Teaching English as a Second Language
Think to Spell, Schwa, Word Markings, ESL, and Free Learning Tools
If you’re looking for a great way tot teach your English as as second language students, starting with our Mnemonic Phonic Technique is a great start-this free tool teaches the 72 Orton phonograms and the 45 sounds that are associated with these phonograms.
Teach Manuscript Writing
After you’ve taught the 72 Orton phonograms and your English as a second language students (ESL) are comfortable with most of the sounds and sound sequences (you don’t have to wait until mastery), I suggest using our 4 Point Circle Technique to teach manuscript writing portion of the aforementioned phonograms. This technique is another free tool that we offer here at YesPhonics.
After you’ve taught the phonogram letters a-z using the 4 Point Circle Technique I suggest introducing the multi-letter phonograms. Unfortunately, we don’t have a video up yet of the multi-letter phonograms, but we’ll update this article as soon as it’s available on our YouTube channel.
The use of a picture dictionary is of great value to students that are learning English as a second language. @yesphonics Click to tweet
The 29 Spelling Rules
Now that you’ve taught all 72 Orton phonograms via the Mnemonic Phonic Technique and you’ve introduced the 4 Point Circle Technique, It’s time to introduce 2-4 spelling words from the Ayres spelling list. It certainly helps for students to learn (or at least be familiar with) the 29 spelling rules. Introduce 2-4 rules per day (with practical review at the end of each session) until you’ve introduced each spelling rule. Once you’re students are fairly comfortable with all 29 spelling rules, it’s time to move onto the Ayres spelling list.
Using the Ayres Spelling List to Construct Sentences
Students learn to construct literate English sentences by using high frequency words as taught in the Ayres Spelling List (not only low frequency words in categories or of the letters/phonograms being taught). From the beginning they construct oral and written sentences using the spelling words. The student’s first reading “in context” experience is to read the sentences they have written from words in their Spelling Notebook. Correct spelling of words are the same as standard “book print.”
Accurate spelling facilitates fluent reading and creative writing. In the program manual the Ayres Spelling List of words are in syllables and are written from dictation. The intention is not to memorize, but rather to learn how to spell words by listening to and writing the sounds. The sound/symbol relationships and spelling rules that should be taught with the phonograms and spelling words are highly relevant because those who do not know them cannot learn to spell except by whole-word memorization. Spelling must be learned in syllables along with the spelling rules. When the phonograms are taught with the spelling rules, 93-97% of English is phonetically accurate. This knowledge is a real short-cut to spelling accuracy. Learning one rule for many words is much easier than learning each word individually. The spelling words are referenced to the 29 Spalding spelling rules that are taught with Lesson Plans and Worksheets.
In the spelling lessons the students obtain the basic knowledge of how the written language works. At the completion of the spelling list at the end of the 3rd level (sequenced: kindergarten, first grade, second grade and third grade) the student can decode (read/pronounce) the longest of unfamiliar words syllable-by-syllable. At this point, students are able to read anything in their comprehension vocabulary of about 30,000 words. Compare this with the 900 words third-graders are able to read using Whole Language.
Think to Spell, Schwa, Word Markings and ESL
Think to Spell: Worldwide English Spellings are relatively uniform, whereas speech is very diverse. We use ‘Think to Spell’ as a memory device, the word should be sounded and spelled the way it is written as in: b/ee/n (not bin), s/ai/d (not sed) /a/ round (not /uh/round), then said the way that your culture says it.
Schwa: In the rhythm of speech, vowels in unstressed syllables are often muffled and sound like /uh/. In these syllables the vowel’s sound should be stressed and taught as it is written as in: rel/a/tive (not rel/uh/tive), unless we ‘think’ the vowel as it is written, spelling will not be accurate.
Word Markings: Marking the spelling words by using numbers, underlining and identification marks, identifies the phonogram’s sound as it is used in the sequence, multi-letter phonograms and indicates spelling rules.
ESL: Write and Spell to Read and Speak: In many cases individuals whose first language is not English, who have good memorization skills (about 10% with photographic memory), will learn to write, spell and read English but are unable to fluently speak English. When the learner has the combined tools of: 1) knowing the sounds in sequence of use for the 72 basic Orton phonograms that say the 45 individual single sounds of English speech, 2) learn to spell words in syllables with spelling rules, 3) use the memory devices of ‘Think to Spell’ and word markings, then their ability to pronounce the word is enhanced.
Picture Dictionary: The use of a picture dictionary that has many words with pictures is of great value to students that are learning English as a second language of all ages, as well as elementary students. In the space under the word, the word may be written in syllables with word markings thus giving the student clues to its correct pronunciation.