Just Imagine

Word Aware: Developing vocabulary and spelling

Words form the bedrock of speaking, listening, reading and writing. This course pays attention to the ways in which we can develop word knowledge for reading and writing in the context of rich language experiences.

Delegates will explore the best ways to teach vocabulary for reading and for writing, and the most effective approaches to teaching spelling.  This interactive course will include practical workshops demonstrating games and strategies with a clear rationale.

Areas of focus

  • What research tells us about the acquisition of vocabulary and spelling
  • Language-rich experience – not words in isolation
  • Why a blended approach to vocabulary instruction is needed
    • teaching individual words
    • morphology
    • etymology
    • building word consciousness
  • Spelling: the skills underpinning good spelling
  • Best strategies to develop spelling competence

Key stage suitability

Primary years

Course length

A one-day course covers general principles. For more sustained development we recommend two follow-up half-day sessions.


Recommended reading:

Isabel Beck et al, Bringing Words to Life (2nd edition)

Isabel Beck et al, Creating Robust Vocabulary.