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Should Kids Be Taught Spelling?

spelling check

Spell Check to the Rescue?

In the age of spell check, does spelling matter? That’s what some educators are wondering as they teach a generation of children who are growing up with Spell Check.

And as SFGate blogger AmyGraff points out, kids today have created their “own written language through Facebook and email. Their short-message format abandons grammar, syntax, and punctuation for the sake of brevity and slang.” Which means that spelling is lost in translation.

Plus, some schools even let students write term papers on computers with spell check. Graff notes that earlier this year the Oregon Department of Education announced that seventh-graders and high-school students can use spelling checkers when they take state writing tests.

In fact, fellow Strollerderby blogger Sandy Maple says her 10-year-old daughter’s school will “still teach spelling but will no longer test spelling.  They want to emphasize creative writing and correcting their spelling might inhibit that.  Stoopid.”

So why should kids bother to learn how to spell? Well, for one, spell check isn’t always reliable. Also, as a writer, I believe in the power of language and expression. I think good spelling skills contribute to reading comprehension and understanding.

What do you think? Should kids learn how to spell?

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Photo: flickr/VickyTH

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