Diane McGuinness · Homage to Jeanne Chall · phonics · spelling · St George's PS

The phonics achievement challenge

Following on from my last post in which I reported the results of a spelling test taken by a class about to begin Y2 in St George’s Primary School in Wandsworth, this time I’m publishing the results from the same spelling test for a class just about to begin Y3.    The reason I’m putting the posts… Continue reading The phonics achievement challenge

David Crystal · Simon Horobin · spelling

Does spelling matter?

Last week in the oxforddictionaries blog, professor Simon Horobin posed the question ‘Does spelling matter?’ and, in truth, it’s very hard to answer largely because it is so multidimensional. One of the most immediate and obvious of problems when dealing with correct spelling is the seemingly enormous amount of emotional investment people have in the… Continue reading Does spelling matter?

Olivia O'Sullivan · spelling

Not much Insight from Olivia O’Sullivan

Olivia O’Sullivan’s  ‘beef’ with synthetic phonics in the ‘Insight’ column of the TES is, she says, after examining ‘hundreds of writing samples’, observing lessons and interviewing teachers and children, that she found that some – she doesn’t say how many – children who had spelling difficulties ‘did not seem to notice many of the visual… Continue reading Not much Insight from Olivia O’Sullivan

Scripps National Spelling Bee · spelling

‘Child Spelling Prodigy Takes to World Stage’

Here’s an interesting success story from npr news station in the USA – ‘Child Spelling Prodigy Takes to World Stage’ . Fourteen-year-old Yulkendy Valdez went to live in the United States less than four years ago. At the time, she had no English. Her interviewer Michel Martin describes her as having learnt English faster than… Continue reading ‘Child Spelling Prodigy Takes to World Stage’

alphabet · Bright · Daniels · spelling · Writing systems

Written and spoken language

As Usha Goswami made clear (see my post ‘Research on reading‘) written language is a representation of spoken language. In other words, written language was invented to stand for the sounds in speech. Wherever you go in the world, humans speak and listen. However, not all societies possess writing: they simply don’t have writing systems… Continue reading Written and spoken language