Spelling strategies

There are many ways to help you remember how to spell words. If there are certain words that you struggle with, spend some time learning and practising them so you can easily recall the correct spelling in future.

You could:

  • use mnemonics
  • write the words out again and again
  • get creative and make colourful posters featuring the words you want to remember
  • ask for help from friends, family or teachers or use spelling apps to practise

Spending time on spelling will be worth it. Accurate spelling helps to ensure that your intended meaning is conveyed through your writing.

You could try out the following methods to master your spelling.

Mnemonics

A mnemonic is a tool that helps your memory to retrieve information you have stored in it. In spelling you might use a pattern, rhyme or saying to help you recall the way a word is put together.

For example, a mnemonic for remembering ‘necessary’:

“It’s necessary that a shirt has one collar and two sleeves.”

This helps us to remember that ‘necessary’ has one ‘c’ (collar) and two ‘s’s (sleeves).

Finding words within words is another way to create a mnemonic.

For example:

‘Emma faced a dilemma’ might help you remember that there are two m’s in ‘dilemma’.

‘Never believe a lie’ where we find the word ‘lie’ in the middle of ‘believe’.

‘There’s a rat in separate’ reminds us to put ‘arat’ in the middle of ‘separate’.

Another mnemonic involves creating an acrostic. This means taking the letters from the word you want to learn and using these as the initials for words that form a sentence.

These work best when you have invented them yourself and even better when they are funny or peculiar in some way.

For example:

Big Elephants Can Always Understand Small Elephants’: the initial letters form the word BECAUSE.

Rhythm Helps Your Two Hips Move’ is a useful way to remember RHYTHM.

Hear with your ear

Another way of remembering a tricky spelling is to sound the word out. By doing this, you break down the way the word is structured and this makes it easier to remember.

For example, you might break down the word ‘friend’ to 'fri-end' to remind you that the 'i' comes before the 'e'.