How can you improve your spelling? Can you use memory techniques to help?
Spelling words is something that I’ve always been good at…ever since I was in grade school. So, I’m not an expert at how to improve your spelling ability, BUT I will share my mindset and how I approach spelling. Maybe this will help you view spelling in different way.
Spelling words is all about knowing and observing rules of the language. English words are harder than other languages because English rules are generally more inconsistent.
For example, the rule: “i” before “e” except after “c”
That helps you know that it’s “receive” and not “recieve”
BUT the rule is broken for the word “weird” (it’s not “wierd”…even though there is no “c”)
It is still valuable to pay attention to those types of spelling rules (knowing there can be exceptions to the rule).
What I try to pay attention to when I read, spell, or learn words…is patterns.
I remember how to spell certain words by observing the patterns…specifically the order of certain letters…or the order of letters in part of the word.
Then I relate that pattern by comparing it to a different word that has the same pattern.
To remember it’s “acceptable” not “acceptible”
I notice the “a” (able) and compare it to other words with “able”:
Over years of reading, writing, and observing these patterns, you become better at it.
Obviously, if you’re not good at spelling, you might not even be able to reliably compare patterns between different words if you don’t know the correct way to spell those different words! So this might not work YET.
But you can start being more observant in these types of patterns and looking at PARTS of words (groupings of letters, suffixes, prefixes, that cause problems for you).
Memory techniques are all about making connections.
If you can relate 1 word and its parts to other words and parts that are spelled similar…you are more likely to remember.
When in doubt, make a story to remember the word spelling.
For example: it’s “acceptable” not “acceptible”
I accept a “table”…I don’t accept a “tible”.
Some stories that you make, you’ll be able to visualize. I encourage visualization and imagery in your stories whenever possible. Imagine yourself “accepting” a “table”.
Any time you make a spelling mistake, analyze what part you misspelled.
For example: you wrote “mispelled” (incorrect) instead of “misspelled” (correct)
-so you only wrote 1 “s”
Note the error you made. Then, note the correct way.
Analyze why it’s “misspelled” and not “mispelled”. Break it down.
It’s because it’s “mis” + “spelled” NOT “mi” + “spelled”
Tip: use a software (Microsoft Word, Google Docs, etc.) that immediately shows you misspelled words in your text/writing. Then you can analyze it, learn, and correct yourself right away.
If you don’t use a software to correct yourself…how will you know you’re misspelling words….and most importantly how do you expect to get better at spelling!?
A grammar Nazi is someone who will (annoyingly) correct you if you misspell a word. It agitates them when people misspell words.
The common example is saying “your” instead of “you’re” and having a grammar Nazi make you feel bad about it.
Don’t be a grammar Nazi. Even if you’re good at spelling.
Some people have dyslexia or naturally have trouble spelling…or they just make a mistake spelling 1 word! Everyone misspells words.
I ignore grammar Nazis. They’re annoying.
If people have to correct you to feel superior, ignore them.
The whole point of communication is to be able to understand someone. If you send people a message and someone gets upset cuz you spelled a word wrong…let them be upset (and laugh at them).
As long as people understand your message, that’s all that matters.
If they can’t handle misspelled words…that’s THERE problem!
(haha….see what I did there. It should be “THEIR”, not “THERE”… I just wanted to make the grammar Nazis mad)
Don’t ever believe or say you’re a bad speller.
If you believe you are and always will be a bad speller, YOU will be!
If you believe/say that you can/will improve…you will improve!
It’s all about your mindset.
Believe you can improve. THEN actually take steps to improve.
Do you want FREE mental performance & memory enhancement tips (from a USA Memory Champion…me!) sent to your email?
Then, enter your first name and email below!