Skip to main content

Recent developments which affect spelling: On the possibility of removing the unnecessary difficulties in English spelling while leaving the basic appearance of English print intact


Recent developments in English language include the rise of many Englishes throughout the world and home dialects appearing in broadcasting, which are increasing in salience rather than diminishing with globalisation; huge increases in the international vocabulary held in common by modern languages, particularly technical and scientific words; and the increases in alternatives in communication. Two restricted English vocabularies as a way to increase the accessibility of English language have received publicity; both are called Globish, one by a Frenchman, Jean-Paul Nerrière, of 1500 words (2009), and one by an Indian of 4000 words with an accompanying Indianised spelling (Gogate, 2002).

Corresponding author
Hide All
Aro M. & Wimmer H. 2003. ‘Learning to read: English in comparison to six more regular orthographies.’ Applied Psycholinguistics, 24, 619–34.
Bell Masha 2004. Understanding English Spelling. Cambridge: Pergamon Educational.
Gogate M. 2002. ‘Simplified Global English.’ Journal of the Simplified Spelling Society, 31.
Goswami U. 2003. ‘How to beat dyslexia.’ The Psychologist, 16(9), 462–5.
Hanna P. R. et al. 1966. Phoneme–grapheme Correspondences as Cues to Spelling Improvement. Washington: US Government Printing Office.
Hanna P. R. et al. 1971. Spelling Structure and Strategies. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Linnakyla P. et al. 1993. ‘Exploring the secret of Finnish Reading Literacy Achievement.’ Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 37(1), 6374.
Lyytinen H., Erskine J., et al. 2009. ‘In search of a science-based application: A learning tool for reading acquisition.’ Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 50(6), 668–75.
Paulesu E. E., Demonet J. -F., Fazio F., McCrory E. et al. 2001. ‘Dyslexia: cultural diversity and biological unity.’ Science, 291(5511), 2165–8.
Seymour P. H. K., Aro M. & Erskine J. M. 2003. ‘Foundation literacy acquisition in European orthographies.’ British Journal of Psychology, 94, 143–74.
Seymour P. H. K. & Duncan L. G. 2001. ‘Learning to read in English.’ Psychology, 8, 281–99.
Stanovich K. E. 2000. Progress in Understanding Reading. New York: Guilford Press.
Yule V. 1986. ‘Design of spelling to meet needs and abilities.’ Harvard Educational Review, 56, 278–97.
Yule V. 1991. ‘Orthography and reading: spelling and society.’ Unpublished doctoral thesis. Monash: Monash University.
Yule V. 1994. ‘Problems that face research in the design of English spelling.’ Visible Language, 28(1), 2647.
Ziegler J. & Goswami U. 2005. ‘Reading acquisition, developmental dyslexia, and skilled reading across languages: a psycholinguistic grain size theory.’ Psychological Bulletin, 131(1), 329.
All accessed 10 January 2010 to 10 February 2010.
Australian Government National Inquiry into the Teaching of Literacy 2005. Online at <>
Bell M. 2009. ‘English spelling problems.’ Online at <>
Bennett M. 2009. ‘The great 2009 Portuguese spelling reform.’ Online at <>
Gerson M. 2008. ‘Don't let texting get U.’ Online at <>
House of Commons Committee Report 2009–2010. ‘The costs of illiteracy in Britain.’ Online at <>
House of Commons, Science and Technology Committee 2009. ‘Evidence Check 1: Early Literacy Interventions’, HC 44, Second Report of Session 2009–10. Online at <>
Liberman M. 2008. ‘Ghotis and choughs again.’ Online at <>.
Liberman A. 2009. ‘The dumbest English spellings.’ Online at <>
Microsoft Office Natural Language Team 2010. ‘“Old” vs. “new” spelling in French: A new speller based on the French spelling reform.’ Online at <>
National Institute for Literacy, USA 2010. Online at <>
Oppenheimer Andres. 2009. Royal Spanish Academy ponders 'sexapil' Online at <>
Sage A. 2008. ‘France in shock as dictionary Le Petit Robert relaxes language rules.’ Online at <>
The Times Online. 2009. ‘The Times Spelling Bee (2009).’ Online at <>
Wikipedia 2010. ‘Finnish orthography.’ Online at <>
Yule V. 2004a. ‘Spelling 16 common words.’ Online at <>
Yule V 2004b. ‘A spelling solution.’ Online at <>
Yule V 2005a. ‘References relevant to spelling reform.’ Online at <
Yule V 2005b. ‘Spelling common words.’ Online at>
Yule V 2005c. ‘Spelling research relevant to reform.’ Online at <>
Yule V 2008. ‘Rationale for an International Commission on English Spelling.’ Online at <>
Yule V 2009a. ‘A dictionary guide to pronunciation.’ Online at <>
Yule V 2009b. ‘The rules of English spelling – on one page.’ Online at <>
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

English Today
  • ISSN: 0266-0784
  • EISSN: 1474-0567
  • URL: /core/journals/english-today
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 4
Total number of PDF views: 26 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 111 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 21st January 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.