Spelling strategies help AL teaching meet the decoding challenge. Teachers use words from the study text to work with their students on decoding. To be able to switch from the letters to the sound of the word and its phonemes, then to master writing the word, requires a sound mental picture of the word.

Spelling and decoding is a complex challenge for students attempting to work their way through the challenges posed by English orthography.

Reading fluently requires students to decode words quickly and accurately so that they can derive meaning from their reading text.  While students need to learn phonics, they also need to learn to look for the larger letter patterns in English that facilitate automatic decoding.  They have to make the transition from ‘sounding out’ to fast automatic recognition of letter pattern chunks.  The context for this development in Accelerated Literacy teaching strategies is spelling routines.

By using words students can read out of context, it is possible to teach about the work done by letter patterns in English orthography. For younger students in their first year at school, AL teaching starts with initial letters and short words but at the same time develops the ability to look for spelling patterns in words at every opportunity.  The spelling strategy also allows for teaching about etymology.

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