Texting As A Way Of Improving Phonological Skills

Do u lk 2 type like ths? The world is divided between those who say texting – and for that matter, any other technological innovation – add to the devolution and degradation of language, and others who assert that language is always evolving, even if that means using abbreviations or slang.

What people on both sides of the debate generally don’t realize is that texting can actually be used for improving phonological awareness and performance. What this means is that your phonological skills – your ability to spell words correctly – have to already be fairly high in order for you to be able to abbreviate words for use in texting or tweeting. Therefore, texting a message like “2nite @ Ben’s home 4 T” presupposes a phonological awareness of these words and their sound and letter patterns. A non-native speaker of English probably won’t be able to decipher this sentence because of this phonological knowledge gap that would allow them to match the abbreviations to the corresponding intended words that make up the sentence, “Tonight at Ben’s home for tea.”

A recent study by Coventry University has shown the proof of this phenomenon: that “textisms” improve children’s reading and writing skills. So instead of looking at texting as the death of language, it is more constructive to see it as a skill that improves a student’s phonological awareness. In other words, texting not only doesn’t damage people’s spelling skills, it improves them.

As students send out text after text, they’re constantly using the spelling and phonological rules that permeate language in order to create meaningful and generally applicable and intelligible abbreviations. While texting won’t be taught in language arts classes any time soon, it shouldn’t be condemned outright as something that causes language skills to decay, or worse, encourages illiteracy. Texting has a robust set of rules. Coming up with new textisms and other abbreviations requires advanced linguistic skills and creativity. Like all other aspects of English, they are based on a person’s basic knowledge of phonology, spelling. and even grammar.

People do argue that texting and tweeting using initialisms and the shorthand widely used on social media will ultimately make people forget how to properly spell words in formal contexts, but this argument loses sight of the mechanisms at work behind texting. This new form of English is still decidedly grounded in the same principles as the non-abbreviated language format, and due to its popularity it deserves study and support, not merely criticism.


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13 Epic Tattoo Spelling Failures (PHOTOS)

Deciding to put a tattoo in your body requires a careful design as to avoid creating misspelled tattoos.

Better look at this epic tattoo failures that will forever be in the owner’s skin!

No REGRETS After Having It

Success and Process – LACK OF SPACE

The TRAGEDY of Getting This Tattoo

KNOWLEDGE Power

Totally AWESOME!

YOLO = You Only LIVE Once

Looking at that ANGLE

Yes, Regret NOTHING!

Really Cool for a S-C-H-O-O-L!

Happens When You Get A Misspelled Tattoo – ERASE

Make A DECISION Now!

Then Or Than?

EXTREME Misspelling Selfie Tattoo!

 


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Cross-posted on the Touch Typing Software blog.

Affordable, Fun-To-Use Educational Materials Provided By Kaitlyn Trabucco And The Educents.Com Team

Educents

Every school year, it seems there are more and more things that students need, and that parents have to purchase – or that teachers need to buy to keep their own classrooms stocked. For homeschooling parents on a limited budget, it’s especially important to find good sources for important supplies and learning tools. That’s why Kaitlyn Trabucco and the rest of the team at www.Educents.com spend their time searching for affordable, useful, and fun-to-use educational materials and making them available on their website at a discounted price for parents and teachers alike. If you’re looking for an online store that has everything you need to help a child learn, then you’ll want to visit the Educents site!

US: Your website has been highly rated by parents, teachers, and homeschooling organizations alike. What’s your own background in education?

Kaitlyn: My business partner, Kate Whiting, has worked as CMO for various educational and homeschooling companies for many years and originally had the idea for Educents. She saw the need for access to affordable education and decided something needed to be done. Kate and I met while getting our masters degree and I was coming straight from an organization trying to provide education in Haiti. When she approached me about the idea of Educents, I knew it was a great need and we were the women to do it. As they say, the rest is history. (Kate and Kaitlyn- Yes, it does get confusing in the office!) 

US: Through your website, people can buy everything from educational toys to complete study guides for mathematics, spelling courses, or English grammar lessons, and all at very reasonable prices. How are you able to offer such low prices for the products you offer?

Kaitlyn: We are applying the group buying method to the educational world. We have gained over 80,000 members in just a year so therefore we are able to negotiate large discounts with vendors. Vendors get their product out to the masses and customers get great discounts. It’s a win-win.

