The future of word inquiry is happening now…

A friend suggested that I post a link to my current blog, as this may give a useful look at how word inquiry can blossom or continue to expand with “slightlylargerhumans”.    Since beginning my journey with Real Spelling and Structured Word Inquiry, this is the first year I have taught any children who have seen it before.  One Grade Four student was in my Grade One class three years ago, and two or three of the Fives worked in this sphere with their Grade Three teacher.

Not to be hyperbolic, but those that were “returning” to this way of exploring the language–after wandering in the world of random lists and irregularities–leaped in as if they had come across a pool of water in a desert.  Relief and enthusiasm were both evident!  For the majority who are new to the notion that our language can be investigated scientifically, the response has been typically delightful!  So, for a glimpse of this work with bigger kids, go to

(And, as always, check out links in the sidebar to amazing teachers and students doing an amazing job of displaying their amazing work).


2 thoughts on “The future of word inquiry is happening now…

  1. I love this Skot

    “…those that were “returning” to this way of seeing the language leaped in as if they had come across a pool of water in a desert. Relief and enthusiasm were both evident!

    Your experience is also a reflection of something a good friend pointed out to me some time ago: real understanding — by definition — is enduring.

    I have often been asked by teachers about what do I do if their students move onto classes that don’t teach with this understanding of spelling?

    While I understand where that question is coming from, there is never a good reason for instruction to misrepresent content. Once we understand the primary job of English spelling is to represent meaning and that it is so well-ordered that it can be investigated — we can’t teach as though it has many exceptions and is mainly about sound representation.

    Your experiences — described so well in your blogs — gives teachers added confidence that children come to understand about English spelling is not “lost” when if their next teacher offers typical instruction.


  2. Thanks, Pete. I remain empirically unsure of whether kids who are exposed to the reality of the language at age 6 will remain immune to subsequent years of exposure to the forces of phonics and “English, the Inexplicable”.

    However, I am hopeful that anyone who really “understands” scientific inquiry–even the very young–will carry with them the “enduring” capacity to question and dig. Establishing early on the possibility that a “teacher” is not an “all-knower” hopefully also establishes a will to doubt and argue with so-called “authority”. And, specifically regarding the writing system, I am hopeful that I convey an enduring belief that the system is ordered and understandable, such that they will bristle against tedious tasks that focus on surface-level patterns or half-truths.


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