Watch the Your Spelling Stories video below (includes parts of my story I've never shared before).

Chris Mercer - How I fought dyslexia and stated a successful life

Dear Joanne just a few words about my experience at school, it was awful the worst time of my life, nothing made any sense to me, the letters just kept moving around on the paper. The headmaster told my parents that I was mentally abnormal, said couldn't teach me anything. I left school unable to read or write.

At the age of 15 I went straight in to factory work managed to work for 24 years. I taught myself to read and write a little but my spelling is not very good , please can you help me, yours sincerely David.

Thank you so much for sending to me the spelling lessons. I have improved so much in my spelling, and I am less embarrassed and afraid to write on paper or on the computer than I was before I started these lessons. It is a worthwhile journey for me.

When I was in primary school, I tried using vocabulary in my composition in class and as you can imagine, I got all the spellings wrong for all the vocabulary I tried to use. My teacher read the composition and embarrassed me so much that I vowed never to learn anymore vocabulary...well until I came across your website and learned all the tricks. Now I can use and learn new words and spell the tricky ones.

Thank you Joanna, you are a godsend to me, Sherry.

I always struggled with reading specially with big words or words I've never seen. I also have trouble sounding out some words because I really don't remember being taught little things in school to help with that. I can read and follow a story but just don't know every word sometimes or just skip over the words I don't know. I watched some of your videos - very helpful. OMG never told anyone this b4 always try to hide it or avoid reading around people just in case I don't know a word that someone else would. Anthony, UK

Hello Joanne, my name is Christian. I am a 43-year-old male. Since I was I child I have always had trouble with my English writing spelling and reading. People make fun of me because I have trouble with English by calling me thick and laugh at me and because of this I have no confidence in myself. I just want to be good at English so I can do more things. I have ideas for writing books but unable to put it down because of my problems if you can give any advice that would be great. After listening to your voice I was surprised how happy I was.

School didn't teach me spelling rules and how to remember spellings. I could write and spell OK, and getting by in my office job, but I remember a manager saying something about my spelling so I decided to do something about it. A friend told me about Joanne. Joanne helped me so much and now I don't feel so stupid about spelling. Karen.

Hi Joanne, I have always had problems with spellings and it's frustrating because it takes me much longer than it should just to write something simple.

I have not been working for sometime and I felt that my spelling is getting worse because I am not writing and reading as much I was when I worked. As I am not working I felt that it would be useful to improve my spelling and that is why I started this course. I think that I could be active in my community as a volunteer but I am embarrassed about all the mistakes I make whenever I write.

I do hope this statement gives you an idea of how I am doing.

Thanks for all your help so far, it has been very useful. Yvonne

I have always had trouble with spelling. I believe it was because I was too embarrassed in what we called “Spelling Bees” when I was in the First Grade. Not having any problems with logic and math I have always wondered why I couldn’t spell.

Not until I was in my 30’s, I’m now 69, did I pick up on what I call “Interior Words” within a word, just like you point out in your video.

Such words as orange, which I could not spell until I saw “O” Range, just like the State of Colorado, which of course I saw it as “Color” “A” “Do”.

Well that’s enough for now, but I do so hope that you can assist me with my desire to become a better speller. One thing that bothers me is that I should have been able to have learned to spell just like everyone else did during my early school years. I have never given up on learning to spell even though it has embarrassed me throughout my life; very much so. F.R.

Thank you so much for your help over the past year, I couldn't have got this far without your help. Can you believe that I am helping my 8 year old grandson with his spelling? It's a fantastic feeling. I go on your site often just to remind myself of all the different spelling rules, but still away to go I think but I will get there. I am so pleased I came across your site it changed my life and gave me so much confidence which I thank you for.
So keep up the good work that you do and you deserve a medal.
Kind regards
Annette xx

I was so confused about English spelling. Now thanks to Joanne I can write my own letters, and am not scared of spelling anymore. I'm not perfect and there's still a long way to go but at least I have some spelling rules and letter patterns and my own ways of remembering words. Ahmad, London.

My spelling wasn't bad but I wasn't happy with it either. I just didn't understand some things and was making mistakes with plurals and apostrophes, capitals and grammar. Also when my kids asked me about why some spellings were the way they were I just didn't know. Thanks to Joanne's help I now know so much more about spelling. I learned to love spelling! May

This is just a short email to let you know a bit about me. I am sixty years old and never realy liked spelling when I was at school. I started a website a few years ago which helped me somewhat with my spelling but no longer have it. I am thinking of starting a membership site. I work for Asda and have just started on security so need to be able to spell. I think I tend to spell words the way they sound like when I started your course I so I think it’s a matter of going through and trying to memorise the spelling patterns. Thanks Trev

"Thank you so much for your help, I am 26 and born in this country and my spelling is really bad it holds me back from a lot of things because it can be embarrassing. So I started teaching myself... Thanks again, S"

Thank you so much, I’m 57 a Grandmum and work online – spelling has always held me back in life but not any more – with the help of this course i feel differently about spelling I can see a way forward thank you so much, Ali

Hi Joanne, I am 57 years old and just watched through the first video session with the "able''. Wish I had you as my English teacher back in my primary years. This is the first time I actually enjoyed learning to spell. Your method of teaching will also help my little 6 year old grandson to learn to spell. Thank you. Regards Jill.

