There are a lot of sites out there designed for spelling practice. I thought it would be helpful to create a “The Best…” list to narrow them down a bit.

For English Language Learners, and for others, the best spelling sites are ones that offer audio and also use the words in the context of sentences:

Catch The Spelling is a series of games specifically geared towards English Language Learners.

The Alpha-Bot game. It’s a nice game where you first listen to the word spoken and then have to find the correct letters to spell it. I probably should place it a little higher on the list, but I learned about this game after I completed this post, and was just too lazy to change the rankings :).

Spelling quizzes from The Interlink Language Center. They’re simple exercises, but there are a lot of them.

Kidspell has a ton of spelling games, and you can also easily create ones using your own spelling lists. However, they’re not offered in context and there’s no audio pronunciation.

Word Sort is from Houghton Mifflin. In addition to providing audio, it has the added feature of challenging students to look for word patterns. However, the words are not used in sentences.

The Visual Thesaurus Spelling Bee.  You don’t have to register to play, and it automatically adapts to your spelling ability. It remembers which words you got right and wrong and quizzes you periodically on words at your spelling level that you spelled incorrectly in the past. A human voice, and not a computerized one, says the words. Plus, it shows you a diagram of similar words.  It doesn’t give you a sentence example using the word, but I guess you can’t have everything…

The Spelling Bee from Annenberg Media. Not only does it let you pick your level of difficulty, provide audio support, and give the words in context, but the context is not just in a sentence — it tells you a story.

Spelling City has all the features that one can ask for, and is plenty of fun. You can make your own word list, or create your own.

Spellzone is a new interactive site to learn and practice…spelling. It has practice activities, games, and I especially like that the words are grouped based on spelling patterns — plus, they have audio, too! The only negative, and it’s a big one, is that the words are not used in sentences (another new negative – they’ve begun charging).

The British Council has just unveiled a new feature on their site called Speak And Spell. It has lots of interactives.

Though I wish they had a different name (I’m not fond of focusing attention to IQ tests and scores), Big IQ Kids does look like a good free site for students to practice spelling. It provides the word in the context of a sentence, provides synonyms, and even the “rules.” Plus, it provides audio support for all written text.

Spell is from The British Council. It has interactives for ELLs about…spelling.

Spell Up is a cool game that you can play on the Chrome browser. You can learn more about it at Ozge Karaoglu’s Blog.

As always, feedback is welcome.

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