Three steps to superior spelling, the NorthLight way

Want to assist your kid to spell much better? Consider these suggestions from NorthLight College, which runs a Spelling Bee for its students each individual 12 months that places their spelling  skills to the check.

By Lim Jun Kang

It all started off when NorthLight School’s English Division created a programme to boost their students’ spelling techniques.

The academics came up with a multi-pronged solution, educating learners solutions to split phrases down and reinforce their studying, and giving them a platform to exhibit their abilities.

NorthLight University is 1 of the four specialised faculties in Singapore that gives much more arms-on learning for college students soon after they have completed their major school education and learning.

Through these spelling solutions, the instructors plant a seed and empower our college students to imagine in themselves”, states Mrs Tai. “The techniques have been illuminating for them and made them realise that spelling is not as complicated as it could seem.”

Dad and mom, you could want to check out these strategies at property!

Three steps to better spelling, the NorthLight way1

Learners tap their finger with just about every syllable they enunciate to make up a word with numerous syllables.

1. Elevate a finger for a phoneme, faucet a finger for a syllable

At any time read of finger spelling? NorthLight’s academics saw how the multisensory approach, which allows learners to imagine through a term before they compose it, could be adapted to go well with their 12 months 1 and 12 months 2 students.

Pupils are very first taught to enunciate just about every audio (or phoneme) that can make up a monosyllabic term. To spell ‘cat’, for example, they would enunciate the three phonemes that make up the letters “c”, “a”, and “t”. Applying their non-dominant hand, they would increase their index finger to every phoneme.
This provides the college students visible cues as they create the letters out with their dominant hand.
Most learners would have basic phonics knowledge from their preschool and primary faculty schooling, so they do know the letter that corresponds to each individual phoneme,” clarifies NorthLight’s Head of Department for English, Mrs Tai Peng Peng. 
“For these who even now deficiency this kind of foundational understanding, the teacher will prompt by asking which letter makes each individual sound and guideline them to the suitable spelling and recap the suitable phonics rule if required.” 

The learners uncover that breaking a word down this way is helpful and motivating – even when they misspell a term, they may perhaps have gotten some phonemes correct, which helps make having the total phrase ideal much more attainable with a several far more tries.

As pupils get proficiency and assurance in spelling monosyllabic words and phrases, terms with many syllables are released. They are taught to faucet the table with 1 finger of their non-dominant hand for just about every syllable they listen to as they say the term aloud (e.g. “catapult” is made up of 3 syllables so they faucet three occasions as they enunciate “cat”, “a”, “pult”).  

With their dominant hand, they draw strains to individual two consecutive syllables (e.g. cat/a/pult).
English trainer Ms Chen Wei Teng intended the two-lesson deal. She explains, “This finger-spelling system is usually utilised to teach pupils with dyslexia but we modified it to match those with other mastering complications. It operates properly much too.”

Three steps to better spelling, the NorthLight way2

2. Examination and check to strengthen learning 

For the more mature Yr 3 and Yr 4 learners who have to spell longer and additional intricate terms, the ‘Look Say Cover Generate Check’ system was introduced. 

Learners are taught to first “Look” at the spelling of a term to establish any spelling styles such as recurring letters up coming to each and every other or any acquainted components. They then “Say” it aloud centered on the phonemes, “Cover” the word and visualise it in their minds, “Write” the word and “Check” if they have spelt it correctly. This reinforces their familiarity with spelling the term.

Three steps to better spelling, the NorthLight way3

A poster on the ‘Look Say Go over Publish Check’ approach is put up in each individual Yr 3 and Calendar year 4 classroom for students to refer to when practising their spelling.

States Mr Heng Kai Le, a Year 3 English instructor, “I like how this approach will allow pupils to observe if a word is composed of any spelling designs that they may be common with. I choose the time to examine a phrase closely with my learners, publish down each of its syllables with a various-coloured marker and draw their interest to the presence of any prefixes and suffixes that could aid them to far better keep in mind the spelling.”

Three steps to better spelling, the NorthLight way4

3. Place your competencies to follow – and make it exciting

As their college students grasp their spelling expertise, they are inspired to get component in the school’s once-a-year Spelling Bee. The aspect of helpful competition assists in ability retention and builds travel and self-confidence in the students. Learners are also paired up to develop teamwork and offer mutual guidance.

Three steps to better spelling, the NorthLight way5

Individuals on phase in the course of the Spelling Bee finals, talking about their responses.

Decrease secondary and upper secondary lessons contend within their degrees in the spelling competition by way of several stages, main up to the finals held during school assembly. 

Academics select substantial-utility words and phrases that are pitched to each quality degree. For the duration of the competitiveness, pupils can also guess the missing term in a sentence as contextual clues, right before the answer is specified and the pupil spells it out.

Three steps to better spelling, the NorthLight way6

At last year‘s Spelling Bee, a teacher gamely dressed up as a Spelling Bee mascot that roamed the school corridor, armed with a microphone, encouraging learners from the ground to endeavor spelling some text far too.

The idea of standing in front of their friends and getting judged on their spelling skills can be overwhelming, but the pupil contestants get a massive enhance of confidence via the physical exercise every calendar year. 

“I was up against stiff levels of competition, But I learnt that I could go the more mile,” states 12 months 4 student Brandon Owyong Jing Kai, who was element of the successful team. “I did not get the trophy when I was in Calendar year 1 to Year 3, but I was decided to acquire it this 12 months for my decrease secondary sort teacher, to make her very pleased.”

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