Writer's Choice Grade 6
Vocabulary and Spelling
In English, ough has six different pronunciations, including through and cough. The sh sound has 14 different spellings, including anxious and mission.
Why so many different spelling for the same sound? One reason is that English words come from many different languages including German, Spanish, Indian, and Arabic.
Confusing as English spelling can be, there are some ways you can make sense of it. Knowing the meanings of common word parts, such as prefixes and suffixes, can help. For example, non- means not, -er means one who, and -less means without. It will also help to distinguish between words that sound alike but have different meanings, for example, weather and whether. And, learn spelling rules and their exceptions, for example, i before e except after c.
Finally, incorporate a few simple steps when you are trying to learn how a word is spelled. First, look at the word and say it aloud; then say it again, being careful to clearly pronounce each syllable. Close your eyes and picture how the word is spelled. Write the word two or three times without looking at the word. Finally check to make sure you spelled the word correctly. If not, start over again.