US:  Many adults will remember their own childhood when they see the “See & Spell” wooden letter puzzles and cut-out shapes that kids can use to learn to spell. Do you find that parents are more likely to buy one of these “old-fashioned” toys at first, or are people looking for more high-tech learning tools these days, like spelling software?

Kaitlyn: Both. I think there is a trend to return to the simpler toys of another generation without all the flashy lights and gadgets and yes, a lot of toys are timeless. But education is embracing technology in a fast and furious way where we will continue to see highly advanced software and computer programs entering the classroom and changing access to education. If we want to provide education for all (which we do!) then I believe products like spelling software will play an important role in the future of education.

US: Speaking of high-tech tools, many classrooms are integrating technology and computers into even basic reading or math classes, so children need to learn how to use laptops and keyboards at an early age. What do you recommend to parents to help them teach a child to learn to type?

Kaitlyn: Your child will learn to type if they are engaged with what is happening on the screen. I suggest finding the most interactive typing software so that your child will stay engaged and want to type as fast as they can! Also, our customers gave us really great feedback on the Ultimate Typing Software. They really did! Sold like hotcakes. =) 

US: Most of the materials on the website right now are for children, but there are a few learning tools for young teenagers as well. Are you planning to expand the shop to include older students, and perhaps high school study guides?

Kaitlyn: Yes, we are always expanding and looking for new products! Send any suggestions you have to business@educents.com

Cross-posted on the Ultimate Vocabulary blog.

Becoming an English Teacherpreneur in a Virtual Classroom (Guest Post)


Elena Mutonono

I sometimes picture myself in a “real-job” interview setting. “Outside of your professional qualifications as an English teacher, what other skills do you possess that will make your contribution to this place more sizeable than other applicants’?” Ah, here’s the question I’ve been anticipating, and I’ve got just the right answer: “I am an excellent administrator. For the last four years I have been teaching online in at least 3 time zones simultaneously. At times I would be separated from my students not only by 8-12 hours, but by one calendar day. Some students would ask me, ‘Is it still today in your part of the world?’ Surprisingly, none of them ever missed a class because their teacher forgot about the time difference or the time zone change.”

But would I ever find myself in a “real-job” interview setting again? And what kind of a real job” will utilize or even have a need in an ESL teacher who knows about blogging, installing widgets, organizing webinars, creating video tutorials, developing html codes, assessing sales funnels, building up email marketing campaigns, adjusting to time zones and daylight savings time changes, and running a language tutoring business? I would not presume that such a job does not exist, but how quickly does one stumble upon one in a medium-size town at the time of global recession?

Actually, at one time I did have such a “real job” teaching English at a small, private college in Ukraine. After seven years of my rather successful career the job ceased to exist, and a number of otherwise well settled teachers, myself included, found themselves looking for a job again. Seven years is a long enough time to develop your teaching style and begin spreading your roots in a specific geographic location, in a traditional brick-and-mortar school. However, the situation forced me to think outside of the box and assume a rather different role in life. Four years ago I became an English Teacherpreneur by creating my own online platform and offering language training services to students all over the former Soviet Union.

A number of English teachers today are facing redundancies and are being laid off due to the changes in funding and programs. The option of working from home by teaching English online to students all over the world, having a flexible schedule and being “your own boss” is becoming increasingly inviting, especially when countered to limited traditional classroom activities, set schedules with unending paperwork and mandatory faculty meetings. However, not everyone who sets out into the world of teacherpreneurship can make it. From my own experience and from interacting with other English teacherpreneurs I am going to propose a list of 5 vital skills that are absolutely necessary to cultivate before venturing into a virtual classroom.

