Friday, July 18, 2008

ESL Spelling Tip: One-Syllable Words that End in S, F, and Z

Look at these words:

buzz - miss - fluff
jazz - fuss - cuff
fizz - bless - muff

What do you notice about the spelling of these words?

Here is a spelling tip: In single-syllable words that contain a short-vowel sound and end in the letters S, F, or Z, the ending consonant is usually doubled. Look at a few more words:

razz - kiss - puff

There are only 20 exceptions: is, as, his, has, was, gas, bus, yes, us, plus, pus, this, goes, does, says, if, of, clef, whiz, and quiz. Most of these words, however, are high-frequency words that have to be memorized anyway because they are used so often.

Look for one-syllable words that end in double S, F, and Z in your reading and you'll be surprised at how important this spelling rule is because it's so common!

For additional ESL teaching tips:
Click here to read about the pronunciation of -ed.
Click here to read about pronouncing plurals.
Click here to read about voiced and voiceless sounds.
Click here to read about rising and falling intonation in questions.
Click here to read about syllable stress and the schwa.
Click here to read about adding the suffixes -ing, -ed, -er, and -est.
Click here to read about teaching common suffixes. 
Click here to read about teaching common prefixes. 
Click here to read about other sounds for c and g.

For other great teaching tips, visit the Online Workshop.

Spelling tip adapted from the Discover Intensive Phonics for Yourself method found in the Decoding Strategies for Literacy Development manual published by Reading Horizons.

1 comment: