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Spelling Strategies

Good spellers are not born, they’re made. The same is true for bad spellers. Bad spellers are not learning disabled – they were teacher disabled. Spelling is simply a strategy, and can be changed almost instantly.

Informal Elicitation of the Spelling Strategy

  1. "When, I give you a word, what’s the first thing you do inside your mind?"
  2. "So first you (V/A/K). What’s the next thing?"
  3. "When you see/hear/feel that, how do you know that it’s right?"

Make sure the strategy includes a way for them to know if the word is right. Some spellers don’t have one. Get only as much detail as you need.

Inappropriate Spelling Strategies

  • Begins with a feeling (Ki-)
  • Phonetic - sounding it out. Only 50% accuracy.
  • VC- creative spelling - piece by piece

Excellent Spelling Strategy

  • When asked to spell the word they may repeat it internally (Ad).
  • See the word (VR) may defocus rapidly. If asked to spell backwards, they can do it rapidly
  • Feeling of familiarity or not (Ki+/-). Look for shift in breathing or gestures.
  • How good of a speller they are depends on what they read.
  • Secondary strategy for words for which no memory image exists (VC). If there’s no feeling of familiarity, use Visual Construct until the person gets the feeling.
  • Results should create a positive Kinesthetic as a motivator for continual improvement.

Installing The Spelling Strategy

  • "Do you have any objections to being a good speller?"
  • New strategy is only for the context of spelling.
  • New strategy will not result in instantly being an expert speller but will result in rapid improvement.
  • Check for reverse wiring.
  • "Can you think of a good friend?"
  • Simplest method is rehearsing.
  • Reframe only if necessary.
  • "I am going to give you a word. As soon as I do, look up here (hold hand in their visual remember), allow an image of the word to appear, and as soon as it does, look down here (hold hand in their K) to get a feeling of familiarity or not."
  • Use simple words initially.
  • Have them spell words in reverse.

Common Problems

  1. People try to create the word while looking in visual remembered. "Look up here and wait until you see the word the way you have seen it before. Allow the image to pop up."
  2. If people draw a blank, write out the word and hold it up in visual remember. Have them look at it and then close their eyes and see it internally as a memory image.
  3. Hold the word up for a short period. If too long some people will try to describe it rather than see it.
  4. Have them visualize the word on something that they can remember easily.
  5. A person keeps going back to their old strategy rather than using the new one. Reframe the persistent voice. If first step is a negative K, then create a resource anchor (or use a dissociated-state rehearsal if necessary).

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