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Master Speller

Your guide to good English spelling

Minimum system requirements


Macintosh PC

• Power Macintosh or G3-processor • Pentium processor


• 14" RGB screen (minimum 256 colours) • 14" RGB screen (minimum 256 colours)
• System 7.1 or later • Windows '95 or later, Windows NT
• Soundmanager 3.0 or later • Sound card (100% Soundblaster and MCI-compatible)
• CD-ROM drive (minimum 6-speed) • CD-ROM drive (minimum 6-speed)
• Memory :8 Mb RAM available • Memory:8 Mb RAM available

Starting up
Macintosh PC

• Select CD-ROM Disc • Select CD-ROM Disc


• Double-click Demo.Masterspeller • Double-click Demo.Masterspeller
1. I NTRODUCTION

Master Speller is an interactive spelling training package that will enable you to master
English spelling. The program consists of a module containing spelling rules and guidelines,
a sound-to-text module, and complementary exercises testing the newly acquired knowledge.
Moreover, Master Speller includes sound recordings, thus establishing a direct link between
spelling and pronunciation.

The sound-to-text module


offers a full overview of the
phonemes of Standard British
English (Received
Pronunciation) together with
the various ways in which
each phoneme can be repre-
sented in spelling.
The spelling rules and guide-
lines have been arranged in
clear easy-to-access screens
which have a thematic struc-
ture: sound-to-text, capital let-
ters, compounds, derivations,
plurals, apostrophes and
hyphens. The various compo-
nents can be accessed from
the main menu. Within each
topic it is possible to hop from screen to screen, or go directly to a subsection via the index.
The exercise component contains a huge number of exercises on various topics. Master
Speller offers some 5,000 exercises which will allow you to master English spelling.
However, it must be stressed that you should not try and do all of the exercises in one go! In
view of the number of exercises in Master Speller you can do loads of exercises on the same
topic without fear of repetition.

In each exercise Master Speller can offer you a helping hand if you need it. If you are
stumped, Master Speller will give you the necessary clues to continue. After your answer has
been checked, you can access a help screen in which there is a brief explanation of the applic-
able rule. So, in addition to immediate feedback, you are also given the opportunity to revise
the appropriate spelling rules.

Master Speller's word game is a bonus feature for spelling boffins. A good score on a spelling
exercise is rewarded by a letter which can afterwards be used to compile a word ranging
between 5 and 11 letters. Naturally, to take up the challenge and complete the words, you have
to keep up the good work!
2. SPELLING RULES AND GUIDELINES

The main spelling menu com-


prises the following topics:
Sound-to-text, Capital letters,
Compounds, Derivation,
Apostrophe and hyphens,
Mixed exercises. In order to
access the spelling rules and
guidelines, click the appropri-
ate topic.

Master Speller’s main


spelling menu

2.1. S OUND-TO-TEXT

By clicking the < Sound-to-text > topic you can access a sequence of screens which offer a full
overview of the phonemes of English together with the various ways in which each phoneme can be
represented in spelling.

Each screen contains a survey of the spellings of a particular sound. The spellings indicated in the
cookery book are the most
common spellings which occur
in the 2,000 most frequently
used words in English. The per-
centages in the cookery pot
give a visual indication of the
frequency of these spellings in
the basic vocabulary. For each
spelling three examples are
given. You can hear a sound
recording of these examples by
clicking the words.

The spellings at the bottom of


the screen can be regarded as
exceptions in that they are not
part of the core vocabulary of
English. You can hear a record-
ing of each example by click-
ing on the word.

The red arrow in the index to the right of the screen is positioned next to the section you are cur-
rently working in. It is possible to go to the first screen or to one of the subsections in the index sim-
ply by clicking it.
Once you have reached the last screen of a subtopic, the tin at the top of the screen becomes active.
By clicking it you will gain access to a series of multiple-choice exercises. In this section each screen
lists three word pairs. Select
the correctly spelled form by
clicking the corresponding
apple icon. In order to help you
make a selection, you can hear
a sound recording of the word
by simply clicking the appro-
priate sound button. The pro-
gram provides immediate feed-
back on your choice through a
smiling chef (correct) or a sad-
looking chef (incorrect), while
the clicked apple gets a bite
mark.

