Spelling strategies that can work!

Jenny Robins

Thursday 4 March 2021, 4-5:30 pm (AEDT)

Online Event

Jenny Robins began as a volunteer in 2011, then became a qualified teacher, working with adult migrants, people from refugee backgrounds and people seeking asylum to help them improve their English.

In 2017 Jenny decided to improve her skills and enrolled in a Masters of Learning Intervention in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne. She has found this invaluable as the course’s students are encouraged to tailor the subjects’ assignments to their context and needs and those of their students. Jenny currently works at Yarraville Community Centre.

In her Masters’ literacy subject students had to design, implement and report on an intervention with their students. Jenny chose to help her students with their spelling, and this presentation describes the intervention she designed and delivered. The intervention’s activities revolved around the multiple ways long vowels can be spelt, but its main focus was on teaching the students spelling strategies which they could apply later.

Jenny presented on her experience with teaching adults, however the session was open to teachers from all sectors and the ideas in the session are transferable and applicable to all age groups.

Recording of the presentation

Presentation Documents

Download (PDF, 676KB)

Useful Resources

These are some resources recommended by the presenter and some participants during the session. Some of these resources are freely available, and some can be accessed through university libraries. Often Alumni can access their university’s library for a small fee each year.

Annesley, M. (2009). Sounds Right Looks Right. South Australia: TAFE SA.

Bear, D., Invernizzi, M., Templeton, S., & Johnston, F. (2016). Words their way. Word study for phonics, vocabulary, and spelling instruction. (6th ed.). Boston: Pearson.

Wardle, J. (2017). Sound spelling workbook: a teacher resource to support the writing skills of adult LLN learners. Melbourne: AMES.

Reading Rockets, (n.d). How spelling supports reading. Retrieved from


Australian spelling

Henderson, C.  (1994). The Sound Way to Spelling, Writing and Reading.


American Spelling

Spalding, Romelda. (2003). The writing road to reading : the Spalding method for teaching speech, spelling, writing, and reading. New York: Harper Resource


Jane Passey’s Cued articulation.  I use this video for her gestures:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPLnfNciLbA

Achren, L. & William, A. (2006). Teaching Issues 8: Fact sheet – learners with low literacy in the AMEP. Sydney: Adult Migrant English Program Research Centre, Macquarie University. Retrieved from: http://www.ameprc.mq.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/229375/08Teachingissues.pdf


Power, M. (2008). Passages to English 1. Fitzroy: The Bookery.

Power, M. (2008). Passages to English 2. Fitzroy: The Bookery.

Power, M. (2013). Passages to English 3. Fitzroy: The Bookery.

Reading Rockets, n.d. How spelling supports reading. Retrieved from: http://www.readingrockets.org/reading-topics/spelling-and-word-study

Adult Migrant English Program Research Centre (adult learners)


  • Fact Sheets
  • Prospect (journal)
  • Conferences
  • Professional Development Resources including ebooks that includes Teachers’ Voices – 8 volumes of action research project reports 1995 – 2005