Learn spelling for adults. (2023)

Not all adults have perfect spelling skills. In fact, many have developed bad spelling habits over the years. This is even more true today in view of the nature of communication on social media and mobile SMS transmission.

Abbreviations are common to save space in posts and message threads, and people ignore English case rules. It's also the case that people who dropped out of school early just couldn't learn spelling in the first place.

And while spelling is only one aspect of productive language knowledge, it's more obvious. You may not know what a word means, but if you misspell something, everyone will notice.

Spelling is not a reflection of intelligence. However, it is still necessary to master the spelling to be successful in studies and work. Poor English spelling skills can cause others to judge an adult negatively.

They may lose jobs or opportunities for advancement, and often feel ashamed and have low self-esteem. Worse still, poor spelling skills can prevent people from reaching their full potential in school.

This is because if a young adult finds it difficult to spell certain words, they may rely on less specific, more common vocabulary to write, or avoid writing altogether. His written work may seem overly simplified and not reflect the true scope of his vocabulary.

While practicing spelling as an adult can be embarrassing, intervention is often necessary as it is not a self-healing skill. Learning to spell involves concentrated work, including proofreading and transcription practice.

enrollment in abasic adult education courseAttending a local school is recommended, especially ifpoor reading abilityare also a factor.

People who cannot spell may also want to enroll in an adult spelling class or use a program or application that runs on a home computer.

It is even possible to learn to spell and acquire a new skill at the same time! This is the case if you are proficient in touch typing with touch reading and spelling (TTRS). Originally designed to help students with dyslexia, it takes a unique whole-word approach and teaches spelling alongside typing.

Learn spelling for adults. (1)

Learn spelling as an adult vs. like a child

Because English spelling is so irregular,KinderLearn spelling at school. some even competespelling bees, which are contests that cover some of theHardest words to spellin English.

However, it is assumed that adults have learned the spelling of most words at school. Therefore, when it comes to people working in specialized fields, subject and domain specific vocabulary does not always get the same attention, which can be problematic.

Touch-type reading and spelling can also help here. You can create your own modules that contain the relevant vocabulary you need to practice.

Also, most children learn spelling at the same time they learn new words.

This means that their spelling skills develop along with their vocabulary. On the other hand, an adult with poor spelling skills may have extensive knowledge of the spoken language but have difficulty spelling all the words he knows.

an adult who learnsEnglish as a second languageYou may have problems with English spelling as it is missing a correct 1:1 letter correspondence. In other words, there are many ways to write the same sound in English.

Spelling becomes even more complicated when the adult learner's native language does not have a specific letter or uses a different alphabet.

Reading and spelling skills are related because spelling is part of the phonetic letter mapping that children need to decode words.

But while children are learning at school, adults may need to learn to spell. This may involve mastering memory tricks or understanding that repetition and multi-sensory learning can improve retention.

Learn spelling for adults. (2)

Specific learning difficulties

The fear of being exposed for poor spelling, reading, or writing habits can prevent many adults from improving their skills. But sometimes an adult's trouble with spelling is the result of an undiagnosed learning disability that caused them to lose important early literacy skills or drop out of school due to frustration with classroom literacy.

These individuals can greatly benefit from addressing their specific learning disabilities and learning strategies that help them overcome reading blocks and improve their spelling, regardless of their age.


Dyslexia can manifest itself in different ways., but it is common that there are spelling difficulties derived from a lack of phonological awareness. Fortunately, there are strategies that can help.Adults with dyslexia learn to spell.


unlike dyslexiadyspraxiait relates more to planning and disruption than fine motor skills. However, it can cause problems when it comes to writing words by hand. Without proper writing practice, a person can develop poor spelling skills. That is why it is important to learn to write.an excellent solution for people with dyspraxiawho want to improve their skills.


Writing difficulties can bedysgraphia, a condition that makes writing by hand difficult and sometimes even painful. A person who has avoided writing for most of their life probably has underdeveloped spelling skills.


People with attention issues may have trouble concentrating and may have trouble sitting still. This makes it difficult to concentrate while writing, especially when learning the spelling rules. Tactile learning through touch typing can be a solution in these cases.

