I love reading and have always encouraged my two daughters to do the same. The last few weeks in particular, I’ve been spending more time with them and helping them to learn and recognise new words as they read their school books to me. This has led to a noticeable improvement in their spelling. Whilst I was reading bedtime stories to them yesterday (something I’ve done since they were babies) it suddenly struck me how important it is for them to also hear how the words are pronounced as well as the tone and emphasis I use.
On a yahoo.com forum, the question Can reading help you improve your spelling and grammar? was asked. The response was quite positive and all comments said that reading as well as writing can help with spelling. One suggestion was doing crosswords as you can find lots of new words that way; just looking up a word can lead you to other words.
If a person is particularly poor at spelling and they started to read more often and widened their range of reading material, they would start to recognise words that looked wrong. For example, I would just look at the commonly misspelled word ‘rythm’ and know that it wasn’t right – it looks much better as ‘rhythm’. If you are constantly on the look out for incorrect spellings in what you read, and force yourself to look things up, you will increase your vocabulary in no time.
If in doubt look it up!
I’ve learnt many new words since I started this blog because I read and look up new words every day. Having a dictionary and thesaurus close at hand is always a good idea – I have a few good ones at home, and one on my desk at work. There are also some very good online dictionaries as well as apps for smartphones, which I keep meaning to look into (more on that another time).
- Note 262 – Spelling commitments: Committing yourself to spelling correctly (mywritingnotebook.com)