Some Advice for Adults who are Weak Spellers

    If you have read advice pages 1, 2 and 3 you will see that they are addressed mainly to parents who are worried about their children's spelling. When we created our web site, in April 2000, these were the people we had in mind.

    However, since that time, it's become apparent that there are many adults out there who have decided to try to improve their own spelling and we've had lots of e-mails saying how the site is helping them. Many tell us that they can cope with reading at work but they try to avoid writing because they are embarrassed about their spelling. Here are some typical comments:

    "I can plod along reasonably, with the help of my electronic dictionary, until someone looks over my shoulder (or I think someone is looking over my shoulder!) And then I go to pieces."
    "I learned to read OK at school but spelling never seemed to click with me. The teachers always put loads of red ink on my work and I think I just lost confidence in myself."
    "My kids tease me because they can spell much better than I can."
    "Workmates pass remarks about my spelling when I put union notices on the board. I'm sure they laugh at me behind my back."
    "Everyone encouraged me to go for the vacancy as a maintenance supervisor. They all said that I could do it with my eyes shut. But I knew that my spelling would let me down when I came to write my first report."
    "I've worked through all the exercises on Spelling it Right and followed all the advice and I feel much more confident now. When are you going to put up some more pages?"

    Do any of these remarks ring a bell with you? We hope you've noted the final comment. It really is possible to improve your spelling - whatever your age. Our oldest user is seventy six. She runs a family history course and is anxious to get all her handouts correct. Take heart and try to make use of all the resources you can find - on the internet and elsewhere.
    In the UK our local education authorities run adult literacy classes where you find people with similar difficulties to your own. Give them a ring. Courses usually start in September and January.
    I am indebted to Maritza Jauregui who advises me that similar free classes can be found in the United States. She tells me that most classes are run through the local public libraries and are staffed by volunteers. If your local library doesn't offer a class it's also possible to find them through your local department of education. Just call the local school district and ask them about adult education classes. Most high schools and community colleges also offer courses.

    Do be sure to read the other three advice pages. There is much that applies to you.    Good luck!
    Do be sure to read the other three advice pages. There is much that applies to you. Good luck!

Spelling it Right

Roger Smith
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