About Spelling


Generally people with dyslexia struggle with spelling words correctly.

Most people who are good at spelling know whether a word looks correct or not. And this is the part dyslexic people struggle with, due to their poor vision skills.

Often teachers recommend reading more to improve your spelling - but this only works if you look at every letter when you read, which people with dyslexia don't.

Today a popular way of teaching spelling is via phonics. You are taught to break a word into sounds, and then spell each sound. However as most sounds can be spelled multiple ways in English, this does not create good spellers. Only 'phonetically correct' spellers.

Learning spellings for a weekly spelling test normally doesn't help you retain the correct spelling, because a week isn't long enough to transfer the correct spelling from your short term to your long term memory.

The good news is, if you can spell 1,000 words, you can spell around 90% of the words you are likely to write, and will therefore be considered a reasonable speller, even if you can't spell other words correctly.

How to Teach Spelling

  • The best way to teach spelling words is to write them out by hand. This will teach your hands how to spell the word. When you've written (or typed) a word correctly enough times it goes into your 'muscle memory' and your hands know how to write it, without you thinking about it.
  • Write each word out lots of times.
  • A strategy is to concentrate on the 1,000 most used words.
  • Another strategy is to rub out incorrect spellings, to stop you seeing them over and over.
  • Practice each word again and again, over a period of a month. A week isn't long enough.
  • Lastly you need to look at every letter when you read. You can improve this by playing Engaging Eyes.

Spelling Tutor

Spelling Tutor decides which words to test from your child's mistakes. These words are tested again and again, with larger and larger gaps between each test, which transfers the spelling from short term to long term memory.

Writing is the best way to learn spellings, so Spelling Tutor dictates words and sentences for your child to write.

Your child then marks their own work, which further reinforces the correct spelling and encourages them to take ownership for their own learning.