Note that the word pairs have


to be dealt with in the order in
which they appear on the
screen, i.e. from top to bottom. You can only listen to the sound recording BEFORE clicking an
apple icon.
Once you have finished the entire screen, it is possible to move on to the next exercise screen by
clicking the waiter in the bottom right-hand comer of the screen, or by pressing < RETURN >.

In these multiple-choice exercises you need to finish a total of 12 word pairs. It is not possible to
interrupt the series. The counter at the bottom of the screen in the middle indicates how many pairs
still remain to be done. After completing the exercise, your score is listed. To get rid of the score-
board, click the < EXIT > signpost in the bottom left-hand comer of the screen.

After exiting the multiple-choice exercises you are taken back to the rule screens of the sound-to-
text component for further study. In order to leave this component, click < EXIT > in the bottom
right-hand comer of the screen.

2.2. OTHER TOPICS

When clicking any of the other


topics, a small screen repre-
senting a note pad appears on
the screen. Click < theory > to
go to the rule screens for the
selected topic.

You can make the rule screens


appear one by one by clicking
the waiters in the top right-
hand comer of the screen, or by
pressing the left/right arrow
keys on the keyboard.
The red arrow in the index to
the right of the screen is posi-
tioned next to the topic that you
are currently working on.
It is possible to go to another subtopic in the index simply by clicking it.

Each rule screen contains a brief explanation of the rule, as well as several examples for which there
are often further details under the "Explanation" heading. Above the rule frame there are five boxes
which provide an indication as to the frequency of the spelling rule; the more boxes are ticked, the-
more frequent the rule is everyday English usage.To exit the rule component, click the < EXIT >
signpost in the bottom right-hand comer of the screen.

3. I NSTRUCTIONS FOR THE EXERCISES

Within the overall exercise package a distinction is made between exercises on a specific topic and
mixed exercises.

The exercises on a specific topic allow you to focus on one spelling problem, e.g. capital letters.
Conversely, the mixed exercises contain a wide variety of spelling difficulties and are thus more suit-
ed for the more advanced learner.

3.1. E XERCISES ON SPECIFIC TOPICS

In order to access exercises on a specific topic, click a topic in the main menu. A note pad appears
on the screen. Click the type of exercise you would like to do: multiple choice or word dictation.

3.1.1. M ULTIPLE CHOICE

Each screen in this section lists three word pairs. Select the correctly spelled form by clicking the
corresponding apple icon.

Note that the word pairs have


to be dealt with in the order in
which they appear on the
screen, i.e. from top to bottom.
The program provides imme-
diate feedback on your choice
through a smiling chef (cor-
rect) or a sad-looking chef
(incorrect), while the clicked
apple gets a bite mark. At the
same time, a question mark
button is highlighted to allow
access to a help screen which
contains a brief explanation of
the applicable rule. To dese-
lect the rule press any key.

Once you have finished the entire screen, it is possible to move on to the next exercise screen by
clicking the waiter in the bottom right-hand comer of the screen, or by pressing < RETURN >.

In these multiple-choice exercises you need to finish a total of 12 word pairs. It is not possible to
interrupt the series. The counter at the bottom of the screen in the middle indicates the number of
pairs that remain to be done. After completing the exercise your score is listed. High scores (+ 80%)
are rewarded with a letter to allow you to complete an English word.

After completion of the exercise this letter appears on the main screen. You can make the scoreboard
disappear by clicking the < EXIT > signpost in the bottom left-hand comer of the screen.

Afterwards you will again see the note pad, which can be hidden by clicking the box in the top left-
hand comer of the small screen.

When making the same exercise at a later time, it is quite likely that you will get another series of
examples; for each set of 12 exercises, a random selection is made from a large database. This means
that you can focus on the same problem several times without immediately having to repeat your-
self.

3.1.2. W ORD DICTATION

These exercises consist of short sentences in which one word or phrase is enclosed in round brack-
ets. The presence of three dots in a given word indicates that there are one or more letters missing.
Key in the correct solution. Click the appropriate sound button if you wish to hear a sound record-
ing of the word/phrase to be
filled in.

When pressing < RETURN >


you obtain immediate feedback
on your performance. If you
have made a mistake, the cor-
rect answer appears in red.
Irrespective of whether the
answer was correct or incor-
rect, the question-mark button
can be clicked to access the
help screen for more details on
the applicable rule. To make
the rule disappear again simply
press any key on the keyboard.

When you have finished the


exercise screen you may wish
to go through the rules again; to do so simply click the appropriate question marks. If you wish to
go on to the next screen, click the waiter in the bottom right-hand comer, or press < RETURN >.

If you wish to make any changes to what you have entered, press the < BACKSPACE > key. Please
note, however, that this should be done BEFORE pressing < RETURN >.

In the word dictation component you need to do at least 10 sentences. It is not possible to interrupt
the series. The counter in the middle at the bottom of the screen indicates the number of sentences
that remain to be done. At the end of the exercise your score is displayed. High scores (+ 80%) are
rewarded with a letter to allow you to complete an English word. After completion of the exercise
this letter appears on the main screen. You can make the scoreboard disappear by clicking the
<EXIT> signpost in the bottom left-hand comer of the screen.

Afterwards you again end up with the note pad, which you can get rid of by clicking the box in the
top left-hand comer.
3.2. M IXED EXERCISES

In order to gain access to the mixed exercises component, click "Mixed exercises" in the main
screen. A note pad appears, displaying two possibilities: WORD DICTATION and FULL DICTA-
TION.

3.2.1. WORD DICTATION

This exercise consists of short text passages in which five words or phrases are enclosed in round
brackets. You can hear a sound recording of the words/phrases to be filled in by clicking the sound
button. Here too, the correct forms of the words need to be entered. Each time you press
<RETURN>, Master Speller provides feedback, whereas the help screens can be accessed by click-
ing the question mark. To make
the rule disappear simply press
any key.

After you have finished with


the screen you may wish to go
through the rules again. To do
so, click the appropriate ques-
tion marks. You can move on
the next exercise screen by
clicking the waiter in the bot-
tom right-hand comer of the
screen, or by pressing
<RETURN>.

If you wish to make any


changes to what you have
entered, you can do so by
means of the < BACKSPACE >
key. Please note, however, that this should be done BEFORE pressing < RETURN >.

In the word dictation component you need to do at least 5 texts (25 words). It is not possible to inter-
rupt the series. The counter at the bottom of the screen indicates the number of words that remain to
be done. At the end of the exercise your score is displayed. High scores (+ 80%) are rewarded with
a letter to allow you to complete an English word. After completing the exercise this letter appears
on the main screen. You can make the scoreboard disappear by clicking the < EXIT > signpost in the
bottom left-hand comer of the screen.

3.2.2. F ULL DICTATION

The mixed exercises module also contains a full dictation. You can listen to any sentence by click-
ing the sound button (two cake wedges), after which you can key it in. To listen to the sentence for
a second time simply click the sound button again.

You can stop the sound recording at any time by clicking the coffee cup. To resume listening, click
the same button.

You can correct any mistakes in the text you have keyed in by twice clicking the word you wish to
change. In order to insert a word, place the cursor within the text and key in the word.
Please check carefully that you
have not forgotten any words
and consider the possible
spelling problems. Then click
the "OK" button, after which
Master Speller will list the
spelling (typing) mistakes,
while providing suggestions for
improvement.

If you wish to go on to the next


dictation, click the waiter in the
bottom right-hand comer, or
press < RETURN >.

In the full dictation component


you need to do at least 3 sen-
tences. It is not possible to inter-
rupt the series. The counter in the middle at the bottom of the screen indicates the number of sen-
tences that remain to be done. At the end of the exercise no scoreboard is displayed. In the dictation
module no letter is awarded for the word game.

