PRONUNCIATION – THE LONG AND SHORT VOWELS

Audio blog post by Dr. Isaacs. Click to listen and read along! To be an expert speller, you must learn the language of spelling. And this includes a number of different things. But learning pronunciation is key. The number of spellers who have misspelled a word in competition because they learned the wrong pronunciation is legion. Don't become one of them! Let's learn correct pronunciation - and how to read diacritics - starting with long and short vowels. Since Merriam Webster Unabridged Online is the official source for words, we…

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MAKING WORD LISTS FROM READING

Audio blog post by Dr. Isaacs. Click to listen and read along! There is a huge argument to be made from the benefits of reading when trying to become an expert speller. Simply put, reading will expose you to a wide variety of words. And unlike poring over simple word lists, reading will improve your vocabulary. Why? Because you see a word in its proper context. Even if you can't learn the exact dictionary definition of a word, you often get a clue as to what it means. If you…

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THE ADJECTIVE SUFFIXES -CEOUS / -CIOUS / -TIOUS

Audio blog post by Dr. Isaacs. Click to listen and read along! For many spellers, the three adjective suffixes -ceous / -cious / -tious can provide a world of confusion. The main reason is that all three have the same pronunciation: \shəs\. With this post, I hope the confusion can end, once and for all. These three adjective suffixes can actually be differentiated quite simply. (This rule is certainly more straightforward than the rules dictating -able vs. -ible!) -ceous This suffix, which is Latin in origin, is almost exclusively preceded…

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CHEMICAL ELEMENTS

Audio blog post by Dr. Isaacs. Click to listen and read along! The list of chemical elements on the periodic table is a perennial favorite of spellers and word panelists alike. It's an easy list to gather, and it's full of words that run the gamut from very easy to nearly inscrutable. In fact, when Paideia first replaced the first iteration of Words of the Champions in 1995, a list of elements was one of the very first ones to appear in its pages. Here are a few guidelines to…

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-ABLE VS. -IBLE – PART 4

Spelling correctly is possible street sign

Audio blog post by Dr. Isaacs. Click to listen and read along! Well! We've reached the end! Almost. So far, we've explored three aspects of the -able/-ible spelling conundrum. We've learned that -able is, by far, the more common of the two suffixes - and therefore, a better choice if you're guessing a spelling. We've learned that if you can think of a similar suffix to add to the end of a word, the first letter of that similar suffix should point the way to the correct choice of -able…

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