"Thanks joanne for this well illustrated session of spelling (i/e or e/i spelling rule - a health warning). We really learn and enjoy it. Will wait for further lessons, Alam."

"Hi Joanne...Just wanted to say thank you for your blog. I stumbled across it the other day while searching for spelling resources for my adult learners, and I have found it so useful. Will definitely be rooting through your archives to incorporate your methods and tricks into my lessons. I love the videos too. They make explanations so much easier. Thank you!" Suzanne

I thought English spelling was so hard, it made me crazy. I was a nurse in my country and spoke French. Then I came to the UK and spent years bringing up my children. I decided to go to college, I met Joanne. My writing and spelling has improved so much that I now can help my children, some of the exercises Joanne gave me I use to help my children. She gave me confidence. Titina, London

Re: QTS teacher's spelling test. I thought I would let you know, I had my test yesterday and I passed :)
Thank you so much for the help, it was much appreciated. All your tips came in handy.
Thanks again

The main things I struggle with are endings, is it (ies or ys?) Example (Teddies or is it Teddys? Nappies or Nappys?). I Also sometimes tend to put an extra (e or a) in words (leand, beand). It's the daft little words which I have to think about and they are the ones which make you look stupid. Also silent letters in words can be tricky but I think my main problem is with i, e and a in words.

I like to do pub quizzes and would love to have the confidence to do the writing and not be worried if I am going to be able to spell the country, person's name, body part (you get the picture) without having to ask someone how to spell it. Carole

Confidence always deserts me. I was brought up the fifties and I am naturally left-handed but was made to write with my right hand as left hander's are backward! So from the age of five to ten, I refused to write. That changed then I was hit (on my right hand) by Sister Angela with the edge of the ruler in front of the whole class and told to return to my desk and write! Which I did but this time i could only use my left hand and was left alone to do so!!! However that experience has not left me or being tagged as backward!!!!!!!!! Hope this helps. E. G.

I love your website and all the examples to give for how words came to the English language (UK). How English in American is influenced by English, French, Spanish and German
words and language. I have 2 goals: write a book and be able to speak, read, write in 5 languages. I got into languages from learning classic cuisine and Eastern Mediterranean Cuisine.
Thanks again for your wonderful website on How to Spell.
M. R.

Hi Joanne
It has been a while alright, but since we last talked I have published two papers and been massively involved in a university related project. So my time is at a premium these days. I would like to tell you that my spelling really has improved but more importantly is my confidence. Often now I question words that I never would have before. When this happens I visit the online Oxford Dictionary which has become like a friend. Please keep the emails coming they provide great little reminders and a lot or reassurance.
I have every intention of picking up where I left off as soon as possible.
Kindest regards
M. (Ireland)

Hi Joanne,
I just wanted to say how glad I am that I found your website. It has really helped me a lot. I am learning something new everyday. The Britain and American Spelling, that was really an eye opener. I've done all your exercises on your website and I was just wondering if you had more difficult ones, based on grammar, as well as more difficult words. I know this is asking for too much but the education system in my country a just disappointing. More difficult exercises please.
Thank you
J. (South Africa)

Oh my gosh, thank you. I live in Toronto, Canada but most of my life I grew up in Quebec. I went to a French school and I would speak it all the time. My family moved to Toronto and now I'm forced to write English all the time. The only problem is I'm horrible at spelling. I've been using spellcheck on microsoft word to write everything but I don't want to keep doing that. I'm in grade 10 and everyone is great at spelling but me. I just want to get better. I hate how everyone makes fun of my mistakes. Thank you for sending the ebook & spelling course :) John

My son is 16 and has always struggled terribly with spelling despite being a voracious reader (but has never been diagnosed with dyslexia despite displaying lots of the usual, though not classical, signs of it). Yours is the first program he really likes and works conscientiously through it. Thanks again and all the best, B.T.

Hey, how are you, is your winter over yet? Yes I’m still working, but I did watch your video: neat, makes sense. Joanne the biggest reason that I didn’t go to school in the first, and second grades was because of “Spelling Bees”. I was just too embarrassed to attend class, so I just told everyone that I was sick so they would keep me home. Although I’m sure that Spelling Bees are a very useful tool for teachers I was never so embarrassed in my life. To this day I feel very sorry for children that are now going through what I had to when I was young. Can you imagine trying to say something to everyone staring at just you and not knowing what to say? I hated school because of Spelling Bees along with having to get up in front of the class: too much of being put on display, in my book.
I appreciate all your efforts in helping everyone, have a great weekend.

