Spelling Tips:
There is More Than One Way to Remember How Words are Spelt (part 1)

In this Spelling tips page I’m going to introduce the different ways of memorising how words are spelt. I want to show you that by remembering how words are spelt in more than one way will give you a stronger and more precise memory of them. This is called creating layers of memory.

There are four main ways of remembering how words are spelt:

Remembering with your eyes:

This is about using the visual appearance of words to remember how they are spelt.

For example:

If you look at the word, ‘tendency’, you can see the, ‘d', has an, ‘en’, next to it on both sides (see graphic). This simple visual observation adds an extra layer of memory to the word to make it easier to spell.

spelling tips example card 1

Remembering with your ears:

Pronouncing a word the way it is written is a classic spelling tip. Say it out loud the way it is spelt to make it stick in your mind.

A good example of this is the word, ‘iron’. If you pronounce it, ‘i-ron’, it will help you to remember it (see graphic). Again this creates an extra layer of memory.

spelling tips example card 2

Remembering with your brain:

This one is about how the English language works. Every rule in English was made to be broken. It's a better idea to look at the letter patterns.

For example the word: ‘joke’. As you know if you add, ‘ing’, to the end of the word, ‘joke’, you get, ‘joking’, but you have to lose the, ‘e’, off the end (see graphic).

It’s the same for:

Cope - Coping
Poke - Poking

However if you add, ‘ment’, to the end of a word you don’t lose the, ‘e’.

For example:


By using your brain to notice things like this you can make whole groups of words easier to spell.

spelling tips example card 3

Remembering with Your imagination:

This is about using imagination and association to remember how words are spelt.

For example the word: ‘possession’. We can imagine the four, ‘S’s, are guarding the letter, ‘e’, in the middle. Two on each side to keep the, ‘e’, safe like a valuable possession (see graphic).

spelling tips example card 4


Memory of words (like with anything else) is made up of layers. Remembering how a word is spelt in more than one way will strengthen that memory. Therefore it’s good to get into the habit of remembering words with extra layers of memory. Click here for part 2.

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