Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody. My name is Alisha. In this lesson, I'm going to introduce some spelling tips. These are a few tips that I hope can help you to improve your spelling. I prepared these tips with English in mind, but I think some of these tips could work for other languages that you're studying too. Let's get started.
Okay. The first tip, and the most important tip, for improving your spelling is to read. Reading is really, really important because you can actually see the words on the page. Especially in English, there are many words that are pronounced differently from the way they are spelled. Reading can help you familiarize yourself, can help you better understand the correct way to spell a word. Not just listening to the word, but actually looking at the word. Reading is very important. When you read, however, there's one thing that's good to keep in mind. There's one thing that's good to think about. Choose books, or newspapers, or magazines for reading. What you should do is make sure you read and listen to things as well. I'll talk about this. Read things that have been edited. "Edited" means someone checked the text to make sure there are no errors, there are no mistakes. Make sure that you are reading things that have been checked. A lot of native speakers, especially on medias such as Facebook, or Twitter, or Instagram, they will post messages, sure, but they're not checked, like the English is not properly checked, or they're using very informal English. When you read and when you're practicing your spelling, paying attention to the words when reading, make sure you're choosing things that have been edited so that you can be sure you're reading proper English. Sometimes, when we're speaking casually or writing casually, we don't think very much about our grammar or our spelling. Please make sure to use materials that have been edited, for your spelling studies.
I mentioned also listening. If you like, another thing you can do as you read is choose a book that has an audio version. That means as you read the book, you can listen to the pronunciation at the same time. Of course, if you're busy too, you can just listen to the audio and learn the story. If you want to practice your pronunciation and listening skills, in addition to your spelling and reading skills, you can consider trying an audio book. You read a long and listen at the same time. This could be another interesting way to practice a few skills at the same time. This is the most important tip for this lesson, to read. Read. Read lots. This is something you can do every day as well. If you find an online magazine or a newspaper or something similar that you enjoy, you can read it on your way to work, for example, or maybe, during lunch, for example. Just a few minutes here and there each day to practice your reading skills and to boost your spelling skills.
Okay. Let's move along to the next tip. The next tip here is to play word games or to do word puzzles. We have a lot of these in English. I've given a couple examples here. Word games and word puzzles are similar. I'll introduce first what's called a crossword puzzle. This is what a crossword puzzle looks like. A blank crossword puzzle, this is a brand new one, a simple one I made. It's made from boxes. The boxes go from left to right and from top to bottom. When you play a crossword puzzle, or when you try to complete a crossword puzzle, your job is to read clues that are next to the puzzle. Each clue matches with a row or a column of boxes. Your job is to find a word that matches this clue. You have to spell the word correctly to put the letters into the boxes. I prepared a very simple one here. I numbered these as one, two, and three, going down. Here, I have hints one, two, and three. Again, this is very simple. Usually, crossword puzzles are very big and they have lots of clues. Just to show you how a crossword puzzle works. The first clue here, number one, says, "a yellow fruit." A yellow fruit. A yellow fruit is a lemon. We place each letter in the box, L-E-M-O-N. We know this spelling is correct, or we can have a pretty good guess, at least, that the spelling is correct because it fits in the box.
Then, we look at the next clue down here. Oh, sorry. I made a mistake. Number two should actually be here. Number two is "eye accessories." "Eye accessories." So, an accessory is a small piece of clothing or, like, jewelry, for example. In this case, it's for your eyes. So, eye accessories, that's glasses. So, we write "glasses" with one letter in each box, glasses. And, it fits here. It also fits with the L from "lemon" from our first clue. So, glasses is here.
Finally, the last clue down here, the clue is "something that costs no money." So, a word we can use to describe this is "free." F-R-E-E. So, this is a very simple example of a crossword puzzle but your job is to fit the different vocabulary words together. Like I said, this is simple but there are lots more challenging ones out there. If you're interested in crossword puzzles, you can do a quick Google search and you can find beginner crossword puzzles, more difficult ones and there are some extremely challenging ones that you need to know a lot about, like, history or science or pop culture to find the answers. But, this is a really fun way to improve your spelling because you have to make sure to have the spelling right in order to finish the puzzle. You can do this alone or with friends. It's fun.
Another thing, you can play word games. So, this is kind of a more general thing. I've listed a couple examples of word games. There's one very popular and very well-known word game called Scrabble. It looks similar to a crossword puzzle but the difference is there are no clues, there are no hints, you play with a group of people and each person has to make words from the letters. So, imagine you have a lot of little single letters and your job is to create words from those letters. You put the words on the board and your friends make new words from the words that you choose. So, this is a fun way to practice spelling and to think about other things that you can do with the letters that you have. So, this is kind of a fun way to practice spelling, I think. If, however, it's difficult for you to get this game or to play this game, you could try this game, "Words With Friends," this is a free application. So, if you have a smartphone, you can find this online. It's called "Words with Friends." It's basically Scrabble but it's online and it's free. So, you can find a partner somewhere in the world. You don't have to talk to that person but you can play this game, building words from the words your partner makes and so on and you try to compete, you try to get the top score in the game to win. So, if you want to practice word games, you can try these. There are other word games as well. If you do a quick Google search, you can find some other examples of word games but these are quite popular.
