Spell Better by using these Spelling Strategies

Spelling English words can be challenging. Schools and businesses expect correct spelling. The better your spelling skills are, the more likely you are to do well in communicating your ideas whether you write scholarly papers, articles, or advertisements.

Apply these simple strategies to improve your spelling skills.

Use mnemonics. Mnemonics are rhymes or phrases which make memorization easier. A common spelling mnemonic is “i before e, except after c or when sounded as a as in neighbor and weigh”. You can make up your own mnemonic for any word you find difficult or for remembering other spelling rules.

Say it right. Many of us get a little lazy in our everyday conversations and do not pronounce words properly. For instance, it is fairly common to drop the “g” at the end of the “–ing” suffix. So running becomes “runnin”. While people will understand what you mean, if you spell the word the way you say it, you would be incorrect. Be sure you pronounce a word correctly and you are more likely to get the spelling correct as well.

Play word games. Improve your spelling skills by playing fun word games. Word searches, hangman, crosswords, Scrabble, and other word puzzles reinforce spelling skills. You can buy books which contain collections of word puzzles or search the internet on any of the games mentioned here.

Research. There are two areas you can research which will give you excellent practice material. Search the internet for “spelling lists”. Download those that interest you and use them to learn how to spell new words. The other area to search is for Latin and Greek roots, prefixes, and suffixes. More words in the English language are based on these two languages than are based on Old English! Learning the Latin and Greek roots and affixes (prefixes and suffixes) will increase your spelling skills tremendously.

Know which word you are spelling. Many “spelling” errors are actually problems with selecting the correct word. Homonyms are often the culprits. Homonyms are words that are spelled differently but sound the same (homophones) or words which are spelled the same but have different meanings and different pronunciations (homographs). One of the most commonly confused group of homonyms is their, they’re, and there. Spend time reviewing the most commonly misused words. Make sure you clearly understand when to use each word and what its meaning is.

You can be a better speller. Faithfully practice every day using one or more of the spelling strategies presented here. You will very quickly see your spelling is improving.

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