Learn spelling for adults. (3)

spelling tips

  1. know the rulesThey are not consistent and there are many exceptions, but it is still worth learning some English spelling rules. When you learn a rule, be sure to look at a set of common examples that demonstrate it and words that break the rule. You can choose to keep one page of English text and underline any word that matches the rule. When you're done, look for the exceptions, as I'm sure you'll find some.
  2. Study the words dagger.Also calledsight wordsthey are among the most common words in English, making up up to 50% of most texts. This includes prepositions, verbs, adjectives, articles, and adverbs andoverlearningThey allow you to spend more time learning the spelling of more difficult and less common vocabulary.
  3. Recognize prefixes and suffixes.When a letter or two appear at the beginning of a word and consistently change meaning, it is called a prefix. For example, re- means to do something again, likeonpanorama,onTo generate,rmirepeated. A suffix added to the end of a word works in a similar way. For example, we use -s or -es to form a plural noun. English is full of common suffixes and prefixes for you to learn. Getting familiar with them can help you recognize the different parts of a word and improve your spelling.
  4. Read as often as you can.Every language has common combinations of consonants and vowels. The more you read, the more exposed you become to them and the more familiar they become. It's easier to learn the spelling of a word you already know.
  5. Look for patterns.The human brain is very good at recognizing patterns. By showing you examples of words that contain a similar combination of letters, you can indirectly learn English spelling rules. Try taking a highlighter and underlining words with the same or similar spelling on a newspaper page. Next, see if you can write a rule that describes what you see. When you acquire rules this way, they become easier to remember thanks to the extra cognitive energy you spend figuring them out yourself.
  6. Use mnemonics.Hard-to-spell words can sometimes lend themselves to visual or auditory cues that build a stronger memory. for example the wordWednesdaycan be hard to spell because thedIt's quiet. To help you with the correct spelling, you can imagine a girlfriend and think that she will become one.marryandWednesday.
  7. Spell out loud.A veces, deletrear una palabra en voz alta puede hacer que sea más fácil para las personas con discapacidades de aprendizaje que tienen problemas para escribir letras en un papel. Haga una lista de las palabras que desea aprender y practique su ortografía mientras se ducha o se dirige al trabajo. A medida que las habla y se escucha a sí mismo decir cada letra, se crean recuerdos auditivos que son particularmente útiles para aquellos que no son aprendices visuales.
  8. Investigate the origin of the words.English is a Germanic language but has adopted vocabulary from various other languages ​​with which it has come into contact over the years. For example, it contains many words of French origin, since the Normans ruled England for a few hundred years. When you look up the origin of a word, you may see similar spelling patterns for other words with the same origin, such as B. Greek words commonly found in scientific vocabulary.
  9. Be multisensory.When you learn the spelling of a word and physically encode it like handwriting does, orten finger system, adds muscle memory to the process. The more you generate a word, the more likely you are to automate its spelling.

Learn spelling for adults. (4)

Touch writing and spelling

A typing class is often a great idea for adults who want to improve their skills. This is because as you type, words are repeatedly produced on a keyboard as you see and hear them read aloud. This multi-sensory process encodes spelling patterns and improves recognition of common letter combinations.

Learn more

Also, touch typing is a skill that opensto workand academic opportunities and can be mastered in just a few weeks. When the course is modular, as is the case with the Touch-type Read and Spell program, it is also appropriate for a busy adult who must balance work and family life.move through the material at your own pace. The best part is that since the focus is on typing, it's a way to improve spelling skills without drawing attention to the skills.

Do you have any advice for adults to learn spelling? Join the discussion in the comments!


What causes spelling difficulties in adults? ›

Dyslexia. Dyslexia is a language based learning difference commonly associated with spelling difficulties and reading problems. However, it can also affect memory and processing skills. There are different kinds of dyslexia but the most common type makes it hard for people to split language into its component sounds.

How do you help adults spell better? ›

Some Tools and Rules to Improve Your Spelling
  1. Use a (good) dictionary. ...
  2. Be consistent about using British or American spellings in your writing. ...
  3. Always check certain “troublesome” suffixes in your dictionary. ...
  4. Create your own “difficult-to-spell” lists. ...
  5. Learn the standard pronunciations for frequently misspelled words.

What is the best way to learn spelling? ›

Five guidelines for learning to spell
  1. Practice makes permanent. ...
  2. Don't try to learn all the words at once. ...
  3. Review, and review some more! ...
  4. Practice spelling as if you expect to spell those words right when you're writing. ...
  5. Use the words you've practiced. ...
  6. Trace, copy and recall. ...
  7. Reverse chaining by letter.
Jun 30, 2011

How can I help a struggling speller? ›

5 Strategies to Help Struggling Spellers
  1. Reinforce Basic Spelling Rules. ...
  2. Organize Spelling Lists by Word Families. ...
  3. Master Sight Words. ...
  4. Breaking Down Words by Sounds. ...
  5. Using Manipulatives to Practice Spelling.
Jun 25, 2018

What is it called when you can read but not spell? ›

Many individuals with dyslexia learn to read fairly well, but difficulties with spelling (and handwriting) tend to persist throughout life, requiring instruction, accommodations, task modifications, and understanding from those who teach or work with the individual.

