Here is a simple yet powerful Strategy for Learning to Spell.
In the last 12 years I have used this simple strategy with children and it has remarkably helped children learn spellings easily. Initially one may do the strategy repeatedly until it becomes a natural way of learning spellings. You may want to first play and have fun and learn this strategy for yourself. And once you have learnt the process you will naturally be able to teach it easily to children.
A little background to this method.
You may be familiar with different modes of Thinking Visual, Auditory & Kinesthetic.
A little insight into how these modes work in the area of Learning.
Visual Learning is learning through creating movies in our mind. It involves creating moving pictures with sounds and feelings just like a movie.
Think of your favourite scene or moment from one of your favorite movie.....Great! How did you think of it? Did you go from the beginning of the movie sequentially or were you able to access it instantly at random?
Well most people access the picture randomly. Visual learning is very fast and also enables one to randomly access pictures. Most people who are Excellent at Academics tend to learn creating movies in their mind. They may not be aware of it but do so unconsciously.So if one wants to Excel at academics it can be useful to Learn Visually.
Auditory Learning is learning through creating sounds and words internally.
Think of the 4th line from a nursery rhyme or poem your recall. Those of you who are familiar with Jack & Gill can you think of the 4th line from Jack & Gill. Great!!
How did you access this information? Were you able to retrieve it in an instant or did you have to start saying the poem from beginning till you reached the 4th line to retrieve it?
For most of us we probably had to start saying the poem in our mind or aloud to retrieve the 4th line. This kind of learning is called Auditory Learning. It is sequential in nature and slower than Visual Learning for Academics. However it is extremely useful when we want to learn music.
Kinaesthetic Learning is learning through storing the learning experience through internal muscle memory or tactile senses. This kind of learning can be very slow if used in Academics. However Kinesthetic learning is extremely useful to learn any sport.
We can combine different Learning Styles to find what really works for one to better their Learning. The NLP Spelling Strategy was found to be the Strategy that most Excellent Spellers used.
Here below is how one can learn to develop that Strategy for Learning Spellings.
1. Place the correct spelling of the word in either capital letters or small
letters (avoid cursive writing) in front of you so you can see it easily.
Example: Write it as below
2. Close your eyes and think of something that makes you feel happy and
3. When the feeling is strong, open your eyes and look at the correct spelling.
Take a snapshot of the whole word.
( Like we take a snap through the camera)
Place the spelling or word slightly above your eye level when you take a
snapshot of it.
4. Then move your eyes up (only eyes not neck) and picture the word
i.e. spelling(as an image of the whole word) in your mind's eye. This is done
without seeing the written word.
You may want to close your eyes while picturing it in your mind's eye.
Check if you have a clear image of the letters of the word. If not take another
snapshot of the word in a happy & relaxed state.
5. Look at the spelling of the word in your mind's eye and write down the letters
you see from the first to the last letter.
Check what you have written with the correct spelling.
If incorrect go to step 2.
Example : for the word above
6. Look at the spelling of the word in your mind. As you are seeing it in your
mind's eye, write the letters down from right to left i.e. see the last letter and
write it first. Then see the letter before the last letter and next write it before
the last letter and so on till you see the first letter and write it.).
Check the spelling.
If incorrect, go to step 2.
Example: for the word above
...... T Y L
3rd 2nd 1st
7. Then look at the word spelling as a whole image in your mind and say
the word out loud. (check pronunciation from dictionary)
This helps to link the sight of the word to the sound of the word.
8. RECALL & CHECK.
After learning whenever possible just look up and see the word in your
mind's eye. Check if the spelling of the word is clear in your mind's eye.
If not you may want to do the above process again.
A. Picture the word in your favourite colour.
B. Break the word into groups of three letters and build your picture three
letters at a time. Remember to finally see all the letters together.
C. Adjust the size of the word so that you can see the whole word easily.
Note : Some Tips to help while teaching it to children.
While teaching children you can initially use flash cards with different colours.
Place the flash card in front of their eyes in the middle slightly above eye level.
Check if they are able to see the whole word. Adjust the distance of the flashcard so they can see the whole word while taking a snapshot.
Show them how to take a snapshot.(like we do using a camera)
Elicit a relaxed fun state in the child before showing them the card.
Be Chilled & Have Fun! Our attitude to learning is what makes all the difference to kids to learn easily.
You may also want to join them in the learning game. When children see us learning having Fun, making mistakes and taking it as a Learning Experience they too tend to do the same.
Make it Fun & Relaxed.
It is not about getting it right.....
it is about ENJOYING &
helping children DISCOVER THE JOY OF LEARNING.
Hope this learning is useful to you,