Spelling

The English writing system has gotten a bad rap. Most people describe it as weird and crazy. I’m here to explain the English writing system so that it makes sense. It actually doesn’t have order and predictability.

One of the misconceptions about the English writing system is that is was designed to represent “sound.” It wasn’t. Actually no writing system is developed to represent spoken language. It is developed to represent meaning. English is a morphophonemic language. This means that the writing system relies on not only phonemes (“sounds”), but also morphemes (“meaningful” morphological units). One of the fallacies that is taught about our writing system is that it can be written by “sounding it out”. This is why the common way of spelling falls down.

Many ask, what does that mean and how can that be? If we only spelled by phonemes “sound”, then we would spell <jumped> as <jumpt>. Why don’t we spell it that way? The reason is that the word is representing a past tense function with the suffix <-ed>. A suffix is a morpheme. So, in <jumped>, there is a base plus a suffix. A base is also a morpheme. Some will state that <-ed> suffix has 3 pronunciations, which is true, but we are talking about the phonology of a morpheme –  part of the “morphophonemic” part of our language.

The language study that we do is simple. We study the language through observation, looking at patterns and making connections. The insights come from the student with guidance from the educational therapist. We are guided by four simple questions that can be expanded for any critical thinking experience. Student learn terminology, how to analyze words and how to apply them in both reading and spelling.

Sessions can be set up in the office or online. It is recommended to set up 6-10 session to understand how the process works. It is recommended that parents sit in with their students so they can learn together. Group sessions are also available with a minimum of 3 students. Homeschool vendor contracts are an option.

Homophone Slideshow