  • Find and Develop your ELT Niche. We have all heard about “finding and developing one’s niche,” and when it comes to teacherpreneurship, this becomes crucial. Such business vocabulary may puzzle those who seem to be far away from the world of entrepreneurship, so I will rephrase it. Find one or two things about teaching English that make you lose track of time. Are there some aspects of teaching/learning the language that will make you forget about money, food, and sleep? Once you have figured out what they are, focus on them and develop them further. Know what that passion is and cultivate it. Example. Let’s say you enjoy pronunciation and accent training. You can spend hours listening to foreigners speak English and analyzing their speech like Professor Higgins from “Pygmalion.” What do you notice about their speech? Do you feel like you can help them by explaining how exactly one is supposed to pronounce words and intonate sentences? Then start doing research, reading on the subject and watching all there is on Youtube on the subject. Most likely you will find something that is less commonly discussed, but is still quite vital. Then begin using your expertise to develop these missing topics. Start by blogging (see below), then add short podcasts (download a simple audacity program and open a podomatic account to upload your programs) and maybe even record videos. Try to keep your materials short and concise, but yet bring out something that is not out there so you can grow your own readership or viewership. After a few months you can begin compiling these excerpts into longer and more detailed chunks of information, along with worksheets and other assignment. These you can use to design your own course, first a free one, then a paid one (udemy is a great platform to host them).
  • Blog and Read Other Blogs.The best way to develop your passion is to learn from the people who share it with you. Find a couple of good blogs and discussion groups on Linkedin (not too many) and spend time reading up on the subject and contributing your expertise in the forums, whenever an opportunity presents itself. Ask questions and write answers in your own blog. Designing a personal blog for an e-educator is the same as having a teacher’s office at a traditional school. Write about something that is of interest to you, and you will find a number of readers following and later even quoting you.
  • Learn about E-Learning. Anyone attempting to teach online will at some point wonder about the differences of teaching through skype vs. through a paid webinar platform. As you navigate through the endless options you will become more familiar with the google suite, online forum platforms, web-conferencing, and other essential e-learning tools. Among endless web-tools find the ones that will best serve the needs of your online classroom and your niche. Collecting general knowledge of web-tools may be pretty frustrating and labor-intensive. Look for something that will profit you and your online classroom.
  • Market Yourself Consistently. In an ideal world of teacherpreneurship we may have no competition and a steady flow of clients any time of the year regardless of our involvement. Such an ideal world may even be possible after about 30 years of consistent marketing (just a hypothesis as I haven’t made it to my 30th presumptuous to conclude that after a couple of years of marketing your niche, the students will flock to you based on your past merits. Consistency in marketing is vital. How can you do it practically? Be consistent in blogging, making your Youtube videos, contributing to online community forums, and producing new materials. Create your group of followers on social networks and interact with them! They will give you lots of new ideas for the future.
  • Invest in Your Future. A few months ago I interviewed a teacher who wanted to start teaching online. Since English was not her mother tongue, she expressed the need for more professional business anniversary yet). So it may be a bit development and advanced language training before she even attempted to teach. I asked her how much time and money she was willing to commit to this cause. She answered that she did not have enough time or money to pursue this goal. We may have great ambitions, but what do we sacrifice to achieve them? The yields are always proportionate to the investment we make. Let us ask ourselves how much time and money do we invest daily, weekly, monthly and yearly into our personal professional development? Challenge yourself with this question and start small. You do not have to attend the most expensive conference, but you can sign up for free subscription of your choice and find time daily or weekly to read those newsletters and blog entries.

Becoming an online ESL Teacherpreneur may not be everyone’s calling, but just because it takes longer than a few months to develop your niche and build up your clientele, the attempt should not be deemed a failure. Stay focused on the goal; remain hard-working, ambitious, positive, and flexible. Start small and grow what you have. Do not hurry to build a huge orchard if you only have the time to plant and take care of one tree. Then you will enjoy the fruit, which will definitely come, in its time.


Author’s Bio

Elena Mutonono has always had a passion for providing excellent and cutting-edge English Language Training to Russian-speaking students in the former Soviet Union. Driven by this goal, she started an online platform for teachers and learners of English in 2010 (www.eto-onlinenglish.com). In the four years of its existence Mrs. Mutonono and her team of 4 teachers has provided language training services to over 100 students and 30 English language teachers from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Latvia. In addition to running Eto-OnlinEnglish platform, Elena blogs, records podcasts and videos, designs online courses, and trains English teachers. In her free time she reads classical and contemporary novels, memoirs and non-fiction, enjoys sipping on her favorite mocha, goes biking with her husband and son, watches BBC crime investigation and mystery series, and entertains friends at her home. She lives in Louisiana, USA.


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10 Hysterical Spelling Mistakes During Protests (PHOTOS)

People make mistakes – especially in spelling. We should make sure we are not going to announce it in public though.

