SPELLING AT YL STARTERS, MOVERS AND FLYERS
December 2020 – When preparing YL for an exam with a written part, special attention must be paid to spelling. Children are usually exposed to English at a very early age and they might be familiar with a wide range of vocabulary in English. However, being able to write these words takes time, since their mother tongue needs to be prioritized.
There should be at least one year between introducing YL to writing and spelling in their own language and introducing them to the English spelling system. Even so, they might tend to write the English words they use properly with the letters which represent the sounds in their L1. Cambridge YL exams at A1 level are very flexible with spelling mistakes (as long as the word is recognizable). Yet, worksheets practising to trace, copy and spell words at the given level could be useful from the start. Also because spelling is something that needs to be taught throughout all the levels and accuracy will be required from A2 level.
Cambridge YL exams rigorously follow a pre-determined wordlist they expect the YL candidates to know at the given level (Starters – Pre-A1, Movers – A1, Flyers – A2). In THIS BOOKLET, you can find the three wordlists. So, it is clear from the beginning what words students will have to be able to spell in the exam.
To practise spelling with children, you might consider to put together simple spelling worksheets for them. One example is available on the MES-ENGLISH WEBSITE. The website offers a wide range of excellent worksheets relying on another website (www.toolsforeducators.com). Here you can find one WORKSHEET EXAMPLE ABOUT TRANSPORTATION to print.
The worksheet follows the standard literacy process:
– it provides visual help (pictures),
– first it asks the pupils to trace the word with printed letters (first page),
– on the second page, pupil need to trace the target word once and copy it then a couple of times,
– finally, they are asked to write (and spell) the words only with visual helps (the target word is no more given on the page.
You can make similar worksheets to every lesson in which you introduce or revise vocabulary (always respecting the magic number of 7: around 7 new words should be introduced at once and they should be repeated seven times to guarantee that students memorize them on a long run). Use the Cambridge English wordlists (above) to see which vocabulary items you need to teach in which category.
As for Worksheet Generator, EDUCATION.com offers a simple version. Its advantage is that you can use also only capital letters (which might be easier for your students) and it also offers tracing themes. Its drawback is that it does not provide guides and much space for the copying.
WORKSHEETWORKS.com offers handwriting worksheets to personalize. There are no pictures available, but you can type in up to 9 words for every page you create and then you can download your generated worksheet for printing. The printed worksheet also provided guides.
Similar website is WORKSHEET GENIUS: it creates boxes for each word with a pre-set number or practice lines. No guides are provided. You can also choose handwriting.
YOU MIGHT LIKE THESE MATERIALS TOO:
YL activity books for Cambridge Starters, Movers and Flyers or any ESL primary classroom about Toys (free), Sweets, Beach, Animals, Meals, House, Clothes and many other topics. Shop around in the ELT-Tutor webshop.
YL Taboo cards following the official Cambridge YLE Wordlists. Ready-to-print, fun activity for vocabulary revision.
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