Parents often worry if their child is struggling or falling behind in class if they make a mistake spelling a word correctly. But what they need to understand is that the process of mastering spelling takes time. There are multiple stages of spelling development, and a student needs to develop a number of skills before being able to spell a word correctly.
In this article, I will explain the Spelling development process so that you can understand your childs level and help them accordingly to advance.
Before we start with the stages, I need to tell you about something first!
There are two types of spelling methods the students attempt while going through the stages of spelling development. In most cases, these attempts are made when they hardly have any knowledge about spelling rules.
Nevertheless, they are positive indications that their understanding and interest in learning spelling are growing. As a teacher or parent, you should praise and encourage them for taking more attempts while teaching them a few rules or other skills.
Has your child ever shown you scribbles on a page and explained what they Wrote?
Normally when children are 3-5 years old, right before going to school, they start to distinguish between drawing and writing. They realize that writing is a way to express their ideas or a method of communication.
Obviously, they dont have any knowledge about the alphabet or how a letter sounds. Some might argue if it can be considered Spelling as there might not be a single letter on the page (which is the reality in most cases), but children in this stage start to grasp the meaning of spelling.
Not long after, they start to go to school, learn about the alphabet and its corresponding sound. They still might not understand uppercase or lowercase letters and spacing between words or the direction of writing.
At the end of this stage, children have pretty good knowledge about the above criteria and are ready to start learning to spell.
After learning the alphabet and its sounds, children try to arrange those letters according to their sounds to form words. This is called invented spelling because children are inventing spellings as they have no prior knowledge about spelling rules or patterns. They are simply arranging the letters according to their best judgement.
Children mainly focus on their phonetic spelling skills in this method and analyze the relationship between speech sounds and their visual representation. For simple words such as Bat, Lid, Go, Pin, etc., this method might work, but spelling complex words would be a disaster.
If the student is attempting to invent spelling, this is an indication that they have profound knowledge of letter sounds now. You should start teaching them spelling rules so that they can successfully spell complex words.
There are 5 stages of spelling development, and the transition from one stage to another is gradual. You cant take a spelling test or make a checklist to see if your child is ready to go to the next stage.
Instead, you can provide related spelling activities to your kid for that stage so that they can understand the concepts faster and move on to the next stage.
In the first stage, the student might have mastered the alphabet but to match them to their sounds is yet to achieve. But this is also the stage when they are the most excited to learn to spell. Theyll show you their Writing, which consists of random letter clusters with no meaning.
Though their scribbling may seem meaningless to us, they will explain to you what they wrote enthusiastically. Try to listen to their explanation carefully and give suggestions about how to better their work.
Spelling difficulties can lead to more spelling problems. Understand the top spelling problems and solutions now!
Phonetic learning starts in this stage. Children learn to match letters to letter sounds.
If they start to write in this stage, youll notice some significant tendencies-
For example, The eye of Sauron might look like D I op Srn. Though the latter is the norm of texting nowadays, learning the proper spelling is heavily recommended for kids.
Its best to always include a fun way of learning spelling. There are many online programs for that. Check out our honest review of spelling shed to get an idea about this program now!
After children have fully comprehended the letter-sound correspondence, CVC or consonant-vowel-consonant words would be easy to spell for them. The phonetic stage of spelling development is very important for children. They may start identifying word families such as -ly, en-, -ing, etc.
However, irregularly spelled words, especially the ones with double consonants or vowels or silent letters are still inappropriate for the students. They may write Small Talk as Smol tak or Swiss Cheese as Suis Chij. Your child can also try out an adaptive spelling test.
When children are in the transitional stage of spelling development, their phonetic skills are fairly strong, so they may start memorizing words without sounding them out.
It is time for them to focus more on learning spelling visually. You can add some traditional methods of teaching spelling in your lesson plan.
There might still be a bit problem with similar-sounding complex words such as Exceed and Accede, Affect and Effect, Mousse and Moose etc.
There are various stages in spelling development. Its a great practice to use spelling mastery program for making it a fun process.
The final stage of spelling development is the Correct stage. Students in this stage are well-aware of basic spelling rules and patterns. There will be less struggle with spelling new words as they now can handle silent letters, irregular spelling, and other tricky spelling cases. They will be able to recognize their mistakes in most cases and correct it according to their knowledge.
More so, they can read a book suitable for their reading level on their own, and their vocabulary range would be considerably large. They can also take a vocabulary test to determine their level of expertise.
After completing the final stage, your child is qualified to join a Spelling Bee competition. You can help them with SpellQuiz Spelling Bee Online Competition, where they will compete against students around the world. You can track their progress via a dedicated dashboard.
In addition to the special tasks for spelling stages, you need to add other activities in your lesson plan that will help them to understand the art of spelling better.
Now that you have understood the spelling development process and how to support it, I hope you wont ever be worried about your kids progress. Keep patience and give them proper guidance to ensure constant improvement of their skills.
Spelling Tests per Grade