StarSpell 3 Spelling Guide - The Spelling Route and the Three Approaches to Spelling

This Guide aims to demystify how spelling is learned. It shows smart ways to help learners, both using StarSpell and with activities away from the computer. All the practice in the Guide is based on actual classroom experience

The Spelling Route and the Three Approaches to Spelling

At this point you may well be asking yourself just how the activities recommended in the Spelling Route relate to the three approaches to spelling outlined in How spelling works: Listen & Build, Look & Learn and Work within Words.

We can outline the different emphases throughout the stages as follows:

· Listen & Build is present from the early stages until it becomes an established competence, needing no further polish (round about the stage Beyond Phonics).

· Look & Learn is a constant. It is a necessary tool throughout the continuum, an ever-useful routine through all the stages of development.

· Work within Words kicks in when learners have already learned quite a bit about spelling using the other two approaches.

Awareness of the Three Approaches helps learners understand how to learn

Learning is greatly helped along by learners being aware of their own learning methods. So it's a good idea to let them in on this useful fact: there are three approaches, and that they work together. In fact, the names for the three approaches have been designed as catchy descriptors for learners' own use. Introduce each approach separately, over a time-scale that suits your learners. Then follow up each explanation with an aide memoire, perhaps a classroom poster, or a handy bookmark-sized card. One such poster is known to have worked very well using cartoons of a pile of alphabet bricks to illustrate Listen & Build, a camera for Look & Learn ("photo it in your memory"), and a wise old owl for Work within Words. (You might decide to leave out Work within Words during the earlier stages of spelling.)


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