English level, like a children’s audiobook. Spell the words you hear without worrying about making mistakes. Spellcheck and repeat the process until spelling becomes second nature.
Have fun, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and practice every day!
Download Loora today for free, to practice spelling through pronunciation.