Close This Window

 Links and Resources Related to Simplified Spelling

  Request Copy of "American Spelling" from the ALC  
To the extent that teachers and literacy center workers find success in using phonics materials as a first step in teaching English as a second language, they may also be interested in a publication of the ALC titled "American Spelling."

Whereas phonics provides a small vocabulary of 400 words that are simplified to a consistant spelling standard, the "American Spelling" book extands that phonics consistency to 44,000 words. Phonics is a temporary bridge that introduces non-readers to the concept of reading (looking at sylables and words, then imagining that you are speaking them). The entire base of 44,000 most used English words are available to researchers - see the menu items related to ESL. 
The Simplified Spelling Society (SSS) started in 1908. They publish leaflets, newsletters, journals, books and bulletins to promote spelling reform of the English language. They are featured in the media on TV, on Radio and in Print. They publish a peer-reviewed journal.

Like all languages with phonetic writing systems a reform would do away with wasteful spelling classes for children learning English. The effects of dyslexia are made worse by the chaotic English spelling. The Spelling Bee (BeeMan visits Spelling Bee) is unknown in countries with phonetic (or should that not be "fonetic"?) spelling. The updating of English spelling would be of benefit to many more than just the Anglo-Saxon world, but also the world of TEFL where other languages are spoken in addition to English. 
This site presents a broad range of convincing English reading and spelling problems. It demonstrates why literacy rates are so low in English speaking countries.

The average English-speaking child takes nearly three times longer to learn the basics of reading and writing than users of other alphabetic writing systems. Numerous surveys in Anglophone countries during the past five decades have established that nearly half of all English speakers have severe difficulties with writing.

 Book: Understanding English Spelling by Masha Bell. 
This book analyzes the regularities and irregularities of the English spelling system. Word lists in the book are useful for teachers and parents who are teaching reading and spelling. Persons interested in the improvment of English spelling will benefit because the bookt not only explains why English literacy acquisition is slow and difficult, but it shows which spellings are most detrimental to literacy progress and in most urgent need of repair. Available at by clicking above.

 Book: Spelling Dearest  
"Spelling Dearest" - The Down and Dirty, Nitty-Gritty History of English Spelling) by Niall McLeod Waldman is an irreverent tell-all book.s It reveals why English spelling is so needlessly difficult. The crucial events, the intentional complexity, the downright blunders are all there including names and dates of those who caused our misery. This book is "pithy and profound." The New Orleans Times says, "it's an informative, free-flowing, humorous and historic look at how we screwed up so badly for so many years." Spelling Dearest takes a lighthearted stab at the weakest part of the written English language. Available at by clicking above.