Specific learning difficulties and spelling

Beyond the generalised problems that can cause difficulty in learning to spell, there are more specific learning difficulties. These can be described as falling into five clusters:

The impact on motivation

All these difficulties often translate into poor motivation.

And motivation is the place where any remediation really must begin.

How StarSpell helps learners with specific learning difficulties

A structured, multi-sensory approach

All research points to a structured, multi-sensory approach as the key to helping learners with specific learning difficulties:

StarSpell offers a double package of support:

StarSpell supports each specific difficulty

Five clusters of specific learning difficulties are described above, along with their impact on motivation. Here's how StarSpell provides support for each one:

Discrimination difficulties

Visual discrimination

StarSpell's graphics are simple and unfussy, and support the learner's focus on the task. Fonts, letter-colours and background colours are all customisable.

In the Spelling mode, highlighting the spelling pattern helps focus attention.

The animation time can be controlled, so the slow binning of any wrong letters, the slow swapping of reversed letters and the slow bringing-in of new letters, all serve to provide the learner with ample observation time to process the necessary learning.

Auditory discrimination

All words have been very carefully recorded to be distinct, and are in a natural human voice.

These naturally-spoken words are available for as many times as learners need (by clicking the Ear), providing significant support for the discrimination of the sounds in the words.

And then, the Phonics mode, the only mode which deals with actual phonemes, incorporates the pronunciation of each phoneme of the word whenever its grapheme moves or is moved. Again, these are carefully and distinctly spoken in a natural voice.

Organisation difficulties

First, the organisation of the word lists offers a huge resource in itself, giving a structure to your learning programme.

Further, the whole design of the Spelling mode provides solid learning support, in its visual impact and (controllable) pace. But its chief help in this area is in slowing down and organising the Look-Cover-Write-Check routine.

Memory difficulties

Here again, the organisation of StarSpell's word lists provides a very secure framework for the long-term work of learning letter-sound matches.

Combine this structure with StarSpell activities, and you have a resource with immense impact to counter difficulties in this area of poor memory.

Motor difficulties

StarSpell offers support in two ways:

Sequencing difficulties

The value of the Spelling mode has already been noted for visual discrimination difficulties. That same help also applies to sequencing difficulties.

But furthermore, the Phonics mode is a markedly strong sequencing mode, providing significant experience. And then StarPick and StarGuess, the two games in the StarSpell Lists and Yr2 to KS3 Support sections, operate in similar fashion.

Between them, the four options offer extremely useful support to learners with sequencing problems.

Finally, motivation

All these difficulties translate into poor motivation and low self-esteem. But StarSpell works positively in the learner's favour:

To find out more about StarSpell click here.