Spelling strategy made easy
Some people find spelling very difficult. Some people find it very easy. What makes a good speller? All good spellers have a simple strategy to spell. They usually look up or straight ahead to see the word and some of them check it afterwards to see if it feels right by looking down towards the hand they write with. We all can do that. Recognising your own car or bicycle is as sophisticated as recognising the correct spelling of a word.
So to remember a new word with your photographic memory you need to use the following strategy.
In your mind’s eye:
- rather than syllables repeat the word as a whole
- look up and hold it up so you can see it in your visual memory
- The human mind is a pattern making and pattern spotting device. Recognise the pattern of letters that is to say what is repeated, exaggerated and changes the most:
- is it long like ‘cosmopolitan’ or short like’boy’
- has it got the same sized letters like ‘someone’ or got high letters like ‘brilliant’
- has it got low letters like ‘gypsy’
- has it got a mixture of these letters, like ‘gobbledygook’
- has it got double letters, like ‘success’ or ‘Mississippi’
- to make it more memorable: in your mind’s eye, make it bigger, brighter, colourful, move it closer, frame it, place it on your favourite animal, food, colour or any other unusual background
- if the word is long you can break it into groups of three letters and build your image three letters at a time
- spell it forwards and then backwards; start with short words such as ‘dog’ or familiar words as ‘life’, ‘love’
- check if it is the right image by checking it kinesthetically. Does it feel familiar? You can do it by writing it in the air with your arm, leg or nose.
- then place it in your memory bank wherever that is – usually to your left
Basically, to learn how to spell, look at the correct spelling of a word, move your eyes up and to your left and visualise it in your mind’s eye.
It’s easy and fun and you’ll notice that your spelling has improved the more you use this technique, which is in itself very rewarding. The simple rule is that if something is pleasurable the nervous system wants to do it more. If something is stimulating and enjoyable we don’t feel like we are working at all and it seems effortless. It is interesting to watch children nowadays who can spend hours and hours playing more complex and sophisticated games rather than doing basic homework. If only all school learning was play…
Use technology for spelling
Also get Grammarly app at grammarly.com for your computer and mobile devices as well as any standard spelling check software.