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English Spelling… oh, the heartaches

本文作者: Dr. Sarah Sahr
Spelling is a struggle for native and non-native speakers of English. Some people think spelling is a skill that can be learned; others just think spelling is a talent. I think spelling is a talent. All my life, I have been a terrible speller. However, I still love to play games with letters. Below are a few ideas to get students interested in, maybe even, excited about, spelling.

1.Word Scrambles – Give students small cut out pieces of paper that spell out words. It’s best to start with the easiest words first, words that are just 3-5 letters. Or, give students more than one word. To do this, put each word on a different color of paper. Put all the words in an envelope and let students sort them out.

2.Missing Letters – Give students a list of the current spelling words with just one or two letters missing from each word. Have students fill in the missing letters. If you’d like to give your students some help, give a letter bank (similar to a word bank) at the top of the page so students know what letters are missing. As they get better, take more letters away. You could take it one step further and just give students a list of letters that belong to two words. They have to use all the letters only once, for example:

e u i o u b g s g s t n m t h (thumb & suggestion)

3.Pick 3 Letters – Choose any three letters from the English alphabet and write them on the board. In groups, students have to come up with as many words as they can use those letters. The group with the most words, spelling correctly, wins. Play this game in rounds. Let the letters get progressively harder. For example, the first round could be t, l, a. Next could be n, i, s. Next, q, k, e, etc.

4.From one BIG word… make smaller words – On the board, write a word that students are familiar with, that has many consonants and vowels, for example: PHOTOSYNTHESIS. Break students into groups of 4 or so. Groups have to come up with as many words as they can by using the letters in photosynthesis. Make it a contest… Each letter in the word is a point, therefore, the= 3 points, synopsis = 7 points. Or, groups can compare their lists. If there are repeat words, those words are crossed out. Count the remaining words and the group with the most words, WINS! Other great words are: MATHEMATICS, BIBLIOGRAPHY, MISREPRESENTATION, GYMNASIUM, etc. Make it more challenging by saying words must have at least 3 letters, at least 4 letters, etc.

5.Chat Translation – So many of our students have let their spelling fall to the weigh side due to chat & SMS speak. Let students write a complete sentence in their favorite SMS text and translate it into proper English with correct spelling. For example:

My smmr hols wr CWOT. B4, we used 2go2 NY 2C my bro, his GF & thr 3 :- kids FTF. ILNY, it’s a gr8 plc.

My summer holidays were a complete waste of time. Before, we used to go to New York to see my brother, his girlfriend and their three screaming kids face to face. I love New York. It’s a great place.

Taken from: no author, (2003). Is txt mightier than the word? Retrieved from BBC, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/2814235.stm
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