4. I NSTRUCTIONS FOR THE WORD GAME

In each exercise component, a score is awarded. When the score for a completed exercise is higher
than 80%, a letter is awarded
from a word which can vary in
length from 5 to 11 letters.

The letters are filled in at the


bottom of the main screen. If
you think you know the word,
make the note pad disappear
by clicking the square in the
top left-hand comer of the
small screen. Then click the
dinner guest sitting at the table,
in the bottom right-hand comer
of the screen.

When an upward-pointing red


arrow appears, you can key in
the letters of the word. You can
making corrections by using the < BACKSPACE > key. If you press < RETURN > you will get
instant feedback on your answer. If the word is incorrect, you can earn more letters by doing more
exercises.
5. U SEFUL GRAMMATICAL AND PHONETIC TERMS

In the rule screens there are references to certain grammatical and phonetic concepts. Below you will
find a brief overview of the most important terms:

• Adjective
This is a word which modifies (i.e. says something) about a noun: e.g. white, large, beautiful,. They
are put before the noun which they modify : e.g. 'the large car", "a good idea".

• Adverb
A word which modifies a sentence, a verb, another adverb, or an adjective: e.g. here, probably, very,
often.

• Article
A determiner of a noun phrase which does not have meaning of its own. English has a definite arti-
cle (the), and an indefinite article (a, an).

• Clause
A part of a complex sentence which contains a subject, a finite verb and a predicate. The structure
of a clause is identical to a simple sentence: e.g. 'He knew I was going to tell his mother about his
stealing.'

• Compound
A compound consists of two or more words each of which can also be used independently. They can
be written in separate words (e.g. 'computer disk'), hyphenated (e.g. 'ice-cream') or in one word (e.g.
'armchair').

• Derivation
This concept refers to the phenomenon whereby new words are formed by adding a prefix or a suf-
fix to a base, which can be used independently: e.g. homeless, recollect.

• Determiner
A word - e.g. all, some, the, a(n) - which determines the referent(s), i.e. the object, idea of a noun
phrase.

• Diphthong
The diphthongs in Standard British English are: [ei],[ai],[•i],[«U],[aU],
[I«],[e«],[U«].

• Fricative (consonant)
The fricatives in Standard British English are: [f],[v],[T],[D],[s],[z],[S],
[Z],[h]. British English also has two affricates which consist of a combination of a stop and a
fricative: [tS],[dZ].

• Liquid (consonant)
The liquids in Standard British English are: [j],[w],[l],[r].

• Nasal (consonant)
The nasals in Standard British English are: [m],[n],[N].
• Noun
This is a word which can be preceded by an article [the, a(n)] and can have a plural. Most nouns take
a regular plural in < -s > ('the girl', 'the girls'). Others have an irregular plural (e.g. children), or no
plural form at all, i.e. the so-called zero plural (e.g. 'sheep'). Some nouns can have more than one
plural form: e.g. 'formula, formulae/formulas'.

• Phoneme
A phoneme denotes the smallest unit of sound in a given language.

• Phrase
A group of words which form part of a clause and do not contain a verb: e.g. 'a white car', 'my book'.

• Preposition
This is a word like on, in, after, etc. which are used with nouns: 'in the garage', 'after the show', 'on
the table'. They also collocate with verbs: e.g. 'to sit on'.

• Proper noun
A proper (or personal) noun is one that refers to the name of a person, place, etc.: e.g. 'Peter',
'London'.

• Stop (consonant)
The stop consonants (plosives, occlusives) in Standard British English are: [p],[b],
[t],[d],[k],[g].

• Verb
Verbs express an activity or a state. The form of the verb is determined by the subject and the tense:
e.g. I walk, I am walking, you walked, he ran.

• Vowel
The vowel phonemes in Standard British English are: [I],[e],[Q],[U],[uù],[Ã],
[•],[•ù],[Îù],[iù],[Aù],[«].