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How to Improve Your Spelling - Become a Better Speller

Updated on September 29, 2010

For Teens and Adults

There are many tips and tricks that you can use to become a better speller. This article is targeted towards teens and adults, if you are interested in how to help your child to become a better speller, please check out :

All of us were taught different methods to read and write growing up. Some of us may even speak English as a second language. That being said, everyone has different spelling abilities. Either way, it is never too late to improve your spelling.

Benefits of Becoming a Better Speller

In today's society, it is simply frowned upon to have misspellings. Spelling words correctly shows that you take pride in your work. This is especially true in the business world. What if you were to hand write a memo to a co-worker and misspelled a word? Becoming a better speller will help improve your reputation and increase the respect that others have for you and your work.

What About Spell Check?

In my opinion, spell checking software is one of the best and one of the worst inventions in the history of mankind. On one hand, spell checking allows you to type freely and not worry about whether or not you're spelling correctly; it's fast and very productive. However, the conscious effort from you to spell correctly is not utilized. Because of this, you probably are not as good a speller as you could be, simply because it is no longer necessary for you to spell correctly.

Ways to Improve Your Spelling

There are many methods available to help improve your spelling. Here are just a few of them.

  • Play a Spelling Game (for grown-ups) Turn off your spell check while working on a document. Make an effort to spell everything correctly. Take a point off for every word that you spell incorrectly. Your goal is to beat your previous score. However, you can "cheat" with a dictionary! (See next tip)
  • Be "old-school" about it. Remember dictionaries? About 10 years ago, folks would use an actual, physical dictionary to look up words. Most of us don't have one sitting on a shelf anymore, but if you are working on a document and are not sure how to spell a word, look it up in a dictionary, whether it's or an actual book that is collecting dust on your shelf.
  • Get Hi-Tech. On the road a lot? Use your mobile phone to look up definitions of words that you're not sure about. If your phone cannot do this, consider investing in a portable electronic dictionary. Many have different translation capabilities.
  • Test Yourself. If you absolutely must use the spell checking feature, test yourself. If a word is highlighted in red, try to fix it before clicking on it to see your options. The instant gratification aspect of spell check makes it so you don't have to think.
  • Read more. Instead of watching the news on television, read it online. Instead of paying $20 for a DVD that will only give you 2 hours of entertainment, spend $20 on a book that will give you 10 hours of entertainment. The more you read, the more your brain will become accustomed to seeing words spelled correctly and will therefore absorb the correct spellings.
  • Write more. Start a blog for pleasure and try to write an entry every day about the day's events, you will become a better speller just by writing more frequently.
  • Help your children with their homework. If they don't know how to correctly spell a word, instruct them to look it up in the dictionary and you can learn it together. They'll never be the wiser that you didn't know how to spell it!

There you have it! After utilizing some or all of the tips above, I am quite confident that you will gain the skills necessary to become a better speller. You'll be spelling better in no time!

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    • Rebecca E. profile image

      Rebecca E. 8 years ago from Canada

      Great tips, and a great resource.

      You are so right "1 spulling mastake" makes the person look as if they don't have auhtority, or worse, knowledge.

    • girly_girl09 profile image

      girly_girl09 8 years ago from United States

      you're welcome! :) Thanks for reading.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Thanx fer the sugjeschuns on how 2 spyl. haha. I am a terrible speller and you are so right - sometimes seeing one spelling error can turn a piece of writing into drivel, it loses it's authority.

    • girly_girl09 profile image

      girly_girl09 9 years ago from United States

      It can definitely get confusing when it comes to American and British spelling variations. I see Americans spelling all the time with a British twist and I think that is due to the fact that young adults are part of the internet generation and are commonly exposed to various spellings online.

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 9 years ago

      I think a lot of people get totally bogged down by the differences in American and British spellings - especially those that were brought up on British spellings and now find themselves constantly bombarded by the American version thanks largely to the Internet!

    • Elena. profile image

      Elena. 9 years ago from Madrid

      Hey, Girly! Good tips -- I think for me what works best is reading a lot. Then again, these days one's got to be careful with the reading material... the internet isn't much of a great example, the "their" vs "there" vs "they're" or "your" vs "you're" among other spelling joys abound. Books still stand scrutiny though, those would be my "practice ground" :-)

      Edited to correct your name!

    • girly_girl09 profile image

      girly_girl09 9 years ago from United States

      Thanks, Trish! I'm glad that you found my tips helpful.

    • trish1048 profile image

      trish1048 9 years ago

      Very helpful hints, thanks for sharing.