Common spelling mistakes children make
Thread poster: Andrea Ali

Andrea Ali  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 02:18
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jun 14, 2004

Hi, everybody!

Which are the common spelling mistakes an English/American native 7/8-year-old-child makes?

How do teachers mark these mistakes when correcting a child's work other than dictations?

This is just for me to have an idea. As a former ESL teacher I would just point out the mistake and ask the child to provide the right spelling. Not in a dictation, of course.

Now my daughter is learning ESL at school. She is in second grade and the teacher takes points off for spelling mistakes I am sure a native child makes! This is very discouraging, isn't it?

Thanks!
Andrea


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Marcus Malabad  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 07:18
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
their travelling untill when? Jun 14, 2004

for starters:

they\'re - there - their
you\'re - your - yore
alot - a lot
untill - until

(and for the longest time, I couldn\'t spell \'traveling\' [travelling] correctly)


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Alison Schwitzgebel
France
Local time: 07:18
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Quite and quiet Jun 14, 2004

lose and loose
writing and writting

Just some of the ones I remember having problems with way back when...


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Melissa Field  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:18
German to English
+ ...
here are a few Jun 14, 2004

Andrea,

that is great that your 2nd grader is learning English. Our school does not offer a second language until the 6th grade!

My daughter, who is now 8 years old, is generally a good speller but makes mistakes like "similer" for similar, "patato" for potato, "intelagent" for intelligent.

In her class, I have often seen the "ai" words like complain spelled correctly, but then misspelled in the past tense - complaned rather than complained. Forgetting to double the consonant ("droped" for dropped, "hoped" hopped)in the past tense happens freqently, too.

At this age, there seems to be a very wide range within the classroom, no doubt related to each child's ability to read, which also varies widely. My daughter's first language is German, but since she speaks and reads it less frequently than English, the spelling is very creative (i.e. wrong!) to say the least.

In our school, spelling is always marked, but only counted against the grade during spelling tests, not for essays or other writing exercises.

Tell your daughter that I think she sounds like a very smart young lady to be learning a language at that age! Hopefully, she won't let those marks discourage her.

Melissa




[Edited at 2004-06-14 20:05]


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:18
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
A word that doesn't travel well Jun 14, 2004

Marcus, in this country your correct version of traveling would be incorrect, and your incorrect version, travelling, would be correct.

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xxxElena Sgarbo  Identity Verified
Italian to English
+ ...
All those homophones! Jun 15, 2004

Hola Andrea!

I agree with the previous comments: the hardest words to spell correctly for our kids in 2nd/3rd grade must be the homophones.

At the top of the list should probably be the terms mentioned first by Marcus: there / their / they're.

And here are, for you, other misspelled homophones I've seen a lot (in no particular order):

- theirs / there's
- who's / whose
- to / too / two
- I'll / aisle / isle
- we'll / will
- blue / blew
- sea / see
- right / write
- ad / add
- which / witch
- steel / steal
- meet / meat
- whole / hole
- new / knew
- night / knight
- niece / knees
- eight / ate
- red / read (past tense)
- muscles / mussels
- hear / here
- hears / here's
- made / maid
- mail / male
- board / bored
- flour / flower
- sight / site
- cell / sell
- sale /sail


Hope this helps, Andrea. Give Ornella a big kiss, and promise her that if she reads a lot in English, she'll master her homophones in no time!!

Elena

[Edited at 2004-06-15 14:41]


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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:18
English to Polish
+ ...
More Jun 15, 2004

recieve
beleive
its/ it's
attenshun (that one is a classic, I'm told)
off/ of (if that's considered a spelling mistake?)


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Lorenzo Lilli  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:18
German to Italian
+ ...
what about adults? Jun 16, 2004

PAS wrote:

recieve
beleive
its/ it's
attenshun (that one is a classic, I'm told)
off/ of (if that's considered a spelling mistake?)


Its/it's must be one of the most frequent mistakes among adults, too (together with your/you're, their/they're etc.).


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Sol  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:18
Spanish to English
+ ...
discouraging grading and creative spelling Jun 22, 2004

Andrea Ali wrote:
Now my daughter is learning ESL at school. She is in second grade and the teacher takes points off for spelling mistakes I am sure a native child makes! This is very discouraging, isn't it?


Hi Andrea,
My twins just finished 5th grade in the U.S., and now they do get point off for spelling mistakes, but when they were in 2nd grade, the policy was that unless the mistakes were in words from the vocabulary list, they didn't get any points taken off for spelling. The list I am talking about is a "must know" list that had all the words learned in first grade, and to which each week were added the "spelling words" of that week. That list, by the way, was posted in the classroom and could be checked even during tests.

The way your daughter's teacher grades sounds quite discouraging to me, but I really cannot tell you if it effective or not. Where I live, the tendency is towards encouraging children to write no matter how. In kindergarten, first, and second grade each child is given time every day to draw, and when ready, write, on his or her own journal. This journal is not graded, just looked at to make sure the child is actually doing something. Creative spelling of unknown words is actually encouraged, not only on the journal but in all school work at that stage. The teaching approach that dictated that children should learn words as units, is out, mostly because so many people grew up with that method and now are functionally illiterate. We are back to the basics, to the phonetic approach. Maybe your daughter's teacher is from the old school. An then again, maybe she chose this approach because it is a foreign language she is teaching.

I hope that helped.

Best of luck!

Sol


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Andrea Ali  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 02:18
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks so much, everybody!!! Jun 22, 2004

In the end, I was not that mistaken. It is a pity that pupils learning ESL cannot profit from an 8-hour-per-week course because of an old-fashioned (I do not want to be rude)method.

I very much doubt she, or any child, will be interested in the language when all she is taught is "The kite is blue", "The girl is thin" and "The boy is fat" completely out of context.

Hopefully, the storybooks, songs, games and movies will provide her with the real language. It seems I will have to work a lot at home!

Cheers,
Andrea (a worried mother)


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