Level Up English Podcast Improve Spelling Episode 192

How to Improve Your Spelling

I go over some tips (about 9!) on improving your spelling in English. It’s not easy, but there are some things you can try to see improvements over time.

I first want to reassure you that many native speakers have issues with spelling too! There are just not many rules to follow so it’s very hard to get them right all the time. Auto-correction makes us even lazier because it doesn’t matter if we spell things wrong anymore.

Let’s go over some tips to improve now.

Spelling Tips

  1. Turn off auto-correction – learn from mistakes and improve gradually
  2. Make mnemonics for specific words – “because” = Big Elephants Can’t Always Use Small Exits 
  3. Use rhythm – Just like how we remember the alphabet, say the word as a song or rhythm to help remember
  4. Say the word in your head how it looks – When writing “island”, the voice in my head says “ISS LAND”
  5. Break it down into chunks – em + bar + ras + sed
  6. Use muscle memory  – your fingers often know the spelling before your brain does 
  7. Learn some rules – but keep in mind there are usually many exceptions
  8. Look at the origins of the words – when you know “phone” and “phobia” come from Greek, you’ll learn to pronounce similar words with a PH as F
  9. Watch things with subtitles – like the Transcripts at Level Up English!
  10. Read –  and look up words when you don’t know them

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4 thoughts on “#192 How to Improve Your English Spelling”

  1. Hi Michael, I’m Ahmad from KSA. I’m so happy to introduce myself to you. I was trying to get into podcast number 17 to leave a review for my own story about the expressions in there, but it didn’t go well, it wasn’t there any space for writing my review, so I decide to write here. I hope you find it well and understand my issue. So, regarding to the expressions in 17 podcasts I just want to tell you my own story.So, when i was an employee in a supermarket who they are providing food clothing and house cleaner such as that kind of things. Once when i came late my boss delegating some a huge task to deal with. Meanwhile, I felt like I am in trouble OMG there are a lot of tasks to finish it. And then i ask my coworker for help and he hasn’t hesitate for a moment to assist me. In that time our manager saw us working together he looks like an angry because he didn’t want anyone to help me , in a nutshell I just say to him there are a lot of stuff to do this is bitten off more than I can chew i really need one of my colleagues to help me. Finally I persuaded him to allow us working together. After we’ve done everything, he rewarded us by giving us a downtime to have something outside of the mall where the supermarket is.
    In addition, when we’re get back, he gave us Ammm like a lecture about how can we serve the customers in a new tradition way, he looks like request from us to thinking out of the box. However, we came across a very friendly concept which is helping to earn more customers to the supermarket. Anyway, the idea was everyone came to the store and buying more than 100 Riyals he will get a bonus 35RS for the next purchase, which is really gain customers and increase the number of visitors.

    This is my humble story about the expressions i learned from you, and i gratitude to you for everything i learned from your perfect podcasts.
    And could you please look at my story and corrected me if I had any mistakes.

    1. Hi Ahmad. Thanks for taking the time to comment here! Podcast reviews are always really appreciated, but not the best place to respond to things I say in the podcast. You found the right place here.
      Well done for using these expressions! Practice is so important in learning.
      Rather than “this is bitten off more than I can chew”, say “I have bitten off…”. But you used the other expressions well! Good job. Thanks for listening!

  2. I’m reading a book and I’ve found a lot of new words, but I don’t know whether to dig them up or ignore them⁉️⁉️⁉️

    1. Good question! We talk a bit about this question in Episode 105 with Olly Richards.
      There are different methods to reading, but generally people would say it’s too much work to look up all the words! It’s probably better to just try to enjoy reading and guess the meaning based on the context (just as native speakers do)
      The other option of course, is to find something easier to read. The main thing is that you enjoy what you’re doing.

      Here’s what I do for example: I read or listen to something and I just occasionally look up a word when it sounds interesting or important, but I focus on becoming comfortable with not understanding 100%. I hope this helps!

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