International English Spelling Congress

The English Spelling Society in partnership with the American Literacy Council is sponsoring an International English Spelling Congress. Its purpose is to reach broad agreement on an updated English spelling system, to be used as an alternative to Traditional English Spelling – informally at first but in the hope that its merits will come to be recognised and accepted worldwide. The initial session of the Congress was held on 30 May 2018. The final session of the Congress was held on 28 January 2021. Watch it on YouTube.

If you are not familiar with the rationale for updating English spelling, please see other pages on this website. The Frequently Asked Questions is particularly recommended.

The Competition

After the first session of the Congress, authors were invited to submit their alternative spelling schemes for appraisal. Of those submitted, thirty five were found acceptable for submission to an Expert Commission, which has now produced for your review a shortlist of six schemes, ranging from the conservative to the radical.

In the coming weeks, there will be a vote among Congress participants to choose one of the schemes. To take part in the vote, you have to register, but it’s simple and free (deadline for new registrations: 20 February 2021).

The six shortlisted schemes are shown below in alphabetical order. See how they compare side-by-side. Which is your favorite and why? Take part in this important decision, designed to achieve major improvements to our spelling system and access to literacy.


A Simple Phonetic Respelling for the English Language. Proposed by Christian Siefkes.


A spelling system for English that is simple and phonetic. Proposed by J D Garcia.


Provides a predictable spelling scheme for words in the English language. Proposed by Richard Kilner.


Offers a simple way to transform English spelling into a logical system that is easy and quick to learn. Proposed by Richard Kilner.


A reform spelling system that makes English spelling simple and regular, while preserving continuity from traditional spelling. Proposed by Mark Petersen et al.

Traditional Spelling Revised

Seeks to identify the underlying rules of traditional spelling and to apply them consistently. Proposed by Stephen Linstead.


Page editor: S Linstead. Contact by email or form.
IESC Detailed Plans

What has happened so far, and what is coming next.