Thursday, 10 July 2014

How good does our spelling really need to be?

The Twitter Spelling Test
A learner in my class was complaining about our upcoming spelling test. 
"We don't need to know how to spell anymore", he explained, "spellcheck does it for us!" 
This may be the case, however there are many spelling errors which spellcheck doesn't pick up, often because they are both actually words. 
For example:
Lose vs Loose
Their vs. There vs. They're
Choose vs. Chose
Conscious vs Conscience
Whose vs. Who's
Fare vs. Fair vs. Fear
I must admit though, I did have to hide my embarrassment at my misspelling of a few of the words on this test from The Oatmeal as originally I only scored 80%! Knowing which few I'd possibly got wrong, I thankfully scored 100% on my second attempt. 
For me, this proved that my learner was correct, even I rely on spellcheck more often than not. 
Perhaps it is more the need to teach proper grammar and contextual language which is often lacking with our learners (and ourselves). 
I know that I cringe when I see people use words incorrectly in public forums of facebook or twitter, or even worse, the newspaper!  

Try the test for yourself and let me know how well you fare?
Also, interested to hear (not hair or hare) peoples ideas on spelling and grammar instruction. 

1 comment:

  1. I love the blog post. Scored 100%. I think it's due to my perfectionist streak. On social media I only have a problem with poor grammar or spelling when people are calling out others on their mistakes! It really grinds my gears. In the workplace however I associate poor grammar with a lack of professionalism (this may be unfair) and I know others who feel the same. For this reason I feel it's important for professional communication to contain minimal errors to avoid distraction from the message or idea. Perhaps over time we will all become a bit more relaxed about this. However from what I've seen in HR, spelling mistakes (for example in a CV) can affect employability, and that may be a good reason to learn!