To train past a B, you need the proper mindset.
Step 1: Ask yourself, “Does spelling matter?”
If you said “No,” ask yourself again. Keep asking yourself until you say “Yes.” If you don’t believe spelling matters, you’ll be working against yourself all the time. Seriously. I have watched B students burn out and drop down to C level because they fought against themselves so long on this issue that they finally gave up. Inner-battle fatigue was their poison.
Spelling matters because it not only decides what vocabulary words mean, but what verbs are communicating. Correct spelling demonstrates understanding.
So, does spelling matter?
If you said “Yes,” you’ve just accomplished Step 1. Do Step 1 every day. Every day say “Spelling matters.” Then do Step 2.
Step 2: Practice spelling.
Here’s the most effective spelling practice plan I’ve ever seen. F students of mine used this, and after two or three months they had Cs, Bs, or even As.
• Copy the first half of your vocabulary list for an entire chapter. Not half of a portion of the list. Half of the entire list. Write the English once, and next to it write the Spanish word three times.
• Don’t listen to music. Say the word to yourself as you write it.
• After copying half your list, on a separate piece of paper put each vocabulary word into an original sentence that you make up.
• When finished, return to your vocabulary list paper, fold back the English column, and review the words for five minutes.
• Keep the list out as you do other homework. When you need a break from Math or Science, make it a five minute Spanish vocabulary review.
Repeat Monday’s process, but for the second half of the list.
• Make a verb chart for every single verb that appears in the chapter. If your chapter is about The Preterite, make each chart in The Preterite.
• Write two sentences for each verb. One sentence from the singular side of the chart, and one from the plural side. Include some new vocabulary words.
• Continue to take five minutes to review your vocabulary between subjects.
Do the same plan as Wednesday, but only for the toughest three verbs. Ask a teacher to check over your work.
• Write as many vocabulary words as you can in five minutes without looking at the list.
• Afterwards, check your spelling. Most likely, you have a vocabulary quiz toward the end of the week. If you can get this step done before your quiz, even better.
Correct spelling demonstrates basic understanding. So does participation. Remember, B level students enjoy themselves and the class. You have to participate. The stronger you are in spelling, the more confident you’ll be with word pronunciation and verb use. So participate.
In case you need a vocabulary list page, download this form: lista de vocabulario