Here are some of the hysterical spelling mistakes you will see roaming around the streets during protests. Get ready to LAUGH OUT LOUD!

Hungry For A Steak or A Mistake?

Talking About Competence

Let’s Make It Official Then

Oh No! Not in PUBLIC

Really Confused Here

The Lack Of Space

Vandalize, You Say?

Kindly Put The Letter G To Complete Washington

Arithmetic Is Really Hard

Pardon Me?


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The Largest List Of Text & Chat Acronyms By NetLingo Is Now A Handy Book (Guest Post)

Ever seen an acronym you didn’t know? Are you a parent or teacher with kids online? Are you a business professional trying to stay savvy? Or just someone who loves to get online…

In an age where everything from job searching to dating is interactive, knowing how to communicate in your online life is a must. There are new technologies, new online services, and new lingo created every day. If you think it’s tough to keep up with it all, you’re not alone.

Welcome to the weird, wonderful world of online jargon ;-) Not only has the Internet and texting changed the way we communicate, it has spawned an entirely new language that is growing every day.

That’s why there is NetLingo, to keep track of new terms and organize it in a way that is useful to you. Whether you’re a professional who feels like you’re on information overload, or a power user who wants more, or a parent who wants to keep up with your kids, NetLingo can help.

NetLingo announced the publication of a new book this week “NetLingo: The List – The Largest List of Text & Chat Acronyms” and it contains all of acronyms and abbreviations you’ll see in text messages, email, IM, social networks, websites, dating sites, job sites, auction sites, discussion forums, gaming sites, chat rooms, blogs, and in the real world too.

This updated version of “NetLingo: The List” defines the crazy array of letters, numbers and symbols that comprise our new conversations. Known as acronyms, abbreviations, SMS talk and leetspeak, these terms are used by millions of people in a variety of online settings. This edition contains French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Finnish, Swedish, Welch, Czech and Chinese text terms too!

See if you know any of these popular acronyms:

• POTATO

• BRB

• LOL

• IRL

• w00t!

• POS

• DRIB

• GR8

• ROTFL

• WTF

• OMW

• WSUP

What are acronyms and why are they so popular?

With millions of people texting and instant messaging every day, it’s no wonder you’ve seen this cryptic looking code. Acronyms are an integral part of computer culture and grew rapidly on the Internet. Now, along with an alphabet soup of abbreviations and symbolic messages, this online jargon has become a language of its own.

So what are acronyms? Shorthand? Leetspeak? How do you begin to understand a new language?

Let’s start with the basics: An acronym is derived from the first letters of a phrase and is pronounced as a new word, for example POTATO stands for “People Over Thirty Acting Twenty One” and is pronounced “potato.”

Shorthand refers to an abbreviation, or initialism, that is pronounced by saying the letters one-by-one, for example FYI is pronounced “F-Y-I” and BRB is pronounced “B-R-B”. There are, of course, exceptions. Some acronyms go both ways, such as FAQ, which can be pronounced “fak” or “F-A-Q”.

It should also be noted that acronyms are generally typed IN ALL CAPS (not to be confused with SHOUTING) whereas shorthand is often typed in all lowercase.

Now let’s start to mix things up. Sometimes the shorthand isn’t shorter than the original phrase, for example “dewd” means “dude” and “kewl” means “cool” and :::poof::: means “I’m gone”.

Leetspeak is a type of symbolic jargon in which you replace regular letters with other keyboard characters to form words, for example:

• backward and forward slashes create this shape “/\/\” to stand for the letter M;

• numbers and symbols often replace the letters they resemble (for example the term “leetspeak” is written as “!337$p34k”);

• letters can be substituted for other letters that might sound alike (such as “ph” is transposed with “f” so “phear” is used instead of “fear”); and

• common typing errors such as “teh” instead of “the” and “pwn” instead of “own” are left uncorrected.

The result is a dynamic written language that eludes conformity or consistency. In fact, the culture of online jargon encourages new forms of expression and users will often award each other’s individual creativity.

So what makes texting and instant messaging so popular?

