Spelling Mistakes

Many international students at Hancock International College wrote their first language in entirely different characters or alphabet. Writing itself can be a challenge let alone spelling, so it is always good for our ESL students to take another look at their spelling as it can really detract from the amazing content that our students write about especially since they are often working professionals, business owners, and doctors in their own country. Below is a great article titled “Common Spelling Mistakes by ESL Students” by J Louis Stevens that focuses on the “I before E rule”.

Stevens says, “The English language is challenging to learn to speak, and the words that make it up can be even more challenging to learn to spell! Spelling mistakes are the bane of an ESL student’s life!  It’s a temptation, when learning English as a second language, to focus all your time on trying to speak English correctly.  But…studies have shown that a more holistic approach to language learning results in quicker acquisition and better retention. Reading and writing in the language you want to learn reinforces your comprehension of the words and phrases you know, and exposes you to the ones you may be less familiar with.  This approach is the best advice for ESL students who want to avoid spelling mistakes. Spelling words in English, when you’re an ESL student, gives you a chance to autopsy the sounds that make up the word and to see the root meanings that build its definition.

2 Ways English Words Can Lead to Spellings Mistakes by ESL Students

EI and IE

There’s a rhyme that goes: ‘i before e except after c or when sounded as ‘a’ as in neighbor and weigh’.  That’s a pretty useful rhyme to learn, but I would add that there’re a number of words where solely relying on this pneumatic will let you down.  There are exceptions to the rule, LOTS of them, and unfortunately, the only way around making spelling mistakes with them is to practice spelling lists of these rule-breakers.


Achieve, perceive, neighbor, believe, receipt, weigh, yield, deceit, beige, piece, conceive, feign


Ancient, efficient, conscience, sufficient, weird, height, protein, either”

For the full article that also goes in to double consonants check out the URL below!

Full Article: https://blog.talk.edu/grammar/spelling-mistakes-esl-students/

Idiom of the Day

Don’t cry over spilled milk

Meaning: don’t get upset over small things

Example: Don’t cry over spilled milk. Just start over and try again.