While trying to learn the English language, which learning activity should get the highest priority? Grammar, speaking skills, or maybe listening skills? What if I tell you that the BEST possible method of learning English is spelling tests?
I am sure you are frowning upon the idea!
Why shouldnt you? Its a very unorthodox strategy!
But, bear with me I am going to PROVE that spelling tests in native English standards are one of the better ways to learn the English language.
The traditional or the most common method of learning English starts with grammar lessons. The result? Before a learner acquires an adequate vocabulary, he or she is seen practicing past-present-future tense.
Dont get me wrong I understand that grammar is essential.
But it shouldnt be your priority.
The core of a language is not the rules that structure a language but are words. You need to learn words to express your thoughts first. Only after that, you should focus on structuring your thoughts properly.
Let me explain with an example.
Imagine that youve met a person with minimal knowledge about the English language one afternoon. He appeals to you, saying, Hungry, food!
Youll instantly understand that the person is asking for food as he is hungry.
Now comes the big question was the sentence grammatically correct?
Its barely even a sentence!
But from the communicative perspective, that person was completely successful. This is the power of vocabulary and the knowledge of words.
Yes, the knowledge of grammar makes you more qualified in a particular language. Plus, you need to have a strong sense of grammar if you want to master that language.
But it certainly doesnt come off as the first and foremost requirement of learning a language. That credit goes to learning the words of the language.
Remember the most important role of language is to communicate to express the inner feelings.
So, please focus on words and vocabulary while learning a language.
Now, I want to make a request to all the people who are trying to excel in the English language, especially ESL learners.
Please use English to learn English!
Its only common for a non-English speaking person to learn the language using his or her mother tongue. This happens because we love to explore something using a few familiar components.
But this strategy also brings in one huge issue the inability to master the language like a native user.
In this process, youre basically relying on translation way too much.
For example, lets imagine that your first language is Korean. To express a thought, youll first think of it in Korean, then, youll translate that into English in your head, and finally, say it.
The issue is that its nearly impossible to translate one idea from language to another language 100% accurately. Every language has a collection of words to express the thoughts, and you can't convey true emotion and passion of thought using the translation method.
Plus, theres always the issue of improper pronunciation. Im sure you want to speak English like a native speaker, dont you?
Only when you learn English using the English language, you can truly master it. Surely, youll need more time and effort. But your core knowledge or the base will be very, very strong.
So, right now, were standing with two important discoveries
So, how should we learn English to have native-like language skills?
A brilliant solution is using spelling tests or dictation in English.
Spelling tests or spelling practices are directly connected to vocabulary building. Because while practicing spelling, we need to learn the meaning of the word too.
It's not like that - we hear a word, learn the spelling of it, and don't bother about the meaning of that word.
I urge you to learn the meaning of the words using English. You cant get the same results using any other language to learn the meanings of the words.
So, from this perspective, spelling tests can serve two purposes
You cant attain the same results using other strategies.
For example, if you are using listening skills to enhance vocabulary, youll fall victim to homonyms. When two or more words have similar pronunciation but different meanings, they are called homonyms.
When you hear the word by without any context, you cant be sure whether its by or bye.
Thats why spelling practices and spelling tests are important.
Plus, spelling is the pillar of proper writing skills. In the world of emails and instant messengers, who can deny the importance of writing skills?
Now that you understand the importance of spelling tests for learning English, you should also figure out the best ways to practice spelling tests and quizzes.
With the internet dominating our daily lives, I can't think of any other better options.
Just seek help from online sources.
Spelling tests online are becoming better and better every day.
Lets consider the spelling tests from SpellQuiz, for example. Every practice session on this website very structured.
Here, you measure your current vocabulary level with the state-of-art vocabulary test. The best part is that you dont need to spend hours to figure out the vocabulary level.
It only less than ten minutes to do so.
But what comes after that?
Of course, you start your spelling lessons. SpellQuiz will assign you an approximate grade level. The idea is to pick your practice sessions from there.
Dont stop until you have a vocabulary level close to a native English speaker. Research suggests that a native English speaker has a word collection of about 15,000 to 20,000 words.
So, you should aim to have a vocabulary of 15,000 words first. Then, you should work to push that range even further.
But how can SpellQuiz help you to have native-level pronunciation skills?
SpellQuiz boasts of having actual voice artists from the USA and Canada. The more you listen to the dictation in English, the better you can grasp the tone and proper pronunciation of the words.
Let me save you from all the hassle the simplest answer is quality.
The biggest feature of SpellQuiz is that all the spelling lessons and tests are designed by the brightest linguistic experts from the USA and Canada. All the spelling test words are carefully handpicked.
Plus, the same team of experts has assigned the words for spelling tests to the grade levels.
The primary levels (grade one or grade two) have the simplest words to spell and pronounce. It helps younger children or ESL learners to have an easy-pick up point.
Then, the difficulty of the words increases as they get better. This way, the learning curve remains stable, and students can learn faster without even realizing it. The whole process is very sustainable. The extensive spelling tests make the students remember the words for a long time.
Because the practice sessions in SpellQuiz are designed to create a collaboration among listening and writing (typing) skills.
Wait, the list of benefits doesnt just stop there!
The most effective way to learning should incorporate an assessment or evaluation stage, where you can track your progress over time.
SpellQuiz offers that too!
You can see an extensive log consisting
And, many more . . .
So, in a sense, SpellQuiz has created an online school of learning spelling and vocabulary.
You already know that spelling and vocabulary are the two BIG pillars to learn English like a native speaker.
From that perspective, SpellQuiz might just be the perfect place to sharpen your English skills. Plus, dont forget that you are learning every in the native English standards.
Dont let the shackles of borders bind you from learning English like a native speaker. You dont rely on others to learn you can achieve success all on your own.
You can now become your own teacher and learn at a speed that you prefer.
What are you waiting for? Just break the stereotype and start learning English the correct way.
Now, you can compete against children and spelling warriors all over the world for free with the Online Spelling Bee. It's fun and educating.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article.
If you are looking for a tool to improve English, please check the following features of SpellQuiz:
Spelling Tests per Grade