Many of us can recognize an extensive list of words and know their meaning; however, when we are asked to spell them we are less confident. Spelling by sound is often difficult with English words. In addition, abbreviated Internet and text message spelling and spell checkers have alleviated us from really knowing how to spell a word. But occasionally we are required to jot down a note or sometimes our spelling is so far off that even spell checkers cannot tell what we are trying to spell. So how do you improve your spelling? Especially, when there are so many ways for us to skirt around correct spelling.
Here are ten tips for improving your spelling, despite spell checkers.
1. Don t just accept a spelling correction from a spell checker without actually looking at the word. Often we will choose a correct spelling from the list provided by our spell checker, but do not actually try to learn how to spell the word. So the next time you spell a word incorrectly, note the correct spelling then type the word spelled accurately and write the word down correctly. After you do this a few times you should have the correct spelling mastered.
2. Some people learn by the sound of a word or by verbalizing the spelling of a word. So in addition to writing and typing a word, say and spell the word out loud.
3. Learn to spell by doodling. If you are a doodler expand your doodles beyond smiley faces and geometrical shapes into words. Create a doodle around a word that is difficult for you to spell and likely you will learn to spell the word after just one doodle creation.
4. Use your mirror. Put a hard to spell word on your mirror or cork board or somewhere else that you look often. Once you have mastered that word, stick up a new one. If the word is also a word you are trying to master the meaning of, create a sentence with that word in your mind every time you see the word.
5. Turn off your t9 (predictive text) spelling. If you have been relying on your cell phone to spell for you, turn off the automatic spelling and spell the words yourself.
6. Expand your reading list. If you have been reading news or entertainment from the same sources, branch out into other sources and new authors. If you read a wide variety of literature and news you will learn new words and become familiar with their spelling.
7. Use your hands. If you don t mind a little body graffiti, write a new, hard to spell word on the back of your hand everyday. So throughout the day you will see the word numerous times, when you type, turn off a light switch, turn off the water or open a door. By the end of the day, the word should be imprinted in your mind.
8. Use the word as a screen saver. You can use a hard to spell word as the screen saver on your computer, cell phone or other portable device. Every time you see the word, spell the word letter by letter in your mind.
9. Vandalize your books and magazines. Provided that they are your books and not priceless collectors editions, write down your word of the day in the margin every time you turn a page or progress to the next chapter or article. By the end of the chapter or magazine you should have the word mastered.
10. Role play. Imagine someone asking you how to spell the word and telling them how to spell it correctly. In addition, picture your hand writing the word and your fingers typing them.
There are numerous ways that you can teach yourself to spell correctly, some fun, some silly and some tedious. Unfortunately, many English words simply have to be memorized so ultimately you just need to find the way that works for you.