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22Fruitmincepies

How do we learn to spell?

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22Fruitmincepies

DD is 6yo and in year 1 (one of the youngest, in WA). Her teacher and her speech therapist have assessed her spelling as being almost a year behind where she should be (4th term FYOS level), and her teacher has her on an ILP for spelling. Reading has come on a lot and is about right for her age. 

She just did some homework (all by herself without any prompting from me - wow), and I’m intrigued by her spelling. She got air (eor), you (yoo) and way (wae) wrong, but spelt ride and finish correctly. 

So I’d love to learn more about the process by which children learn to spell, and how the brain works in this area. Does anyone have some good resources they can point me in the direction of? I’m happy for them to be fairly technical. 

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seayork2002

When ds was little  'jollyphonics' was big

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22Fruitmincepies
1 minute ago, seayork2002 said:

When ds was little  'jollyphonics' was big

I’m talking more psychology, educational theory and neuroscience... 

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PrincessPeach
Posted (edited)

Our speech therapist hands DS using the sounds-write phonics program which is helping a lot. She explained to me that either you are a natural reader, or you are not. For those of us who are not, Explicitly teaching the rules of phonics Is how you teach the kids to read.

There are only a handful of words that don’t fit the rules, one & once are 2 of them.

 

not sure if that is helpful or not sorry.

 

just re-read that, my DS is the same age & in year 1 & even he cannot manage to spell half of that correctly. We just had our parent/teacher interviews & for year 1 In qld the expectation is their writing is phonetically correct, even if it’s not technically spelt correctly.

Edited by PrincessPeach

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caitiri

Spelling and reading though are 2 different processes.  Which is why some of the greatest readers are woeful spellers.  My DS has delayed reading, he can’t spell a lot of the words that he can read  sometimes he can spell words he can’t read it’s fascinating.
 

Your DD knew that e makes an eh sound when you focus on an r it often sounds like or so eor makes a lot of sense.  Try Spelfabet for a start I like her stuff and she talks in her blog a lot about the processes of reading and has some good links.

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blimkybill

I can't send you to any research, sorry, but can provide a bit of information. 

Firstly the way she spelled the words you listed sounds pretty fair for Year 1 to me!

Second,  English spelling is ridiculously complex.  There are usually multiple pronunciations for each letter combination, and multiple spellings for each sound. Learning to spell starts on a foundations of phonics, learning that words are made from individual sounds which we can mentally split up.(segment), and letters and letter combinations represent each sound in a word.  Children start by learning the most common sounds made by individual letters. They then move on to letter combinations which make particular sounds. When they learn to write,  the most important skill in the early years is to segment the word in their head, and write a letter or letter combination to represent each sound in the word. This leads to the very gorgeous phonetic spelling of young children. 

Now simultaneously while mastering this skill they are also learning new letter combinations,  learning that each sound in a word could be made a variety of different ways, and starting to memorize the correct option for some familiar words.  As time goes on the memorization aspect becomes more and more important in getting accurate spelling. Being a good reader helps a lot with this,  as the more often you see words, the more you remember them. 

Your daughter has been taught that the letter combination "oo" makes the <oo> sound. She probably has not yet been taught that ou is also an option.  She has used her phonics skills to work out yoo and wae, using letter sound patterns she has been taught. She hasn't yet progressed to all the different ways to spell those sounds, nor to memorising the correct spelling of those words. 

I think she's doing well! To me it's very normal to have a wide spread in the rate of picking up reading and spelling which is completely normal. 

 

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Crombek

Check out Alison Clarke

 https://www.spelfabet.com.au

She's a speechy who has an incredible knowledge of the process or reading and writing. Lots of free resources. 

Your DD sound like she doing what I would expect. Using phonics different sounds are taught at different times, e.g. sh is taught before air (which is tricky because it's 1 sound but 3 letters. And could also be spelled are (rare, bare) ear (bear) or aer (aeroplane). But sh is always sh   

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BusbyWilkes

I agree with PP that I wouldn’t think she was a year behind with what you’ve posted. She is mixing phonetic spelling with some spelling rules/sound blends that she has learnt. I think your school must have some very high achieving kids to have your DD on a ILP! What was the reason you started speech therapy for her?
 

I think this is the sort of thing you were wanting!

https://dsf.net.au/professionals/teachers-and-tutors/effective-teaching-strategies-for-all-students/reading-and-spelling

 

The spelling wheel under this link is especially good. They run some good and reasonably affordable PD if you are really interested.

 

 

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Crombek

OP - your daughter would be in FYOS in my state. And she would be working well within age expectations for that cohort.  