Okay, finally, there is a spelling contest. I included spelling contests here because this is something that we do in the USA, at least. We have a spelling contest for kids that's called the Spelling Bee. So, you might have something similar in your country or you might be interested in participating in the Spelling Bee if you are a young person in the USA. So, with spelling contests, each contestant has to spell a word correctly. However, the person has to rely on his or her knowledge of words. So, that means maybe the root of the word, the word's history like where did the word originally come from, how the word is used in a sentence, the part of speech and so on. So, this could be an interesting way to practice your spelling and to practice the history of words. So, spelling contest can be fun. Of course, if you don't have an official spelling contest, you could just create a spelling contest with your group of friends.
Okay, let's move along to the next tip. The next tip I have here is to memorize some basic rules, some basic spelling rules. So, I've included a few examples of just basic rules here. For example, words that end in a /-tion/ sound. We often use this T-I-O-N spelling to spell that sound /-tion/. Another example is words that end in "-gh" like "enough" or "rough." So, this is an example where the spelling is different from the way it sounds. You might think we should use an F to spell this word but "enough" actually ends with a "-gh." There are words that end in -able or the similar I-B-L-E like "possible," for example, or "capable." So, remembering these kinds of word endings can help you because they're very, very commonly used. And, if you understand how to spell the word roughly like this, you at least have this sort of rule in your mind, it can help you when you're reading and when you're trying to spell the word.
However, there are some cases where you need to remember that the rules are not perfect. So, I marked it rules here because it's not like 100% a rule. So, a great example is this really common expression, I learned this in school, but this is actually not 100% true. It's helpful sometimes. This rule is I before E except after C. This is a very common spelling rule which means we should always put I first, I before E, however, when you're spelling a word and C is in the word, we should not follow this rule. That's what this means. So, it's kind of helpful in some cases but there are some situations where this rule is not effective. It doesn't work. So, examples where it is okay. Here, "receipt," so, here we have a C and the e comes first, the I comes second which is the opposite here. That's correct. In this word, "fried," it's correct. There's no C so the I is before E, I-E-D. We see the same thing in this word here, "cried," as well. So, in these examples, it's correct. However, here are a few examples where this rule is not correct like "weird," the E comes first, the I comes second in this word. "Weird" means strange. Another example, the word "height," referring to how tall something is. The E is first, the I is second. Here, the word, "science," there's a see here but the I still comes before the E. So, remember, if you hear a rule like this or some kind of expression to help you with your spelling, try to remember that it's not always a perfect rule. They're very helpful, sometimes, but you need to consider that there are some exceptions, some things that don't quite fit the rule.
Okay, let's go on to the next spelling tip. The next spelling tip is to watch English media with subtitles. To watch English media with subtitles means like movies, TV, YouTube videos as well. So, read and listen to the pronunciation at the same time. So, the words appear at the bottom of the screen in English. That means, not necessarily watching in your native language but you're listening to the person speaking in English and you're reading the subtitles in English. So, you can find a new word, perhaps, that way or you can better understand the spelling that way too. So, this can be a fun tip if you know a movie very well, for example, you've seen many times, you might try to watch it with English subtitles to pick up some new things that you never noticed in the movie before. So, this is another fun thing you can do and you can enjoy media while you study.
Okay, so, those are a few spelling tips. Remember the most important thing to do here is read, read. I really recommend reading. It's fun too. But, those are just a few things that you can do to hopefully improve your spelling. If there's something else that you like to do that you think has helped you to be a better speller, please let us know in the comment section of this video. If you have questions or comments or just want to share something as well, please feel free to write it in the comment section too. Thanks very much for watching this lesson and we will see you again soon. Bye-bye!


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Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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Please let us know if you have any questions.

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Thursday at 11:10 AM
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Hi there Steven,

Sounds like a fantastic method! Great job Steven!

If you ever have any questions throughout your studies, please let us know!



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Tuesday at 05:31 AM
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I read out loud, it really helps with my pronunciation.

Also, it reinforces that I understand the meaning behind every single word.

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Wednesday at 04:38 PM
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Hello Farha,

Thanks for the tip! It's a good one!๐Ÿ˜„

If you ever have any questions regarding your studies, please let me know.



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Wednesday at 10:42 AM
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Read 20 minutes daily is good for english learning

Friday at 09:28 AM
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Hi there Ars,

Thanks for posting.

You are correct! Computer games can be very useful to help you to learn English spelling.

I hope you are enjoying your English studies.



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Friday at 01:54 AM
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Computer games are useful too๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜œ