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Spelling for Life


By the end of the course you should:

  •  Be able to implement the full Spelling for Life course in a classroom, small group, or 1:1 setting

Welcome to Spelling for Life!

We hope you will have a wonderful time and learn a lot about teaching the structure of English spelling.

Course Format

There are five modules in this course, each containing several pages on a given topic.

Within those pages there is a theory section, a selection of videos to watch and a forum that contains a quiz, a question or a chance to interact.

Your videos

Spelling for Life has been around for a long time and has had many recordings made of the lessons within. The videos that  you will see on this course are in three formats:

  1. Video explainers
  2. Recently recorded sessions with a live adult audience especially for this course
  3. An optional “Jim Jams” session, where, during lockdown, Lyn recorded some free live sessions in her pyjamas (Jim Jams) for kids around the world who had stopped going to school because of the COVID pandemic.

Your downloads

There are three downloadable files for you to use during the course and to keep for future reference. They are:

As time goes on, you will need the manual less and less, so we have separated the worksheets from the manual for easy reference.


There are also some magnetic tiles in many of the videos. This is the link to where you can buy them.


Lyn has written three books on the subject of literacy and language, supported by online courses too. The links below will take you to each book.

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101 thoughts on “Spelling for Life”

  1. Avatar

    I teach Year 5 and I eager to learn more about spelling so to improve my teaching of spelling to not only my students but to share my learning with other teachers within my school.

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        I teach in a primary setting and I am looking forward to learning about the skills and techniques that can be used to improve my student’s spelling abilities and vocab knowledge.

  2. Avatar

    I teach in the vocational sector. I am keen to consolidate and build on my understanding of spelling so that I can teach it more effectively and confidently in class.

  3. Avatar

    Hello, I am looking forward to learning so much. I have a student who is a very strong reader. None of the assessments our school uses for placement in Intervention would have flagged for him. He can read the HFW bur he cannot spell a majority of them. He does not retain the spellings after we have worked on them (based on what I know up to this point)

    1. Avatar

      Which goes to show how different spelling and reading really are, right? If they’re in intervention for spelling, chances are they missed out on a lot of foundational knowledge AND have the sort of brain that doesn’t take to spelling well. It can be so hard for these students.

  4. Avatar

    Hi, I’m Sharon Nicholls, an MSL educator/registered teacher and am looking forward to doing this course to build my knowledge to help students with spelling.

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    Discovered the JimJam videos while searching for a way to help the students I tutor who are just stuck on retaining spellings. Then read the book and found it super interesting and useful (I have a Kindy teaching background, so have never actually learned or needed to consider much of this content). Hoping the course will help consolidate my own understanding of spelling conventions and the best way to teach these to help my students.

  6. Tessa Lieberman

    Hi Lyn
    I am teaching Year 4. Your course came highly recommended and I enjoyed your presentation in the SoW course through LDA last year. Really looking forward to learning about the best way to teach spelling.

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    Really looking forward to completing this course. I’m hoping to pick up some strategies about how I can improve spelling in a high school setting.

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    I am looking forward to furthering my knowledge about spelling. I have read Spelling for Life and look forward to implementing the strategies in the classroom.

  9. Avatar

    Hi there. I am a primary school teacher and I teach a 3/4 composite. I want to broaden my knowledge on spelling as I feel this an area that my professional development would benefit the students. .

  10. Christine Calnan Osborne
    Christine Calnan Osborne

    Hi. I’m a speech pathologist who works in schools and out of schools at my small business Think Play Say and I find literacy SO interesting. I have come from a sounds-write background but felt like it wasn’t fulfilling the needs of some of my older students especially. I’m also wanting to help my own kids, who despite being avid readers are struggling to be spelling stars.

    1. Avatar

      Hi Christine,
      Yes Sounds Write certainly does a good job at the transcription of sounds level, but the finer points of the writing system need an approach that takes in the rules. Systems operate on rules. No need to hide from them!

  11. Avatar

    I’m Leah. I want to know more to make spelling accessible to students and utilise the things that support learners- most of which I was never taught. Be “conscious” spellers- not guessers or memorisers.

  12. Avatar
    gillian SCANDURRA

    Hi there, my name is Gillian and I’m a speech pathologist in Sydney. I have quite a few older clients who are struggling with spelling so decided to do this course to learn other strategies to use in our sessions.

  13. Tasha Blechynden
    Tasha Blechynden

    My name is Tasha Blechynden and I am from Perth, Western Australia. I teach Year 3 but am also on the school leadership team and the Literacy Curriculum Co-ordinator at my school. I have always been fascinated with language and have done some further study in this area when completing my Masters degree. I was recently recommended your book by a friend and I loved it! I am looking forward to completing this course and further developing my skills in the area of spelling so that I feel better equipped to effectively teach spelling to my students and also to share this knowledge with the peers I mentor. Thank you for so willingly sharing your expertise!

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    My name is Lauren. I’m currently on maternity leave but have most recently been teaching upper primary. Heard you on a TFE webinar and decided I needed to check this out! Looking forward to it.

  15. Christine Calnan Osborne
    Christine Calnan Osborne

    Hi Lyn,
    Is there anywhere or any video that explains why you have your board set up the way you do? I saw the one where you expalin why the y is brought down, but you can never see what you have on the left of your board, and i’m still wondering about the eye and the pyramid on the lower right.

    1. Avatar

      Hi Christine,
      I have a LOT of videos, as you are probably aware, but I can’t think of one where I talk about the triangle. I do, however, explain it in the Spelling for Life book P194-196. It’s about differentiating letter sound and name.

  16. Avatar

    Hi Lyn,
    My name is Katrina Smith I am Stage Three teacher at Elderslie Public school and we are currently investigating Spelling in our Spirals of Inquiry sessions. I have been teaching for 18 years. I am looking forward to your online course.

  17. Avatar

    I’m Kate at Elderslie PS. I am working with the Stage 2 and Stage 3 team through the online course. I am excited for the discussion and learning.

  18. Avatar

    Looking forward to completing the modules. Have loved all your books and am looking forward learning more about how to explain the various aspects of spelling to students.

  19. Avatar
    Mark Pritchard

    I teach Year 4 and have been using a different program to teach spelling for many years. Our school has had a change in approach so I am completing this course to upskill after 37 years of teaching. I am looking forward to gaining new knowledge.

  20. Avatar

    Hi Lyn and Everyone
    My name is Sharlene and I am Head of Junior Primary at Toongabbie Christian College. I am glad to be doing another one of your courses Lyn. I learn so much each time.

  21. Avatar

    Hi Lyn,
    It’s Kathy again 🙂 I have been teaching a prep grade this year. It has been a wonderful year in my personal growth. I am a learner who requires lots of repetition to consolidate knowledge so, I am here again 🙂

  22. Avatar

    The Primary Leader from Reynella East College recently contacted you to seek approval for an extension to complete the Spelling For Life PD. This was approved.

    We were all sent new password links and changed our passwords. However when we go to access the course and resume, it states that our course has expired.

    I have previously sent an email regarding this issue. If you could please let us know how we can access this course and complete it, I would really appreciate it. Thank you.

    Kind Regards,
    Trudi Cole

  23. Avatar

    Hello! Teaching Year 3 and very keen to adopt new and effective ways of teaching spelling. My colleagues have recommended your course as they attended the face-to-face sessions in Sydney back in March this year. Thanks!

  24. Avatar

    Hi Lyn,
    My name is Shelley and I live in South Australia in the Barossa Valley. I have been a teacher for 18 years and would really like to sharpen my skills in teaching spelling to my students. My aim is to become an intervention teacher who helps students who need extra help. Looking forward to completing the course!

  25. Avatar
    Kerry-Anne Kwong

    Hi Lyn,
    My name is Kerry-Anne Kwong and I’m just starting out with Spelling for Life and would like to use it in my classroom (Year 3/4 students who are average/low literacy skills). I was wondering a couple of things. Firstly, there is a suggested scope and sequence in the book but the one that I’ve downloaded from this course is different – which is best to follow. Secondly, the kids haven’t done this ‘method’ of learning spelling yet so are there any things from the earlier years that I should cover first?

  26. Avatar

    Hi Lyn,
    I teach Year 2 in WA and hope to improve my understanding of how spelling ‘works’ and to understand what activities provide the best opportunity for my students to succeed.

  27. Avatar
    Tamara Zielinski

    Hi Lyn and team,
    I’m an instructional leader at my school – now known as APC&Is. I am working with my team of K-6 teachers (28 class teachers plus RFF, off class executive and LST etc) to improve literacy teaching and student outcomes across the school. I felt that spelling was the place to begin that journey. I’ve read your book “Spelling for life” and have bought each teacher a copy of their own. I’m looking forward to doing this course.

  28. Avatar

    I’m looking forward to building upon my knowledge of teaching spelling to further my tutoring skills. I am particularly looking forward to learning more about morphology.

  29. Avatar

    Hi Lyn,
    I mainly teach Years 3 to 5 and have used many different spelling programs with very different results. So looking forward to improving my knowledge and understanding of how students learn to spell.

  30. Sharon de Castro

    I love the book, it is one of the first resource books I go to for helping students, or when I need some great tips to share with teachers I work with.

  31. Avatar

    Have finally got to start the course! I now teach in a Support Unit in a high school, so am looking forward to ideas to implement in helping students with reading skills.

  32. Avatar

    I’m Alison and I am a Year 5 Teacher in Brisbane. I have been teaching for over 20 years and I am looking forward to a fresh look at Spelling!

  33. Avatar

    I’m a speech pathologist working with under 5 year olds. I’m keen to understand the literacy and classroom space in more detail so I’m better prepared to direct families to appropriate supports.

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