Media >
Find out why Johnny can’t spell...

About AVKO | AVKO Philosophy

Watch Don McCabe get a dyslexic in his first lesson to instantly spell the word “scattered” correctly without ever seeing it or studying it.  He couldn’t spell the word at the start
of the lesson.
  1. Too many administrators and researchers consider themselves, “The world’s worst speller.”  They don’t realize just
    how bad some spellers are.  And they think spellcheckers will take care of all their problems.  So spelling is on the
    bottom of their list of priorities.  Would you believe I have a collection of 25 different misspellings of the four letter word
    that often follows bull.  And that's no bull.  See:
    Misspellings of a scatological word
  2. Spelling is caught, not taught in our schools.  Good spellers already know all but one or two of the words given to the class to study.  Poor spellers try to memorize them all for the test on Friday but forget them by Monday.  Their spelling never seems to improve much.
  3. Students are never taught how to translate their speech into proper spelling patterns.  32 African American students in a Black History class wrote with varying misspellings “The plantation owners should have whip thay slaves for any reason.”  (sic) See pages 110-112 in To Teach a Dyslexic.  Would you believe they really meant shouldn't have .  Had they meant "should have" they would've spelled it as "should of!" Linguists use the terms sandhi and synaloepha to describe this phenomenon. 98% of all university reading instructors haven't heard of these terms! It's no wonder teachers haven't been informed of this problem and how to deal with it.
  4. Our U.S. Department of Education has failed to fund any adequate study of spelling since 1954.  No adequate baseline.  See AVKO’s challenge to researchers.
  5. The AVKO Sequential Spelling technique and how to use it is free. 

Sequential Spelling is the cheapest spelling program ever devised for schools. Students have nothing to study and teachers have nothing to correct.  Hence only one book per classroom is needed.  And it works because immediate student self-correction has been proven by research to be the only truly effective method of teaching spelling.  The other secret ingredient is the sequencing. 

Don McCabe is the Research Director of the AVKO Educational Research Foundation, author of over 20 books in the area of teaching spelling, reading, and handwriting, including The Patterns of English Spelling, the only source book  ever written in which a teacher, writer, or researcher can find all the words in English (American or British) that share the same phonic patterns such as the ci = /sh/ as in social, crucial, and suspicion

Review: ”[To Teach a Dyslexic] is more than an autobiography of a distinguished educator.  It’s a blueprint long overdue that school systems can use to teach reading and writing.”  – Carl Smith, Ph.D., Director Family Literacy Center, Indiana University.

HomeSchool Christian Review of Sequential Spelling

Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap