Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bench Talk: With Spell Check, Is it really Necessary to Learn to Spell?

(Carolin) I guess Cathy has no idea what to talk about today. And I woke up with a toothache so I don't really feel like doing anything so I will leave the conversation to Sunshine.

(Cathy) Carolin, sorry you have a toothache. Does this mean you will be seeing K at the dentist soon? Feel better Carolin. Sorry I didn't see K today. But still have a toothache

About Bench Talk, I finally thought of a topic for discussion.

By grade three I was told by my son's teacher that the focus was no longer on spelling properly. The focus was to be on 'content'. As kids type on computers, (what ever happened to cursive writing??? I know, another topic!) they have the use of spellcheck. So, teachers want the kids to focus more on the detail of their writing, rather than spelling. What do you think?

When I was talking to the Vice Principal at the public school in our area last year (when we were considering moving the little one to a new school), she did say they do not do spelling tests and that spelling is no longer marked. I have mixed feelings on the subject. But it is VERY important that the kids learn to spell and have good grammar. They need these skills for when they are adults and in the work force. With the Internet our way of communicating has changed and we are required to write (type) just about everything. If we want others to understand us then we need to be able to spell and use proper grammar.

Both my kids know cursive writing. Little Miss Sunshine is still in the process of learning and practicing but she has picked it up quite well.

Spelling, that's a whole other issue. I have always been a terrible speller. I think that some people are good spellers and others, are not. I think that it depends on how you learn and how our brain works. I have become much better since the kids were born because there was a stage where we were spelling words that we did not want them to understand and also they are always asking me how to spell a word. I actually think that what I got better at was spelling the words out loud not necessarily learning how to spell words that I have a tendency of getting wrong. Spelling will come over time and they will either be great spellers or adequate spellers but I agree that teaching a child how to add relevant content is really important. It makes them think and stretch their minds. Both my girls had weekly spelling tests from grade one up to grade five. Though the little one has had her list of words reduced and I don't think she has ever passed a test, I still find her a pretty good speller. Also both girls learned cursive writing in grade three and in grade four are expected to only write in cursive. Again the little ones cursive writing is very nice. The teenagers is also nice when she takes her time.

I am really happy that computers have spell check, however even with that feature I still find (or rather I have been told in no uncertain terms)(hmmm, I wonder by whom?) that I still manage to make my fair share of mistakes. How many did you find this time?(do you really want to know? I just finished editing and I am laughing. One of my points is that spell check is ok, however it does not fix grammar mistakes. For example, using the proper spelling of know verses no, or where verses were!!!) I am not good at spelling but have found that spell check has helped. Over time when it is the same words I spell wrong eventually through spell check I am now able to spell the word correctly.
I know my spelling and grammar are bad, but I do try. I think for me I am always in a rush and don't take the time to proof my work. I am counting on my fellow bloggers to do that for me. I do know that I will correct an error on the others work when I catch them. In other words I am expecting them to have my back!(I've got all of your backs, as long as you don't mind. I have to admit, one of the things I enjoy about our blog is the work I do in the background. I find you ladies have such interesting things to say when I cannot think of a thing. So, I'm glad to be able to "play" with our blog.)
Here is another interesting point to ponder. Language is fluid. It has changed over the centuries and with that change anthropologists and sociologists are able to track society. One day, many years from now, maybe there will be only one way to spell.....there!

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