What exercises improve spelling? ›

8 Fun Spelling Activities For Kids (And How They Help Build Spelling Skills)
  • Play The Spelling Memory Game: First, create flashcards that have one word per card. ...
  • Sound It Out: ...
  • Create A Puzzle: ...
  • Try Rainbow Writing: ...
  • Trace, Write, And Remember: ...
  • Try Staircase Spelling: ...
  • Create Word Swatters: ...
  • Fill In The Missing Letters:
Jul 31, 2019

How can I practice spelling by myself? ›

  1. 15 New Ways to Practice Spelling Words at Home.
  2. Create a set of flashcards. ...
  3. Create a second set of flashcards with the definition of the word on it. ...
  4. Use both sets of flashcards to play spelling Memory. ...
  5. Use alphabet magnets or Scrabble tiles to spell out each word.
  6. Write the word list on a piece of construction paper.

Why can I read but can't spell? ›

How dyslexia can affect spelling. What it is: Dyslexia is a common learning difference that affects reading. It makes it hard to isolate the sounds in words, match those sounds to letters, and blend sounds into words. Learning to spell may be even harder than learning to read for some people with dyslexia.

Is it normal to get worse at spelling as you get older? ›


A growing number of studies have demonstrated an age-related decline in the ability to spell words correctly.

Is it normal to not be able to spell? ›

Many children and even adults have problems with spelling. Spell check can often only get you so far. Sometimes spell check cannot even tell what word it is you are trying to spell. You may have even written a word that is a word but not the word you intended to write.

Why is spelling no longer taught? ›

It used to be tested nationally. And even though spelling is now proven to increase reading scores, it's not uncommon for principals to tell teachers to skip teaching spelling because they need the time for test prep.

Where do I start with all about spelling? ›

What do I need to buy to begin All About Spelling? First, decide which level of All About Spelling to buy. Most students should begin with Level 1, but there is a placement test that can help you decide. Then, add the Teacher's Manual and Student Packet for that level to your cart.

How can I teach myself to spell without tests? ›

How to Teach Spelling Without Weekly Tests
  1. Choose a spelling system that uses logical progression. A system that teaches spelling words in logical groups is a good place to start. ...
  2. Investigate spelling in context. ...
  3. Regularly assess spelling ability. ...
  4. Create a word wall, personal dictionary, or journal. ...
  5. Games.
Feb 14, 2017

What are the 4 spelling strategies? ›

Good spellers use a variety of strategies for spelling. These strategies fall into four main categories—phonetic, rule-based, visual, and morphemic.

What disability makes it hard to spell? ›

It's not surprising that people with dyslexia have trouble spelling. They also might have trouble expressing themselves in writing and even speaking. Dyslexia is a language processing disorder, so it can affect all forms of language, spoken or written.

Why do I have trouble spelling? ›

Spelling difficulties are commonly associated with poor reading, or else they can be a problem associated with dyslexia that persists over time when a reading deficit has resolved (e.g., Kohnen, Nickels, Coltheart, & Brunsdon, 2008.

Why can't I remember how do you spell words? ›

An injury to the left parietal lobe of the brain sometimes damages the ability to remember how to spell words. This skill is known as orthographic memory. With deep agraphia, a person not only struggles to remember a word's spelling, but they might also have a hard time remembering how to “sound out” the word.

What are the 8 spelling rules? ›

Spelling Rules
  • Every word has at least one vowel.
  • Every syllable has at least one vowel.
  • C can say /k/ or /s/. ...
  • G can say /g/ or /j/. ...
  • Q is always followed by a u (queen).
  • Double the consonants f, l, and s at the end of a one-syllable word that has just one vowel (stiff, spell, pass).

What are the 5 stages of spelling? ›

As preschool and early elementary school children discover the intricacies of printed English, they go through several stages of spelling development. Gentry (1982), building on Read's research, describes five stages: precommunicative, semiphonetic, phonetic, transitional, and correct.

Does reading improve spelling? ›

While re-reading books provides opportunities to help your young reader develop important reading comprehension skills, it can also improve your child's spelling skills.

Is spelling linked to IQ? ›

We think people who can't spell are ignorant, illiterate, or stupid, despite having research dating back to the 1970s that shows that there is no significant association between spelling ability and intelligence.

