Problems with spelling?
If you have ever held a pen to write a note or put your fingers to a keyboard to send an email, then you have likely spelled a word incorrectly. It’s no surprise, assSpelling is a major stumbling point for people if all ages. But why is that?
For starters, English is a notoriously difficult language to learn, even for native speakers. While English usage has adapted to meet the needs of a modern society, English spelling is still rooted in antiquated language forms, so the way a word is pronounced isn’t necessarily reflected in the way that it is spelled, which creates unique spelling challenges for students.
But is correct spelling even that important? After all, spell-check programs abound, and online dictionaries our available at the click of a mouse.
Correct spelling might not even be that big of a deal considering that a study by English researchers 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 can unscramble the letters sew that the sentence can be understood.
But 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.
Digital communication is slowly replacing other forms of communications. We email and text message more than ever before. So, it should be no surprise that since children are the biggest users of online technology and since they communicate fluently in digital language, that they are the ones who have the most challenges using standard forms of English.
If online communication is the way of the future, and our eye can fix misspelled words, and there are programs to spell for us, why do we place such an emphasis on correct spelling?
For one thing, spell-check is never 100% reliable. As of this moment, technology isn’t everywhere. Students still need to have decent spelling skills to write exams or fill out job applications. Like it or not, people will make decisions about your intelligence based on how well you can spell.
In the classroom, poor spelling can ruin a well thought-out paragraph, causing the reader to fumble, halt, backtrack, and re-read, which can diminish from the overall meaning of the sentence. This is, of course, especially troublesome for students when that reader happens to be their teacher.
Until the time that spelling variants are accepted and online acronyms are accepted in more formal situations, students need to use whatever tools they can to help them remember how to spell words correctly.