We took a course at the Festival of Literacies facilitated by Guy Ewing about

We were supposed to make something.
Tracey Mollins made a book about the history of spelling in English. You can watch a slide show of the book online .

You can download PDFs. Each PDF is 20 pages and between 2 and 3 MBs. They are compressed files and the graphics may be a bit blurry if you print thePDFs.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6

Some literacy students find the English spelling system very frustrating. They look for a 'system' or a set of rules that will help them but of course there is no reliable system and every rule has as many exceptions as followers. Sometimes we talk a little about the history of English to try and cheer ourselves up.

Some literacy students worry that the dialect they speak is a 'broken' form of English. Sometimes we talk a little about the history of English, how there never was a 'pure' English and that we all speak variations on a theme.

I made this book for the students who are cheered by knowing this. There are a lot of pages but not too many words on each page. And of course you do not have to read the whole thing. I even give you hints about what parts to skip.