How to Improve Spelling. The Most Effective Techniques
Most of English learners agree that the toughest thing is not even English grammar but spelling. Even though English grammar rules may look complicated for a beginner, you will learn them anyway spending some time and making some effort. Another thing is spelling which is very confusing even for native speakers. Indeed, there are some basic rules, knowledge of which will help you to write even new words correctly. However, there are also a lot of exceptions, the cases when words are written differently, despite the rules.
The reason is that English is a very old language which within its history has experienced the influence of other cultures. As a result, the lion’s share of words in English is borrowed, and thus, they are not subject to the basic English spelling rules. It causes a lot of confusion and even misunderstandings among both native speakers and those who only start learning English. And on the Internet, a query like “how to improve spelling for adults” is not a rare case.
So, what can be done? How to get better at spelling when there are so many words and exceptions? No need to panic! This goal seems impossible since no one can remember all the exceptions and rules, but who says that you should do it all at once? Be smart, use a methodological approach and apply various techniques. Spending day after day reading a dictionary will give you nothing. Here is what you can do.
Books? Are you serious? I was looking for an effective way of how to improve spelling skills, but instead, you advise me to read books? - That is what about half of you are thinking now. But let’s be honest to ourselves. There are no simple way outs. The most effective approaches are those which are hiding in the open. To memorize words better, you need to meet them more often, and the best source for that purpose is reading books. So, doing that allows you to learn more words, remember the exceptions, improve your grammar and punctuation, and even get some new idioms and colloquial phrases. Just one simple method which offers so much for improving English.
Ok, reading books is good, but how to improve your spelling if you still make mistakes? You even know the words the spelling of which usually causes confusion, but no matter how hard you try to remember them, every time you make the same mistake. A familiar situation, isn’t it? But there is an excellent trick that you can apply to those difficult words. Use a mnemonic approach. This technique predetermines a fast checking of the words by means of a simple phrase. For instance, you confuse the word hear with heer. How do you check that? You hear with your ear, so it should be hear. Or you always miswrite the word piece, but you can make a check with a phrase a piece of pie. So, you get the principle. Do a quick search on the Internet, and you will find a lot of such mnemonic examples for English spelling improvement.
3. Chunking Method
Sometimes problems with correct spelling are caused by the word’s length. It is just too long, and you either miss a letter or write it in the wrong order. To avoid misspelling, use a chunking method. For instance, you need to write the word embarrassed. So, chunk it into the shorter ones: em - bar - ras - sed. This way, it is much easier to remember the word by dividing it into four parts.
4. Word Games
The best way to learn something is via games. It is simple, funny, and not boring at all. That’s why this approach is applied to children, but you can also use the same method. To the category of spelling games, one may refer such classical ones as Crosswords, Scattergories, or Scrabble. However, if you are not into board games, there are plenty of spelling apps that you can download on your smartphone and use them whenever you have some free time.
These are four of the most effective methods of how to learn English spelling. There are many more, but if you actually want to improve your spelling, you should not be searching for simple way outs. But remember, the first habit that you should form is to read more books in English. Only after that will all other methods give a result. Otherwise, you will always have problems with correct spelling.