Is there a website to help practice spelling words? ›

Spellerz is an application in which users can practice their spelling and typing. Users must save the world from invading “spellerz” by using their typing skills to type the words that flash on the screen.

Is there an app that helps you spell? ›

Spelling Shed

It is built with students, teachers and parents in mind and aims to make spelling fun for students as well as simple for adults to manage. The app supports learning to spell words required by the National Curriculum. Spelling Shed has made their games dyslexia friendly using the 'Open Dyslexic' font.

What is the hardest spelling to spell? ›

Top 10 Hardest Words to Spell
  • Weird.
  • Intelligence.
  • Pronunciation.
  • Handkerchief.
  • logorrhea.
  • Chiaroscurist.
  • Pochemuchka.
  • Gobbledegook.
Mar 10, 2016

Does poor spelling mean dyslexia? ›

Spelling is one of the biggest, and most widely experienced difficulties for the dyslexic child and adult. Most dyslexic people can learn to read well with the right support, however, spelling appears to be a difficulty that persists throughout life. It's not entirely understood why this is the case.

What part of the brain controls spelling? ›

The results reveal that reading and spelling share specific left hemisphere substrates in the mid-fusiform gyrus and in the inferior frontal gyrus/junction.

How can I check if I am dyslexic? ›

Signs of dyslexia (adult)
  1. Confuse visually similar words such as cat and cot.
  2. Spell erratically.
  3. Find it hard to scan or skim text.
  4. Read/write slowly.
  5. Need to re-read paragraphs to understand them.
  6. Find it hard to listen and maintain focus.
  7. Find it hard to concentrate if there are distractions.

Is poor spelling genetic? ›

Around 60 per cent of the variation in the ability to spell lies in our genes,” he says. But how can our genetic make-up affect our ability to remember that “I goes before E except after C”? Professor Monaco says that our genes dictate how our brain develops.

Does reading improve spelling in adults? ›

Read as often as you can.

Every language has common combinations of consonants and vowels. The more you read, the more you will be exposed to them and the more familiar they will become. It's easier to learn the spelling of a word that you already recognize.

Can ADHD cause spelling problems? ›

Research has shown that children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may present a series of academic difficulties, including spelling errors.

Is poor spelling a disability? ›

Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.

Did Albert Einstein struggle with spelling? ›

Albert Einstein, the most influential physicist of the 20th century, was dyslexic. He loved mathematics and science, but he disliked grammar and always had problems with spelling.

Is spelling harder than reading? ›

Spelling is actually more difficult than reading as there are many variations of how one phoneme or sound can be represented in print. Spelling depends on many of the same concepts as reading, including phonological (sound) and orthographic (written language) knowledge.

Is spelling just memorization? ›

As children learn to spell, their knowledge of words improves and reading becomes easier. However, spelling in the elementary grades is usually taught as an isolated skill, often as a visual task. So, we have to understand that it is not a matter of memorization and cannot be taught in separation.

What are the 31 spelling Rules? ›

NGST Spelling Rules
Rule numberRuleExample word
30The /n/ sound spelt kn and gnknock
31The /r/ sound spelt wr at the beginning of wordswrite
32/33/34/35The /l/ sound spelt -le, -el, -al and -il at the end of wordstable
36The /aɪ/ sound spelt -y at the end of wordscry
71 more rows

What order should I teach spelling? ›

Multisyllable words typically have several spelling patterns within the word. It makes sense then to teach new spelling patterns in single syllable words first, and then introduce those patterns in multi-syllable words.

Does reading or spelling come first? ›

For most kids, reading has to come before independent writing and spelling. This means that they can usually read a word for quite a while before they learn to spell it and use it in their own writing.

What does poor spelling indicate? ›

Introduction. Spelling difficulties are commonly associated with poor reading, or else they can be a problem associated with dyslexia that persists over time when a reading deficit has resolved (e.g., Kohnen, Nickels, Coltheart, & Brunsdon, 2008. (2008).

What disorder makes it hard to spell? ›

Overview. Dyslexia is a learning disorder that involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words (decoding).

What disorders affect spelling? ›

Dysgraphia. Dysgraphia may refer to either difficulty with language or spelling-based aspects of written expression. Dysgraphia can occur alone or can co-occur with dyslexia and/or other learning disabilities. The cognitive–linguistic aspects of dysgraphia are involved in the writing process and the writing product.

Do smart people have trouble spelling? ›

We have a long history of linking spelling skills to intelligence. We think people who can't spell are ignorant, illiterate, or stupid, despite having research dating back to the 1970s that shows that there is no significant association between spelling ability and intelligence.


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