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Dictionary of the British English Spelling System

Dictionary of the British English Spelling System Greg Brooks
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-78374-107-6 £19.95
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-78374-108-3 £34.95
PDF ISBN: 978-1-78374-109-0 £0.00
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mobi ISBN: 978-1-78374-111-3 £5.95

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Read the author's reasons for writing the Dictionary of British English Spelling on our

Here at last we have a comprehensive and authoritative guide to phoneme-grapheme correspondences and grapheme-phoneme correspondences in British English. It can be consulted by those attempting to devise literacy education programmes using the now highly fashionable Ė even orthodox Ė teaching approach generally referred to as 'synthetic phonics'. It can also be used to assess critically the adequacy of synthetic phonics approaches. It is not partisan in relation to educational debates but can make those debates much better informed. For those with a more specific interest in the English spelling system, it will provide a highly accessible work of reference.

óPeter Hannon, Emeritus Professor, School of Education, University of Sheffield

Little information is readily available to teachers and teacher educators on the English spelling system, and what is available is sometimes misleading. Greg Brooks's book is a technically impressive yet clearly written work which fills a gap in the literature. It represents a remarkable double achievement: it provides, for the first time, a thorough account of the whole complex English spelling system and it is skilfully structured to support a range of reader's needs, from learning about the nature of the system, to the linguistic qualities of each phoneme-grapheme/grapheme-phoneme correspondence. This book will become the landmark against which related professional practices can be validated, and learning materials developed. Most importantly, its scholarship supports discussions of the English spelling system that are properly informed and not beset by the inaccuracies and misinformation that have dogged English literacy education for too long.
óRoger Beard, Emeritus Professor of Primary Education, University College London

This book will tell all you need to know about British English spelling. Itís a reference work intended for anyone interested in the English language, especially those who teach it, whatever the age or mother tongue of their students. It will be particularly useful to those wishing to produce well-designed materials for teaching initial literacy via phonics, for teaching English as a foreign or second language, and for teacher training.
English spelling is notoriously complicated and difficult to learn; it is correctly described as much less regular and predictable than any other alphabetic orthography. However, there is more regularity in the English spelling system than is generally appreciated. This book provides, for the first time, a thorough account of the whole complex system. It does so by describing how phonemes relate to graphemes and vice versa. It enables searches for particular words, so that one can easily find, not the meanings or pronunciations of words, but the other words with which those with unusual phoneme-grapheme/grapheme-phoneme correspondences keep company.
Other unique features of this book include teacher-friendly lists of correspondences and various regularities not described by previous authorities, for example the strong tendency for the letter-name vowel phonemes (the names of the letters <a, e, i, o, u>) to be spelt with those single letters in non-final syllables.

Dictionary of the British English Spelling System
Greg Brooks | April 2015
xxx + 492 | 38 colour illustrations | 6.14" x 9.21" (234 x 156 mm)
ISBN Paperback: 9781783741076
ISBN Hardback: 9781783741083
ISBN Digital (PDF): 9781783741090
ISBN Digital ebook (epub): 9781783741106
ISBN Digital ebook (mobi): 9781783741113
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0053
BIC subject codes: EBD (English Language Teaching dictionaries and reference), CFH (Phonetics, phonology), CBD (Dictionaries); BISAC subject codes: REF000000 (REFERENCE / General), REF008000 (REFERENCE / Dictionaries); OCLC Number: 1120671924.

List of tables
About the author
A 40-year gestation
How to use this book

1.  Introduction
2.  The phonemes of spoken English
3.  The phoneme-grapheme correspondences of English, 1: Consonants
4.  How do you know when to write a consonant letter double?
5.  The phoneme-grapheme correspondences of English, 2: Vowels
6.  Some spelling rules for vowels
7.  Special processes
8.  The graphemes of written English
9.  The grapheme-phoneme correspondences of English, 1: Graphemes beginning with consonant letters
10. The grapheme-phoneme correspondences of English, 2: Graphemes beginning with vowel letters
11. Evaluating some pronunciation rules for vowel graphemes

Appendix A: Assumptions and technicalities
Appendix B: Pedagogically selected lists of phoneme-grapheme and grapheme-phoneme correspondences


Greg Brooks
is Emeritus Professor of Education, University of Sheffield, where he held a personal chair in 2002-07. He had previously worked at the National Foundation for Educational Research for 20 years, and before that taught for various periods in France, Kenya, Essex and Northern Ireland. He has been engaged in virtually full-time educational research for 38 years, almost all of it concerned with literacy and/or the phonological aspects of language Ė phonological coding in silent reading, speaking and listening abilities, adult and family literacy, phonics and its phonetic underpinnings, literacy interventions for children and young people, trends in literacy and numeracy attainment over time, and of course spelling. He is a former President, and Honorary Life Member, of the UK Literacy Association, and a member of the Reading Hall of Fame. In 2011-12 he was one of the 10 expert members of the European Union High Level Group of Experts on Literacy, and is currently Chairperson of the Federation of European Literacy Associations, and a member of the management board of the European Literacy Policy Network.