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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 7 March 2003
As a teacher with a special interest in learning difficulties,I am amazed and slightly ashamed that I have only just come across the excellent "Ace Spelling Dictionary". I tried it last night with a child I have known since the age of 8 who has had specific difficulties in spelling since starting school (he is now 13). Within half an hour he could find virtually any word within 20 seconds. This book is ideal for children who desperately want to spell words correctly but cannot begin to use an ordinary dictionary. All you need to use it is a basic knowledge of vowel sounds and to know what a syllable is - if you don't have this knowledge it is explained simply in the first few pages. Average intelligence children of 8 and over should have no difficulty mastering its use - some would maybe manage even younger. I shall be asking my school to purchase several copies, and would highly recommend this book to any teacher or parent of a dyslexic child.
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on 3 November 2003
Not a dictionary at all (by any definition that I can find), but a whole new and brilliant tool for finding spellings. The key is in the organisation with an index giving access to manageably sized word lists. But the book isn't just a list of words, it also contains advice on how to learn the correct spellings.
My ten year old son has specific spelling difficulties and has become very negative about the whole trial of spelling tests and the pain of learning. Last week we introduced him to this book and within minutes he had a taste of what he could do with it. A couple of days later he was actually asking to play scrabble (using it as an aid). Today he went looking for it to take to school.
Obviously this is a tool, not a miracle cure but it is the first of the many we have used (rote learning, look/cover/write, SOS etc.) that has fundamentally changed my son's attitude to spelling.
Why not five stars? Only that we haven't had the book for long and the I am reserving the fifth star for the long term impact on my son's spelling. Given the start, I expect the book to earn it.
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on 21 November 2004
I wish someone had told me about this fantastic aid for struggling spellers a long time ago. My 9 year old has always struggled with the most basic of spellings and can't use a traditional dictionary as she very often can't work out how a word begins. However she grasped the concept of picking up the vowel sound explained so clearly in this book, I would say within a matter of minutes she was successfully using this dictionary. Interesting I have mentioned this book to three primary school teachers and no one has heard of it?!
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on 21 November 2000
For the dyeslexic child this dictionary makes perfect sense. It's organised by sounds with helpful animal pictures to keep you right. My 10 year old dyslexic son loves it. Not only can he find the words he needs...he can do it quicker than I can.
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on 9 February 2006
I'm a Dyslexic and I was first introduced to this book at about 10 and I used it for years. I stopped using it when I got a little older and was able to work with a normal dictionary.
I'd say this book is a must for anyone with problems spelling, be they dyslexic or not.
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on 15 November 2000
This is no ordinary dictionary! My daughter, who is dyslexic, finds this dictionary extremely useful. It takes a while to get used to the way it works, but once mastered it is invaluble. A must for any child who has difficulty with their spelling.
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on 18 February 2001
As a teacher I have used this book in primary and secondary schools. It compliments spelling processes and encourages pupils to use self help skills. It is excellent for dyslexic pupils and even takes account of accent and vocal variation. I would recommend it for all children and to anyone who finds spelling a challenge.
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on 19 January 2007
I am 35 and dyslexic, I recently purchased this book to help me expand my written english. My normal approach would be to write what I mean in smaller, simpler words; this book has allowed me to stop doing that. From the words listed in the book I guess it is aimed at the younger writer as some of the words I need for day to day business writing are missing. But there is plenty of room on the page to write them in (once someone has checked I have spelt it correctly). As to those who say they can't use the book, well my wife (who is not dyslexic) could not use it without a lot of effort. Once she mastered the book she relised that she struggled until she unlearnt how to use a 'normal' dictionary.
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The Aurally Coded English method of listing words in a dictionary works by listing words under the initial short or long vowel sounds within those words and by listing these words under the number of syllables they contain - monosyllabic words with the same initial vowel sounds are grouped together, two-syllable words with the same initial sounds are grouped together and so on. Sounds confusing? It isn't, but it is a very different way of checking the spelling of words.

This method really makes dictionary users think about the sounds within words, working hard on the important skill of phonic recognition. Counting syllables within words can be hard to master for some - I use the hand under chin method with students who can feel their chin 'drop' as they say each syllable correctly.

It's important to ensure that students understand how to use the Dictionary before they try to use it - it is so different that if this step is rushed they may become discouraged when they discover that they are struggling to understand the method.

The dictionary contains a useful list of commonly misspelt words as well as 16,000 entries of commonly used words.

Amazon also has available a useful book of photocopiable exercises for use with the ACE dictionary (see my separate review).
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on 18 February 2007
Absolutely fantastic. My Son has Autism, ADHD & Dyslexia amongst other conditions and was struggling at English. This book was recommended by a friend with a Daughter who is dyslexic. I took a copy into the school to discuss it with the learning support teacher, She was explaining that she was doing a training course to use this with children with a dyslexic problem and was highly praising it.

I am now waiting to do a short course on the best way to use the bok to help my son with it. Having tried to use it myself I found it a bit confusing at first then got the hang of it and was away in about half an hour. It is great for us as it has the scottish pronounciation as well as the more common english way of using vowels etc.

All in all I found this book really helpful and have now recommened it to three other people with dyslexic children. It will allow my son to look up words himself and give him a bit more independance at school when doing his work.
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