English Language A2 AQA Acquisition - Spelling

Language Acquisition - Spelling

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Strategies used to help us spell

  • Sound Cues, sounding out words to stress the sounds and syllables.
  • Clues from word's meaning to make links with similar words
  • Writing it down until it looks right
  • Using grammatical knowledge to predict spelling
  • A dictionary or computer spell-checker.


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When problems arise...

In English, 26 letters represent 44 phonemes. Children need to make decisions about whther individual graphemes ( unit of written sound, used to represent a phoneme) represent the sound, or whether a digraph (two letters produced as a single sound, such as 'sh') is needed to create a single sound.

The sounds of letters are often affected by their position in the word or by the surrounding letters. Therefore, phonetic strategies are often insufficient for accurate spelling.

Problems also arise because of the number of homophones in English. Here are some examples of homophones beginning with the letter 's':

sea/see - sale/sail - stare/stair - son/sun - some/sum - steak/stake

Another difficulty is the addition of inflections, which can affect the phonology of a word, as in 'house' and 'houses'.

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The 5 Spelling Stages

Pre Phonemic - A child can imitate writing, mainly scribbling and using pretend writing, some letter shapes are decipherable.

Semi-Phonetic - Link letters shapes and sounds, using this to write words.

Phonetic - Understand that all phonemes can be represented by graphemes, words become more complete.

Transitional - Combine phonic knowledge with visual memory, an awareness of combinations of letters and letter patterns, including the 'magic e' rule.

Conventional - Spell most words correctly.

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Categories of Spelling Error

Insertion - Adding Extra letters.

Omission - Leaving out letters.

Subsitution - Substituting one letter for another.

Transposition - Reversing the correct order of letters in words.

Phonetic Spelling - using sound awareness to guess letters and combinations.

Over/undergeneralisation of spelling rules - Overgeneralising a rule where it is not needed, or undergeneralising it by only applying it in one specific context.

Salient (key) sounds - Writing only the key sounds.

The next card will give you some examples.

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Insertion - e.g butifull

Omission - e.g  suddnly

Substitution - e.g fraindly

Transposition - e.g becuase

Phonetic Spelling - e.g kitins

Over/undergeneralisation - in general, there are many examples of this.

Salient (key) sounds - e.g bissnis

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