Thursday 23 January 2014

An Aide Memoire

In a past life before the redundancy axe struck I was an adult literacy tutor.  It was a job I loved [not the dullard government paper pushing side to it which too up far too much time] but the one to one interaction with a huge range of people and above all, seeing many achieve their first qualification. School for a multitude of reasons doesn't work out for some and it is amazing to see how competent adults still carry the belief that somehow they are stupid from from all that time ago. Watching someone begin to prove themselves wrong is a privilege. Part of my job was to encourage people to revisit the war wounds of the past by asking them to reconsider improving their English and Maths skills and once trust was established many did. I think me admitting my own problems with Maths and the demons I'd had to face in the process of gaining my qualification put us on a far more equal footing.

One way students would often express their difficulties with literacy was summed up in one little word "spelling". Now I am fortunate because my spelling is reasonable, but these days when doing crosswords I've noticed that perhaps I'm not quite as good as I thought I was and there's definitely room for improvement. When I was teaching [you know me and my love of words and phrases] I memorised quite a few mnemonics to help and these are a few of my personal favourites.

There's a rat in separate

Necessary one collar two socks

A piece of pie

Accommodation two cots two mattresses

Stationery/stationary stationery has an e for envelope in it

Calendar has a for April in it

I before e except after c except weird which is just weird

Never believe a lie

Miss Pell never misspells

I love them so would be much delighted if anyone knows anymore.....


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