Vocabulary & Spelling

Helping with vocabulary

  • Check if your mentee has a ‘new vocabulary’ notebook from school (Love to Learn can provide one if not).
  • Keep vocabulary lists in themes.
  • Reading, hearing and using words in context is best.
  • Always ask your mentee to explain key words to you in their own words.
  • Focus on synonyms: when they use a word like “big”, what other words could they use instead?
  • Make sure L2L have provided a thesaurus and a dictionary if they don’t already have one.
  • Does your mentee read in their home language? If so check whether they have a dictionary in that language as well.
  • Recap on last week’s vocabulary – do mini test, recycle it in a different task.

Helping with spelling

  • Your mentee may have regular spelling tests – if they do, try to find out when these are – you could test them on the week’s words in advance, or go over the ones he/she didn’t get right.
  • Make sure they know what the words they are learning mean.
  • Look at the correct spelling, cover, write and then check.
  • Always focus on the letters or group of letters that are not right – most letters in a word are mostly right, they may have one “sound” wrong.
  • Use a whiteboard to practise as it is easier to have a go if you can rub it out.
  • Do “odd one out” exercises to get them to spot the right one.
  • Gapfill sentences where they have to use the right word.
  • Always collect words in groups of similar patterns.
  • Never try to learn There / Their together!
  • Match words to meanings

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