" Spelling is caught rather than taught" , says W.S. Tomkinson in his book 'The Teaching of English'. Non-native speakers of English fare badly as far as spellings are concerned. But it doesn't mean that Native Speakers of this great language don't make mistakes in spellings.
Learning Spellings is not an easy task. It requires constant attention and sharp mind of the learners. However, practice, constant practice plays an important role. Other things are secondary. Teachers' role is more significant. Teachers must follow the following methods to help their students learn English spellings properly.
Look, say and write method -
The teacher writes spellings on the black board. He pronounces the words while writing. The students follow him, means, also speak. Then they copy those words down in their note-book.
There are various drills such as Oral Drill, Motor Drill and Visual Drill which may bring significance improvement in the spellings.
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Grouping of the words -
The language teachers can encourage the students to group together words which almost resemble each other in spelling and pronunciation. Such words are - tin, pin, bin, mat, cat, rat etc. This practice shall be helpful in learning and removing ambiguity related with spellings.
Important Methods of teaching Correct Spellings
Using Flash Cards -
Teacher can write different letters on the flash cards. Then he can mix them. Now students are asked to frame words using the letters written on the flash cards.
Black board method -
In this method, the teacher will write wrong spellings on the black board. He will , then, ask the students to come to the board one by one and correct them.
Spelling Tests or Contests -
This is the best way to motivate the students to improve their spellings. The teacher can organize Spelling Tests or Contests for the students. The test may carry mis-spelt words. In the contest, he can ask the students to pronounce words. In every country such activities are promoted. American Spelling Bee Contest is a good example of it.
Play-way method -
Besides, a teacher may involve all the students in spelling related games. He can divide the class in to two groups. The students of one group ask spellings from the students of other groups. The group/ team which shall speak more correct spellings will win. There may be other similar games.
In order to encourage students to use correct spellings, the teacher or school must reward the students who are good at spellings. It shall have the unexpected and desired results.
Various Teaching Methods -