Mnemonic Weekly Tip: # 19           February 2, 2003
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The Problem
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This week's mnemonic clue is used for both reading and spelling. The words because, became and become can be difficult to read and spell for individuals who have learning problems. Readers who have poor decoding skills often guess based on the first few letters of a word. These three words all begin with the same three letters bec. When it comes to recalling the correct sequence of letters for the spelling of these words, students with poor spelling skills often mix up the sequence of letters, leave out letters or add extra letters.


The Mnemonic: # 19
The mnemonic clue for the spelling of the words: because, became and become involves stacking. Each word begins with bec followed by either an a or an o, making the first layer of the stack. The other letters are placed underneath with the vowels lining up as noted below.

                        b e c a           b  e c a                  b  e c o

   u s e           m e                        m e   

The memory clue for reading involves the word small use in the word because and the small word me in became and become. The person creates a sentence using the word use and because such as, "I use Tide because it cleans best." He or she also makes a connection between the pronoun me and the words become or became such as, "You will never become me". When the person is not able to remember which word is which, he or she can recall the mnemonic clue as a reminder.
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Richard Cooper