Understanding and Teaching English Spelling: A Strategic Guide, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Understanding and Teaching English Spelling

A Strategic Guide, 1st Edition

By Adam Brown


316 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781138082670
pub: 2018-09-04
Hardback: 9781138082663
pub: 2018-09-04
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315112381
pub: 2018-09-21
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Concise and engaging, this text provides pre-service and practicing English language teachers with the knowledge they need to successfully teach the spelling of English. Offering context and explanation for the English spelling system as well as uniquely addressing specific problems in learning the spelling of English words, this book empowers readers with strategies for coping with these problems. Divided into six accessible sections, Brown covers the history of English spelling, the influence of technology on spelling, the role of punctuation, the features of present-day English spelling, teaching strategies for coping with difficult spelling, and the future of spelling and literacy. The short, digestible chapters include practical learning objectives and end-of-chapter exercises to help teachers understand and explain English spelling concepts.


"This book offers teacher educators and future English language teachers a welcome and overdue guide for unraveling persistent challenges faced by students in their effort to master the English spelling system. Brown helpfully demystifies common spelling difficulties, offers concise insights, and supplies readers with accessible and practical classroom solutions."

— John S. Hedgcock, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, USA

"This is an impressive survey of English spelling. It constitutes a valuable resource for teachers of English, whether as a first language or as a foreign, second, or additional language. It’s fun to read, too."

—John Wells, University College London, UK

"All ESL/ELT teachers are faced with student questions about the peculiarities of English spelling. Most books (and pre-service training) assume that spelling is a peripheral matter, but it is actually central, since phonological awareness is basic to both intelligibility and listening perception. I highly recommend Adam Brown’s book because it is well-designed to give teachers a solid resource for answers to students’ questions about this difficult and crucial subject."

--Judy Gilbert, bestselling author, teacher, and teacher trainer

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Types of Spelling System

3. Spelling, Writing and Reading

4. History of English

5. History of English Spelling

6. A Computer is Not a Typewriter

7. Technology

8. Rules of English Spelling

9. Punctuation

10. Spaces and Hyphens

11. Capital Letters

12. Silent Letters

13. Doubled Consonant Letters

14. Spelling of Unstressed Vowels

15. Variation

16. Loanwords

17. Names of Letters

18. Spelling Pronunciation

19. Pronunciation Spelling

20. Homophones and Homographs

21. Other Consequences of English Spelling

22. Morphological Strategy

23. Etymological Strategy

24. Phonological Strategy

25. Analogical Strategy

26. Visual Strategy

27. Teaching English Spelling

28. Testing English Spelling

29. Spelling Reform

30. English Spelling and Malay Spelling

31. The Future of English Spelling

32. Conclusion

Appendix 1: Sound-to-spelling correspondences for British English

Appendix 2: Surnames exemplifying spelling rules

Appendix 3: The main uses of punctuation in English

Appendix 4: Answers

About the Author

Adam Brown is Director of Research at Auckland Institute of Studies, New Zealand.

About the Series

ESL & Applied Linguistics Professional Series

This series provides essential texts on teaching English as a second language and applied linguistics. It includes authored and edited volumes to be used as primary or supplementary texts in graduate-level and teacher training courses to enhance students’ and practicing teachers’ professional qualifications and knowledge. Each text is designed to promote the current and growing body of knowledge in applied linguistics and second language teaching, including advances in teacher education and the study of language.

Specifically, the series includes, but is not limited to, current uses of applied linguistics research in teaching a variety of second language skills, such as reading, writing, speaking and listening; materials and curriculum design; literacy; English for academic purposes; and research methods.

The texts also deal with broad domains of professional preparation related to socio-cultural perspectives and current issues/topics in teaching and learning a second language.

Books in the series benefit not only students, but experienced teachers, curriculum developers, teacher trainers, program administrators, and other second and foreign language professionals seeking to advance and update their knowledge and expertise.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
FOREIGN LANGUAGE STUDY / English as a Second Language