An Overview of the Persian EFL learners’ Spelling Difficulties

Maryam Alipour, Khazriyati Salehuddin, Siti Hamin Stapa


Spelling is considered a difficult skill for foreign and second language learners of English as the ability to spell in English language comes with a lot of effort, particularly when the English spelling system is known to be a complex system, even among native speakers. The difficulties could be linguistic and extra-linguistic. This conceptual paper reviews the differences and similarities between English and Persian spelling system, the sages of spelling difficulties among children, particularly the approach suggested by Tabrizi, Tabrizi, and Tabrizi (2013)in which the stages of learning spelling among Iranian learners are analyzed. The types of morphological, phonological, and orthographical spelling difficulties, factors contributing to the spelling difficulty, as well as a comprehensive literature review of EFL studies conducted on English spelling are provided in this paper. Finally, the mental processing and the role of memory are discussed briefly. It was concluded that examining the differences between the learners’ first language and English language may provide useful insights into the English spelling problems faced by EFL learners.


Spelling; Difficulty; Persian; English; EFL

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