The Relationship Between Spelling and Reading and Comprehension

If you were to ask your child to name their most hated subject, they would most likely say spelling, surprisingly not math. Many children struggle with their spelling words and the repetition of writing the words over and over doesn’t seem to help. This leads many children to become frustrated and to giving up.

At some point, your child may even ask, “Why do I have to learn spelling words?” Learning spelling words is important to your child’s future. Spelling words help lay the basic foundation that your child will need throughout their education and life.


A major factor in reading fluency and reading comprehension lies in your child’s ability to spell accurately. Spelling contributes to reading development by shaping your child’s knowledge of phonemic awareness (an awareness that a word is made up of segments of sound). This then strengthens their alphabetic awareness (an awareness of the relationship between the letters of written language and the individual sounds of spoken language) and makes sight words easier to remember (Ehri, 1987, 1989).

Download our “8 Fun Spelling Activities” document that includes activities and ideas to help build your child’s spelling skills

The Spelling and Reading Connection

Spelling and reading are closely linked – children who are good readers are usually good spellers. Knowledge of a word’s spelling almost always aids the reading of that word.

Increased spelling knowledge helps your child make sense of the words they read, making it easier to remember, as it allows your child to make more complete connections between spelling and pronunciations of words in memory. Overall, spelling is an instructional tool that can help your child understand the alphabetic writing system and its’ relationship to spoken language.

The Spelling and Reading and Comprehension Connection

If your child struggles with spelling they will most likely struggle with reading fluency as well as reading comprehension.

Since spelling is closely linked to both reading fluency and comprehension, it is very important to improve your child’s spelling skills. Once these spelling skills have improved, your child will see an improvement in their reading fluency because they will be able to recognise more words without hesitation. Once your child sees an improvement in their reading fluency, they will also see an improvement in their reading comprehension. They will be able to comprehend the text better because they will not have to concentrate on sounding out the words, as much as, concentrating on the importance of the text.

Improved reading comprehension is essential for your child, especially as they move up to higher grades in school. If they don’t understand what they are reading, they will not be able to learn the work and their grades will start to fall.

Here for You and Your Family

If you suspect your child has spelling, reading, or reading comprehension struggles, but aren’t sure why, you may want to have them evaluated. It could be an underlying issue with processing speed, inattention, etc.

Our FOCUS Assessment can give you the answers. Click here to discover more about our FOCUS Assessment.

At Biolink Attention Training, we want nothing more than to see your child be successful, just as much as you do. If you feel that you need some help in guiding your son or daughter with their academics or address a cognitive issue that’s affecting their school life, then contact us today or find a center near you.

Lizaan Spangenberg
Biolink Attention Training Head Office

Download our “8 Fun Spelling Activities” document that includes activities and ideas to help build your child’s spelling skills