Few adults can pronounce the name of Welsh town Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, let alone spell it, but ten-year-old genius Alex Mole can spell it both forwards and backwards.
He has come up with a unique method for breaking down complex words to spell them and has even written and published a book to share the process with others too.
The process Alex and his mum developed is called 'chunking', whereby they split a word into chunks of three or four letters and write them on different coloured cards to help memorise them.
It’s inspired by Debbie’s work as a practitioner in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), a tool used to help understand how the language of the mind creates patterns people run their life by.
It took Alex two weeks to learn how to spell Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.
Teachers at Alex’s school, Hill West Primary in Sutton Coldfield, were so impressed they invited him to teach some of the younger students who were struggling with spelling.
Alex has now written and published his own book called The Secret Spell to Spelling by Alexander Mole, aged 9¾.
The book is available through Alex’s website secretspelltospelling.wordpress.com, which also features national curriculum spelling tests for years 3/4 and 5/6 with methods of how to break them down to make them memorable.
The 'chunking' method has gone on to help children with dyslexia.
Debbie and Alex sent a copy of the book to Dr Richard Bandler, who co-founded NLP in America in the 1970s, and were shocked and delighted when he replied and offered them this quote as a forward to the book: “I read Alex’s book and it is brilliant, and quite refreshing.
“It gives me hope that the things I have been trying to get into schools for four decades will at last find their way into the hands of kids everywhere.”
Debbie says this approach can be used for exam revision in all subjects too.
Alex added: “I love using this method as it’s fun and helps me to remember my spellings.”