In short, it’s fast, cheap, and cool. itz hw 2 tlk w/o bng hrd ;-)

Texting lets you finalize last-minute plans, track down friends, send pictures, correspond while traveling, and pass on information with just a few clicks of the cell phone keypad. IM lets you have real-time conversations with friends or colleagues or several people at once on your computer screen. Texing and IM are popular because they are private: no one can hear you “talking.” Acronyms and smileys are popular because they’re short and they ring emotional expression into a written world.

Face it, communication is changing. It’s becoming quicker and less formal, and while it’s impossible to capture every instance of every text message out there, this is the definitive list. Many people at some point will use or see a variation of a term in this book, often without the vowels so as to keep the text or IM short. Such as:

omw, meet me n frnt pls -or- got ur vm, thx 4 info, ttyl

Think it’s tough to understand? It’s not, take this test:

Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can.

i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghi t pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh?

Like most new things, communicating in abbreviations may seem strange at first but then fun after awhile. “NetLingo: The List” will help you translate the chat acronyms and text shorthand you come across while traversing the online world. In fact, the one place to learn all of the online terms you’ll ever need to know is NetLingo.com.

Written by Erin Jansen, founder of NetLingo.com and author of “NetLingo: The Internet Dictionary” and “NetLingo: The List – A Guide to Text & Chat Acronyms.” Get the new book on Amazon.com!

The 3 Second Rule For Non-Scary Language Learning (Guest Post)

In dating there is a thing called the “3 second rule.” It says that if you see a hot girl (or guy) and want to talk to them, you have to speak to them within 3 seconds.  If you wait any longer your palms will start sweating, your heart will start racing and your brain will start coming up with all sorts of reasons as to why it’ s a really bad idea to talk to this person. What if they turn you down?  What if they just ignore you?  Etc. etc.

So make sure you speak to them, even just a “hello” in the first 3 seconds.  That’s how the pros do it.

And it’s just the same with language learning.  The first time a native speaker speaks to you, you will be terrified.  If you wait longer than 3 seconds to speak back to them or answer their question then your body will do just the same thing, you’ll start sweating, your heart will beat faster and your brain will start coming up with ideas as to why you shouldn’t talk.  What if they don’t understand me?  What if they can’t get my accent? What if I misunderstood what they asked me?

So make sure you speak to them, even just a “hello” or time saving “Well….” in the first 3 seconds.  That’s how the pros do it!

Just getting that first word or small phrase shows you are in the conversation, let your body relax and gives you just a few more seconds for your brain to regroup and figure out exactly how to continue the conversation.  So get your replies soon with the “3 second rule.”

Author’s Bio: Richard Graham is the CEO of GenkiEnglish.com  He is constantly learning new languages, speaks 3 of them fluently and has lectured on language learning throughout the world.  You can find out more at: http://GenkiEnglish.com

Thailand Still A Country To Visit (Guest Post)

By Belle Chotikapanich of english-click.com

As the global media has made the whole world aware, Bangkok is currently experiencing some turbulence with the demonstrations against the present government. However, the gatherings and parades are confined to just a few areas, which are diminishing, of the central districts of the city. Life in the metropolis continues much as normal with the majority of people going about their usual work and leisure routines unaffected by the political rallies. While there have been some isolated instances of dangerous and violent situations between the police and some of the more extreme demonstrators, the media naturally likes to portray the conflict as dramatically as possible to make the report a newsworthy item.

Outside Bangkok, there has been very little in the way of political protests and thus most of the country in terms of both population and geography have been unaffected by the unrest.

Favourite tourist destinations, for example Chiang Mai in the north and the beach resort of Phuket in the south, both of which are served by international airports, remain to be safe and inviting locations for the holidaymaker. There is a wealth of activities for the tourist to enjoy – the beach, water sports, horse riding, bicycling, visiting Buddhist temples, to name just a few.

Returning to Bangkok, English Click which is located in an area unaffected by the political demonstrations, can provide an educational and enjoyable package of learning English language skills taught by native English teachers in the morning and going out for an excursion to noteworthy tourist attractions and retail outlets in Bangkok and neighbouring provinces in the afternoon and on weekends, accompanied by the teachers. This programme can include a homestay visit at Amphawa, which is located only one hour’s drive away from Bangkok and which is famous for its floating market, fine food and historic royal parks and temples by the river.

To find out more on how to improve your English language skills in Bangkok and at the same time enjoy the delights of the city, please contact us at: learn@english-click.com

Using The Right Words To Craft A Killer Website Headline

by Eric Sloan of http://www.ericsestimate.com/

Getting website traffic takes work. A lot of work.

