sound spell

Is your child struggling with spelling?

my child cant spell

If your child is falling behind with spelling, they’re not alone. Many students fall through the cracks, resulting in learning difficulties and low morale. Unfortunately, difficulties with the English language and the Australian education system are to blame.

Getting on top of your child’s spelling now can help pave the way for future learning.

Your child isn’t the only one struggling with spelling

Almost a third (32 percent) of children in year 3 in Australia aren’t proficient in spelling, according to 2023 Naplan results. They need additional support or are still developing.

The news isn’t much better for their parents. Currently, about 44% of adults in Australia read at a primary school level. They can only understand short sentences. This obviously affects their career options and income. Around 38% can read at a senior high school level, and only 15% can read at a level beyond high school.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) provides a benchmark to compare countries across many key sectors, including education. The latest results from 2022 show Australia is ranked 9th out of 81 countries for reading, placing Australian students more than a year behind Singapore, the highest performing country.

How children fall through the cracks at school

Spelling is taught differently not only between schools, but between classes. There are two different approaches teachers can take. The whole language approach to spelling involves learning sight words and trying to figure out the word from the context of the sentence.

Phonics is another approach to spelling, where students learn how words sound. They combine new words using tools rather than relying on the words around them.

Students may learn spelling and reading using both methods as they change classes each year. This inconsistent approach can cause gaps in their learning and frustration.

Why spelling in English is so hard

There are 26 letters in the alphabet, with 44 sounds. The ‘c’ in the word ‘access’ is a good example of how one letter can have many different sounds. What about Circular Quay? We can blame the history of the language for our current confusion.

During the Roman Empire, Germanic tribes settled in the English Isles and developed what we know today as Old English. The influx of Christian missionaries brought the Latin alphabet, followed by Viking invasions introducing words starting with ‘th’, such as thrift and ‘sk’, in sky. The Normans followed, adding Old French to the mix in the 11th century.

The Great Vowel Shift occurred roughly between 1350 and 1700, creating silent letters in words such as knight and wrong. Other words, such as ‘name’ and ‘rough’ lost their Germanic pronunciation during this period.

To make matters more confusing, the introduction of the printing press recorded many different spellings of words. The Renaissance added more Latin and Greek to English, resulting in what we speak, read and write today.

How you can help your child to spell

Children can build a solid foundation of how words are spelt using sound. Spelling is like decoding sounds. By knowing the code, spelling becomes a lot easier. Instead of memorising word lists, children can use the code. Their confidence increases, and they become active learners and readers.

No rote learning. No guessing. No falling through the cracks.

Your child becomes an independent writer and reader.

Sound Spell gives your child the power to spell using a logical pathway, mastering milestones along the way. The program is completed in steps and has been tried and tested in Australian public school classrooms for over 22 years.

If random teaching methods for spelling haven’t worked for your child, Sound Spell’s systematic approach is the key you’ve been looking for.

Watch your child’s confidence soar as they master each milestone with Sound Spell. Learn more here.

You can help your child master spelling and reading.

Take the free Reading and Spelling Assessment and find out which Sound Spell program is right for your child.
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