Spicy Tooth

ESOL – Literacy – Numeracy

Wordshapes for practising spelling

In some cases, visualising the shape of a word may be useful for helping the student to remember its spelling. For example, the following wordshape can be useful for some students who want to remember how to spell ‘Wednesday’:


ESOL learners often omit the letter ‘d’ in Wednesday, so visualising the outline above could help them to remember that particular letter.

There are different ways to create the word shape, such as using the drawing tools on Word. An online word shapes worksheet maker can be found on atozteacherstuff.com.

Visualising word shapes is one of a number of techniques that are used by ESOL teachers to help learners improve their spelling. One of the most well-known is perhaps the Look, Say, Cover, Write (LSCW) technique, which is fairly self-explanatory. For those who are unfamiliar with the technique, it involves 4 steps:

  • Looking at the word;
  • Saying the word out loud;
  • Covering the word;
  • Writing the word.

Actually, LSCW does not fully describe the process. After writing the word, the learner should check it to make sure it’s correct and then write it again for extra practice.

An interactive example of LSCW can be found on the BBC Skillswise website (requires Flash plugin).


spicytoothadmin • May 25, 2016

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