Teaching Spelling Skills with a Mind-mapping Software
Keywords: mind-mapping, spelling, phonics, sound-symbol associations, second language.
King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Prof. Al-Jarf has been teaching EFL, ESP and translation at King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for 23 years. Her areas of interests are: Technology integration in language teaching and teaching methodology and course design. She has 6 books and 120 articles published in refereed journals and has given 200 presentations and conducted 30 workshops in 48 countries. She is an international journal editor and reviewer of translated books, grant and conference proposals, and faculty promotion research. In 2008, she won the Excellence in Teaching Award at the university, college, and department levels.
Although the language program at the College of Languages and Translation offers several English language courses in the first four semesters of college, the spelling skill is completely ignored. Since many EFL freshman students are poor spellers, mind-mapping software can be used to help them connect spoken phonemes with their written forms. Mind-mapping software use lines, colors, arrows, branches to show connections between the spelling rule and examples generated on the mind map. This study shows how mind-mapping software can be integrated in EFL courses to help students discriminate different pronunciation of the vowel letters a, i, o, e, u; adding a final silent e; pronunciation of vowel digraphs; consonant letters with more than one sound; different pronunciations of consonant letters c, cc, g, ch, s; double consonants; homophones; homographs; hidden sounds; rules for adding affixes; assimilation; elision; acronyms and abbreviations.