ACET’s Top Tips for Better Spelling

Don’t be embarrassed by your spelling

Let’s take a few minutes to think about ways to deal with the challenges of English spelling.
Here at ACET, we were discussing tips to help with spelling issues. One teacher remembered being at school and having difficulty with the word address (one ‘d’ or two? one ‘s‘ or two?). Her teacher told her ‘you must remember to add the proper address for your letter to arrive safe and sound’. This tip really helped her to remember the correct spelling.
More recently my own daughter had problems with the word tomorrow. To help her I told her ‘you must really remember’.
ACET teachers give clients tips to help with spelling more difficult words, such as:
• sincerely – since I rely on honesty
• separate – it’s dangerous to be separated from your parachute
• succeed – with 2 ‘c’s and 2 ‘e’s you will succeed


Spelling difficulties are caused by these main problems:
consonant doubling – no reliable rule for deciding whether or not to double a consonant in words with similar sounds : e.g. habit, rabbit; metal, kettle.
unpredictable spellings for the EE-sound (deep, leap, people, here, weird,); the long O sound (stroll, bowl, toe, though) and the OO sounds (do, food, flew, blue, through)

Can you think of other tricky spellings?

The Key to Success in Spelling with ACET:
• It is important to remember that the spelling of a word is not an accurate guide to how it is pronounced.
• Don’t rely on spell check on your computer.
• Use a good monolingual dictionary
• Use memory devices e.g. to spell stationery – think of envelopes
• Keep a record of words you regularly misspell
• Take care of homonyms (they’re, their and there)
Have you got any good spelling tips? How about some memory devices that have helped you?

Online Spelling
• AskOxford: Commonly Misspelled Words
• Here are some spelling quizzes that will help:
• Spelling Bee Quizzes and Trivia

Some people argue that accurate spelling is not so important today.
Do you agree? We would be very interested in your comments and ideas!

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