Sunday, January 26, 2014

Memory helpers to help you spell

Mnemonics (memory helpers)
Memory helps or mnemonics (pronounced ne-mon-icks) can be used to help one remember how to spell tricky words by making up a phrase or rhyme to remind one of the correct spelling.

Here is a table that displays examples from "The Spelling Skills Handbook", By John Barwick and Jenny Barwick*.


Word
Mnemonic
Comment
bear
a bear bit my ear
homonym: bear/ bare
business
there is a bus in business
also: I am in business
cemetery
three e's are in the cemetery
confused with -ary ending
colour
our favourite colour
reminds you to include the u**
diary
a diary begins with 'I'
confused with dairy
environment
three n's in environment
middle n often omitted
government
two n's in government
first n often omitted
hear
hear with your ear
homonym: hear/ here
island
an island is land
silent letter: s
loose
a loose tooth
confused with 'lose'
meat
animals eat meat
homonym: meat/ meet
parallel
the middle I's are parallel
reminds you to include double I
sail
I ail when I sail
homonym: sail/ sale
separate
a rat is separate
also: separate ends with rate
theatre
the, at, re
tricky spelling


**Please note that these tips are for Australian English. This means there may be slight variations of words that you are familar with. For example, the word colour is spelt, "colour" in Australian and British English, whereas in American English this is spelt, "color".

Related links
References:
*Barwick, J (1999). The Spelling Skills Handbook. Sydney: Horwitz Education, p32.

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