Thank you very much for your lessons!!!
They are very useful and I love them. :)
Thank you & warm regards from a cold Moscow

Your Spelling emails are really helpful for the students I teach. I am a private English tutor, living in Israel, and I have school age students of all ages. Their mother tongue is Hebrew, so yes they do struggle with English spelling rules. I might add that many English speakers themselves struggle with with the English language, so nothing new here.
Thank you very much.
Best to you,
G. N.

I would like to thank you for the lessons you have sent me. I am a student in South Africa studying towards a bachelor of communication Pathology (Speech Therapy). You can imagine how spelling is important for me as one of the areas I intervene on is spelling development in children. Thank you so much. Z

Joanne, I have learned more than I can tell you. After I have read all your emails I am not scared of writing any more. I am a Mexican student in the University of Belize as a international student and having the option of learning from your site it has been a pleasure. Thank for your help.

I would like to thank you for your help. All the past lessons you sent me were good and useful for me.
I am strongly recommending everyone who wants to improve their spelling to start your lessons.
I appreciate you. Thank you again.
Your sincerely, F

Hi Joanne,
Thank you for all your information about how to spell. I find this is very useful for me, as I am trying to be better in writing and reading as I did not complete my studies as money was a problem at the time, now I use your way to teach my grandson by using your method.
Thank you
Caroline R.

Thank you so very much Joanne for the good job you are doing. I am finding this helpful even though l still have a long way to go.
l now have decided to go back to school in order to 'upgrade' myself and this is now my challenge l have to go through everyday and it's really bothering me.
Hoping to learn as much as l can with you
Thanks S.

Spelling Counts
Today I am writing about the subject that causes me the most fear and panic in my life. I sit here and think WHY? Why did teachers not tell me? Why did I believe the lies, and why was I not stronger?

When I arrived in the United States, from Portugal, I was only five years old. English sounded like sounds that should not be uttered together. I immediately knew my purpose was to learn the language to help my parents survive in this foreign land. I became their translator at the grocery store, at the doctor’s office, and at any place that required English. I have to say I felt proud myself. I was a child in an adult world. My parents relied on me, as much as I relied on them. I learned English rather quickly.

I felt I was a fairly bright child. I had what I have come to call a raw intelligence. I was intelligent in social situation in life in order to assist my parents.

At school I loved to learn. I still remember the special feeling of newness every September. Freshly sharpened pencils and white blank pages always called out to me. I had so much to learn! Every year I thought this will be the year I learn to spell. I trusted my teachers. I respected that they would make it work for me. I was WRONG. I was so often told “Spelling does not count. Your ideas are great…” I believed them.

I knew that as a writer I could write well. I started to tell myself you can’t spell. I started to hide it. I did not feel ashamed but felt rather stupid. Your mind is an incredible thing. It can help you build and become stronger or it can also talk you into a scenario and weaken you. I believed I was not smart enough to spell words.

As a learner I always need to know WHY something is the way it is. I do not learn something by rote. I must understand why it works the way it does. In school you are most often asked to memorize and accept without questions. Spelling is memorization in the United States; you memorize list of words year after year. I was so caught up in this that I even tried to memorize the dictionary ( not a easy feat!).

I believed that I was creative but felt I lacked the spelling gene. I have to let you know that I went to college and finished a four year degree in three years. I am not bragging but I had a 3.8 average. I was lucky to get my first teaching job right after I got my degree. I was only twenty one years old. But I still had my problem - spelling.

As a teacher having this learning issue actually helped me be a stronger teacher. I learned how to compensate for my weakness. I did not give up on students but often tried many strategies until one worked for them. When you have a weakness you can use it as strength. For so many years I had convinced myself that I could not do it.

One day I felt totally ashamed and frustrated. I said to myself what would you tell one of your students, “If you want it you can do it,” I looked on the internet and started to research. I came to the site “how to spell” (this site). It was a blessing. I signed up right away. I needed the knowledge that those videos provided. I was getting the answers to my questions. Finally someone was telling me WHY! I felt a joy. I felt a new confidence. I started to believe in myself.

YES my friends SPELLING COUNTS. When you write something it is a representation of you. You only get one chance to demonstrate who you are. You may have the BEST idea but you must also make sure it is displayed in the BEST fashion. Spelling was evasive for me. It was the thing that caused sweaty panic attacks until I retrained my thinking. You are the ruler of your mind. It is difficult to change your thinking. Start by changing your belief that you can’t spell and thinking of ways to achieve your GOALS. Once you start you will see that what you feared can be conquered. Thank you to Joanne Rudling… Maria Parada, USA

Let me know your story.