Spelling: Sharing the Secrets


184 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-7715-1780-7
DDC 372.6'32





Reviewed by Agnes C. Farrell

Agnes C. Farrell is an elementary-school teacher in Richmond, B.C.


Here, at last, is a spelling resource book for teachers that recognizes
that spelling is not an isolated subject. As the author states, the book
“presents a framework for placing spelling in the context of active
learning.” Those who teach reading and writing using the holistic, or
whole language, approach have long been aware that the standard
pre-test/post-test method of teaching a set of isolated words does
little to help students understand the complexities of English spelling.
Using the suggestions in this book, students will develop an awareness
of the problems they’ll encounter in spelling, as well as effective
strategies for solving them.

Recognizing that students learn in a variety of ways, the author has
included chapters on phonological strategies, visual strategies,
morphological strategies, tactile strategies, and memory tricks. As she
observes, “[a] competent speller must possess an array of spelling
strategies to cope with the complex demands of the English spelling

The book offers suggestions for teaching spelling to students who are
just beginning to recognize sound/symbol relationships, as well as to
advanced students who wish to explore the complex patterns in English
spelling. It also provides guidelines for choosing appropriate spelling
manuals and computer software. Spelling: Sharing the Secrets is highly
recommended for a teacher resource library.


Scott, Ruth., “Spelling: Sharing the Secrets,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 22, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/13469.