Issues with Spelling

* Beware there are deliberate spelling errors in this post

Spelling is a major stumbling point for students of all ages. Why though?

First, English is a notoriously difficult language to learn, even for native speakers. While English usage has developed to meet the needs of a modern society, English spelling is still rooted in antiquated language forms, so the weigh a word is pronounced isn’t necessarily reflected in the way that it is spelled, which creates interesting/difficult spelling challenges for students.

How important is spelling anyway? After all, we have spell-check and dictionaries to utilize with a click of a button.

Perhaps correct spelling may not be that significant after all. A study was conducted that found that letter order in spelling is not really that important. As long as the first and last letters are in the right place, the eye easily unscrambles the letters and can understand a sentence.

Even with the abundance of spell-checkers and the eye’s ability to unscramble letters, spelling still poses a problem.

Teachers in England say that bad spelling occurs so frequently among first year university students that they are considering adopting a system where misspelled words are labeled as variant not wrong.

Furthermore, digital communication is slowly replacing other forms of communications. Today we email and text message more than ever. So, it shouldn’t bee a suprise that since children are the biggest users of online technology that they are the ones who have the most difficulty using standard forms of English.

If we have so many resources to fix our spelling and not worry about it through advances in technology, why is spelling still taught? Why is it still taught throughout elementary school?

For one thing, spell-check is not reliable. There are mistakes in this post that spell-check did not catch. Spell-check may pick up that you spelled the word “there” wrong (e.g. “thear”) but maybe the “there” that you needed was actually “their.”

Likewise, technology is improving and expediting our lives in many ways, but there are still moments when we must use pens and pencils. Yes, actually physically writing! Students need to have decent spelling skills to right exams or fill out job applications in a restaurant or store they want to work at over the summer. No matter how you feel on the matter, people assume spelling is related to intelligence. Riting something with a spelling error on an application is not going to help your chances of being hired.

Until we hit an era where spelling variants are accepted and online acronyms are accepted in more formal situations, students must use whatever tools they can to help them remember how to spell words korrectly.

We’ll look at some tips next time.

*Did you find all the spelling errors in this post? There are six.

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