C our age? 

It’s easy for me to take spelling for granted. I’m a phonics teacher and a native English speaker but many of you don’t have my skills and experience. I was a top speller in my classes all the way through my education. I won many spelling bees ( spelling competitions) and had to spend very little time on my spelling corrections. It has served me well over the years. (Now, if I could only do the same for my typing.;)

                                                       Issacar red?

I was helping a student spell scared  and noticed some ‘little’ words. The ‘are’ is pronounced air so it could come out as skaired. Can you see ‘red’ at the end of that word? SKAIRED…See it now? He knew how to spell red so we went with that. I also showed him that ‘car’ is in there but the ‘r’ is shared with ‘red’:  cared. By now, he had most of the word spelled and just needed to add the initial s to complete it: s+car+ed.. . scared. We can find ‘are’ pronounced as air in words like fare, bare, ware, share and care.

                                                          C our age?

How many of you noticed that spells courage? That is not an easy word to spell. It means bravery. It means the opposite of fear. If you spelled it phonetically ( the way it sounds), it might come out kurrij. I teach my students to get the sounds right first and then fix the spelling. We can find more ‘little’ words in our new word. Let’s look…

There are two letters that make the /k/ sound:c and k. Most kids will pick the k. ‘Our’ is a bit tough to spell but most students will know it from the possessive adjective:our house, our teacher… So, continuing our spelling journey we have, c+our and we just need to add ‘age’. Again, this is not a phonetic word and needs some effort. We can find ‘age’ in words like page and wage. Most people know how to spell ‘page’, so I tell them that it’s the same as the last part of courage. Now we have c+our+age: courage. Piece of cake!

I hope by now that you are starting to see the ‘little’ words in the whole word. Btw, did you notice that word has or in the middle?;)

If these articles are helping you, please let me know by Liking, commenting and sharing this. Thanks so much…

Stay tuned for more English Hacks!

Until next time…


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I am a writer, singer, guitarist, father, husband and English teacher residing in Hong Kong. I love making people laugh and enjoy teaching. I have been to many parts of the world and have been blessed with a loving family. I do freelance writing work for local companies. I have just started writing my memoir.

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