Spelling is not just a case of identifying sounds in a word and being able to relate them to letters, though this is a big help in many cases.
Being a good speller also involves:
- breaking words into component parts and writing each one correctly
- remembering some spelling rules
- being able to see the word in your head and 'read it off'
- learning some 'word families'
- having good visual recall and being able to tell if it 'looks right'
There are many ways to help children learn to spell:
- encouraging them to 'have a go' if the word they want to use is regular: 'Well let's see, there are five letters in that word let's put five dashes on this bit of scrap paper. I'm sure you know what the first letter is..'
- supporting them to build up the word as appropriate; the middle bit is often the tricky part − fill in this part for them if necessary
- praise for trying 'that's nearly right, well done'
- providing the word straight away if its irregular and can't be 'built up' eg 'two'
- give a visual model of the word rather than just spelling it out verbally , then encourage him to do LSCWC (Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check) to help them remember the word next time
- encourage children to look at the words carefully − 'take a photo' in your head; notice its shape and any double consonants, or any small words inside the bigger word
- say it aloud − using a mnemonic for tricky words can help
- identify word families; for example, fight, light, might, night, sight, tight
- make use of word banks, use a (spelling) dictionary / word book or other dictionary and look it up
- play word games for example, hangman, wordsearches, crosswords or games such as Pass the Word