You have to create interesting and shareable content. You have to build a well-designed website. And then you have to promote it through social media, content sharing sites and even display ads.

But what happens when the traffic actually arrives at your site? A good portion of them will leave and never come back.

But why?

It could be because your website’s headline doesn’t connect with your visitors. In fact, the headline on your website can make a HUGE difference not only to your website’s bounce rate, but to your company’s bottom line.

So how do you craft the perfect website headline?

Start by thinking about your visitors problems

Your visitor arrived at your website for a reason, and you have just a few seconds to reassure them that they will find what they’re looking for on your website.

Don’t waste that time with a nonsense headline like “Welcome to our website”. That doesn’t add any value to your page. Instead think about the problems that you can solve for your customer.

Here’s a good exercise: Write down at least 10 different words that will connect with your customer. Try to find words that will evoke an emotional response. Words like “Stress”, “Relief” or “Joy”.

When you have some words that connect with your visitor’s problems, it’s time to solve them.

Write down the benefits of your product or service

Think about all of the ways that your product or service solves the problems that your visitors have. Those are your benefits.

Write down all of the benefits that your product or service has. I’m not talking about features here (ex. A TV can display 500 channels) I’m talking about the direct benefits that you provide (ex. A TV provides hours of entertainment for everyone).

You will use these benefits with your emotional words to craft your headline.

Lastly, add some urgency or curiosity

This is probably the trickiest part, but adding urgency or curiosity can be a very powerful headline tool. You can add urgency to a headline by using words like “Limited time” or “Exclusive”. Or better yet, use curiosity to hook your readers into needing to read the rest of your site.

Putting it all together

Once you have your emotional problem words, your benefits and a way to add urgency, you have to put them all together into a great headline. There are no rules about how long your headline should be, but generally you want to keep things short and punchy.

Here are some examples:

For a car repair shop
“The #1 thing that leaves car owners stranded”
“Find out how we can help your car purr like a kitten all winter long”

Stranded is our emotional word and the curiosity kicks in when visitors want to find out how you can help them not end up stranded.

For a flower shop
“Does floral design really matter?”
“Here’s how you can make an even bigger impact with our unique floral designs”

Remember the difference between benefits and features? The real benefit of a flower shop is not the flowers, it’s the ability to give a gift that someone will remember.

Now it’s your turn

Make sure your website headlines have serious impact. Not only will you be able to lower the bounce rate of your website, but you could also give a serious boost to your sales.

How to Help Kids Focus on Learning

5 - 6 years helping your child learn to read

Although there’s a move to include digital devices in classrooms these days, and some schools are noticing that there’s a benefit to letting kids use tablets and laptops in class, other people are concerned that it’s too easy to get distracted by the many options that are always available with online access. Whether it’s using smartphones for in-class projects or allowing students to access computer spelling games via the internet, if a student can easily click over to another site like Facebook or get a chat or text message from a friend in the middle of the lesson, they’ll find it harder to concentrate on what they need to be learning.

Author and researcher Daniel Goleman is worried that if kids are surrounded by distractions, they won’t develop the ability to focus and concentrate, and that will have a negative impact on how they deal with life issues as adults. In his book Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence, he argues that since a child’s brain continues to develop into their early 20s, and since the neural connections that strengthen the ability to focus attention are developed at the same time, if children spend their time “multitasking” they will actually lose the ability to learn to concentrate. A study done in New Zealand in the 1970s linked concentration to self-control, and showed that children with self-control were more successful as adults.

You can help the children in your life develop the skills of focus and attention by paying attention to them. Set aside a technology-free time for study, and make sure that the television and radio are off as well. Even conversations can be a distraction; if you’re standing behind a student while you’re chatting on your cell phone, they won’t be able to focus on the studying they’ve got in front of them. Simply sitting at the same table or in the same room while you’re working on your own quiet project will set a good example, and you’ll also be there to answer any questions. Computer applications and spelling games and exercises are great interactive tools that will help children learn quickly, but supervised use of those games will make them even more effective.

Concentrate on helping your children succeed in spelling, and you’ll help them develop the mental abilities that will focus their attention on achieving their goals in the future.