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Hearing voices can help with spelling!

“Spelling, oh no!” That is the reaction many dyslexic students have toward spelling. Correct spelling often lags behind improved reading skills, which can frustrate everyone involved. There is a way to help, though.

Words are not always spelled the way they sound, a fact which can be magnified by students with auditory processing problems causing them to misunderstand what is being said in the first place. Students who have become familiar with a word’s pronunciation and know its meaning but still struggle to spell it may benefit from training themselves (with a little help from the adults) to say the word using their “spelling voice.” What is meant by that is to say the word as it is spelled - but only in their mind and only when they are spelling it.

The word “chaos” is a good candidate for using the spelling voice. Spelled as it sounds, the word would be kayos. That is so far off, even spell check couldn’t help out! By mentally pronouncing it /chay-os/, the student is far more likely to master the tricky spelling. Try being silly as you help your student think of funny spelling voice pronunciations. You’ll turn his attitude toward spelling from “Oh No!” to “Oh Yes!” as quick as a grin.

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