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

Congress participants are currently voting to choose one of the six shortlisted schemes. These schemes are shown below in alphabetical order. See how they compare side-by-side. Keep following this page for further news on the outcome of the vote — an important decision, designed to achieve major improvements to our spelling system.

Congress participants have now voted to choose one of the six shortlisted schemes, namely Traditional Spelling Revised (TSR). The results were announced on 12th April 2021. See the Press Release. Download the Report of Voting as prepared by Civica Election Services.

There will now be a period of further consultation to assess the degree of support for the successful scheme, following which the Committee of the Society will consider the degree of assistance that it can offer in promoting the proposals. Keep following this page for further news on this important issue.


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.