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22Fruitmincepies
9 minutes ago, BusbyWilkes said:

I agree with PP that I wouldn’t think she was a year behind with what you’ve posted. She is mixing phonetic spelling with some spelling rules/sound blends that she has learnt. I think your school must have some very high achieving kids to have your DD on a ILP! What was the reason you started speech therapy for her?
 

I think this is the sort of thing you were wanting!

https://dsf.net.au/professionals/teachers-and-tutors/effective-teaching-strategies-for-all-students/reading-and-spelling

 

The spelling wheel under this link is especially good. They run some good and reasonably affordable PD if you are really interested.

 

 

Thank you, very helpful. 

Yes, the school is high achieving, but in a very nurturing, supportive way, where they try to help each child do their best. It’s a smaller school (less than 400 kids), a high SES area, and the parent population is very highly educated (doctors, scientists etc). I really like our school. 

Im not concerned particularly about her spelling (I’m sure she will catch up, especially considering how attentive her teacher is), I’m more intrigued by how she could spell some words I’d have thought more tricky; but I can see I was only thinking about exposure and not about the spelling rules they are being taught. 

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22Fruitmincepies

I should add, she’s doing speech as she hasn’t got th, l, r and s sounds, and she wanted to learn to say them correctly (well l and r, she hadn’t noticed the others I don’t think). She had done speech previously for stuttering. It’s going brilliantly and her clever speechie makes even her homework really fun. 

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coolbreeze
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, 22Fruitmincepies said:

I should add, she’s doing speech as she hasn’t got th, l, r and s sounds, and she wanted to learn to say them correctly (well l and r, she hadn’t noticed the others I don’t think). She had done speech previously for stuttering. It’s going brilliantly and her clever speechie makes even her homework really fun. 

My ds had a persistent stutter from 3-8 years old and did the lidcombe speech program. Slow to speech but once started talking, he spoke in full sentences. Hes stuttering was not blocking, more the repetitive type. "like like, like I when we went to the park" He no longer stutters but I can still hear that hesitation at times when he goes to say something.  As if his mouth needs to catch up with his brain. I think his mild dysgraphia is related to the stutter. 

He is 12 now and an excellent, advanced reader. (always has been) but quite challenged with handwriting and spelling.  Normal, bright IQ with excellent verbal comprehension skills. Could read word such as "tsunami "at seven but couldn't spell "mouse"  or could one day and then not the next.

The thing is despite also being at a high achieving school with extra support, including handwriting without tears and ILP for spelling he always struggled getting his thoughts down on paper in a cohesive way.  He was just keeping up, making gains in this area but not really getting ahead. A bright kid but slowed down by spelling and handwriting.

My thoughts are that he has some level of dysgraphia. This year(Grade 6) he has been having a tutor (SPELD trained and primary school teacher) one hour a week to teach him the basics of phonetic from the start in a one on one environment, away from school. I think it is the  looks right,sounds right program. His confidence level is improving massively and spelling also. He also really happy to have his tutor and the help he is getting.

Just keep an eye on it, the speech therapy for stuttering and spelling issues was so like my son at that age. For some kids it is just they learn spelling at a different pace, for some it is really difficult. That was the experience of my bright but frustrated son.

CB

Edited by coolbreeze
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22Fruitmincepies
3 hours ago, Crombek said:

Check out Alison Clarke

 https://www.spelfabet.com.au

She's a speechy who has an incredible knowledge of the process or reading and writing. Lots of free resources. 

Your DD sound like she doing what I would expect. Using phonics different sounds are taught at different times, e.g. sh is taught before air (which is tricky because it's 1 sound but 3 letters. And could also be spelled are (rare, bare) ear (bear) or aer (aeroplane). But sh is always sh   

Thank you, this is really helpful 

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kimasa

My daughter is also in grade one and her writing seems the same as your daughter's. Online school has taught me that DD's class divides their 1/2 cohort into 4 ability groups for literacy, DD is in group 3 of 4.

She gets harder words right because they're usually the ones that show up on spelling tests so she's practiced them. The ones she has to sound out she ends up with very exaggerated phonetic spelling, which is totally normal for grades 1 and 2. My personal favourite example was the time the teacher read them Belinda by Pamela Allen over video chat, then they had some questions to follow up and she wrote about "the farmer's caoooow".

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Riotproof

The words she sounded out (quite reasonably) are ones that look like sight words to me. So, they commit them to memory instead of relying on other tools, right? 
The other ones seem to be something you can sound out, even ride with the bossy E. 

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MadMarchMasterchef
Posted (edited)

You could get her ears checked. Sometimes hearing issues aren't obvious through speech alone. 

DD1 is 9, she has dyslexia.  Her reading is quite good but spelling is atrocious.  Your DD is too young to worry about anything like that though and there isn't any funding as such for dyslexia, but DD does get some extra help in class with the SSO.

Edited by MadMarchMasterchef
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