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Parents and Students - Resource

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The students can prepare for the contest by using the guide book. The parents and family can play a very important role in providing support to the students.


Why children need to learn to spell correctly:
  • poor spelling creates a bad impression
  • it's the first thing a reader notices
  • examiners, teachers, prospective employers, often place a lot of weight on spelling
  • anxiety about spelling inhibits a child's writing, especially their choice of words
  • even in these days of word processors there are still times when we need to write

To improve and develop their spelling children need to:
  • develop an interest in words
  • feel safe about trying new words, not just words they're sure about
  • learn about the way words are built up using syllables
  • learn basic spelling patterns of English
  • develop memorizing strategies
  • understand the meanings of words
  • learn about prefixes and suffixes
  • write for their own enjoyment without the fear that they will be criticized
  • read for pleasure

Parents can help their children by:
  • encouraging them to look closely at words
  • talking to them about words
  • encouraging them to try new words ( tip: they won't do this if you're always criticizing their spelling )
  • Playing word games with them, such as hangman, crosswords etc.
  • encouraging effective memorizing strategies
  • encouraging spare time reading
  • pointing out interesting newspaper items
  • encouraging visits to the library
  • buying comics, magazines and books as treats

These are a few guidelines and tips which can be used to improve spelling and become better spellers. Most of these guidelines do have exceptions and one should always refer to a dictionary in case of doubt.


Most words add s to the root forms without any change (car - cars). Words ending in sh, ch, ss, x, and z, usually add es to form the PLURAL (dish - dishes). Words ending in a consonant and y change the y to i and add es (penny - pennies). Some words ending in f change the f to v and add es (shelf - shelves). Some singular words have different words for their plural form (woman - women; mouse - mice; goose-geese).


A letter or a syllable placed after a word to form a new word is called a suffix. Some suffixes are s, es, ed, ing, er, est, ly, ful, able, ible, ment, ive, ance, ence, ion, tion, ition, ation, sion, ous, ious, less, and al. Sometimes a word will have two suffixes. For example, respectfully has the two suffixes ful and ly added to the root word respect.
Many words are formed by adding ed and ing without any change (garnish - garnished - garnishing).
Words ending in a silent e drop the e before adding ed and ing (love - loved - loving).
Words ending in a consonant and y change the y to i before adding ed, but do not make any change before adding ing (deny - denied - denying).
Words ending in a vowel and y add ed and ing without making any other change (play - played - playing).


A syllable placed before a word to change its meaning is called a prefix. Some prefixes are im, un, in, co, dis, inter like impossible etc.


Words of one syllable ending in a single consonant preceded by a single vowel double the final consonant before adding ed and ing (trim - trimmed - trimming).
Words of two or more syllables double the final consonant before adding ed and ing when these conditions are met: the last syllable ends in a single consonant preceded by a single vowel, and the accent is on the last syllable (refer - referred - referring).


Singular nouns form the possessive by adding an apostrophe and s (pilot - pilot's). Plural nouns that end in s add only an apostrophe to form the possessive (aviators - aviators').
Plural nouns that do not end in s add the apostrophe and s to form the possessive (men - men's).


An apostrophe is used to show that the letters have been omitted (won't - will not), (o'clock - of the clock).


Compound Words are made by writing two small words together to make one larger word. (newspaper, somebody)
A root word is the root, or beginning word, from which another word is made. Play is the root word of plays, played and playing.
Derived words are words that come from other words. Suitable is derived from suit; advertisement from advertise. Sometimes the spelling of the root word is slightly changed in the derived word.
A synonym is a word having almost the same meaning as another word. (replied - answered; accurate - exact)
An antonym is a word that is opposite in meaning to another word. (private -public; good - bad)
Homonyms are words that are pronounced alike but which are spelled in different ways and have different meanings (knew - new; steel - steal; deer - dear)

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