Both reading and spelling require you to connect letters to speech sounds and to develop a visual memory of the letters in words. However when you read, you see the letters and have to work out what the word is. You do the reverse when you spell – you know what word you want to write and have to work out the letters.
Thus reading and spelling are different skills. Reading uses the skill of recognition, while spelling requires recall. You can compare it to phone numbers. Spelling is similar to when you try to remember a phone number, where you have to recall each number in its right position. Reading is when you check your phone log and recognise the number you were trying to remember. Since reading and spelling require different skills, you can be a good reader but a poor speller. The ALTA spelling programme, which is geared toward our students who have completed Level 2 of the programme, incorporates and expands on the spelling strategies and rules taught in ALTA literacy programme.
Below we have a contribution from one of our students, Maureen who is a member of our Spelling Programme at St George’s College in Barataria.
The initial reason for my interest in ALTA was as a form of support for my brother but then I thought that I could benefit from the programme as well. The areas I needed help in were spelling and reading for understanding. I started at Level 2 and progressed to the Spelling Programme which was most helpful to me as it pointed to the issues pertaining to my spelling problems. With an emphasis on phonics and the understanding of the composition of the English language the programme taught me how to apply the rules required to enable me to spell any word. Thus my spelling improved greatly.
Throughout my academic life I struggled with feelings of inferiority because of my shortcomings. My participation in the ALTA programme has been a rich and rewarding experience. It has afforded me the opportunity to build self confidence. I can say that learning has become an enjoyable experience rather than one of necessity. I attribute my positive experience to the patience, willingness and respect shown by the tutors regardless of our level.
Attending these classes has also given me the privilege of meeting new people and making friends. Our class was united in their efforts to help and support each other in achieving our goals. Whatever obstacles you need to overcome in order to better yourself; do it. You are never too old and it is not too late to accomplish your life’s goals. The ALTA programme is the ideal foundation as a first step to understanding what is needed for self improvement. It will put you on the path to realizing your potential.
ALTA starts the Spelling Programme in October after new student registration in September. This gives potential spelling students who are new to ALTA the opportunity to spend four weeks in Level 2 to check that Spelling Programme is their best ALTA match.