Jan 10th 2011

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Spelling Correction and Learning to Spell

When we were children, just beginning to learn to read, write and spell words, we had to rely on teachers and parents to review our work and correct it. Quite similarly, children, students, non-native speakers, and people with learning disabilities such as dyslexia, each for their specific purpose, may all require such assistance in order to spell a word or construct a sentence.
Today, when one wants to know how a word is spelled, one usually uses a computer. This sort of shift is having an important effect on the process of learning how to write and spell. It is true that for the purpose of reviewing a text, spell correctors and grammar checkers can be invaluable. Tools like these are highly available. They can be either accessed online, as in the case of online dictionaries or an online spell check, or built into a client’s word processor. The writers, for their part, can search for the tools and develop the techniques that they are comfortable with and which are better suited for them.
Now, apart from proofing a text, tools like a spell corrector can also be utilized for the purpose of improving writing skills. When we think about it more generally, we see the potential such tools hold in enabling new approaches for learning language. This is true because, ultimately, to write and to spell are personal abilities, and a major advantage of these tools is their potential capacity for personalization. A personalized environment lets the writer become a learner, by providing practice tools that help ensure they can work on what matters as often as possible.
Still, along with the technological enhancements for creating solid texts, there are disadvantages in this method. One can perhaps rely on a spell corrector when examining a text, but what about the text’s clarity and its coherency? These features of language are without a doubt no less essential and evoke the need for experience and interaction. In addition, as people rely more and more on correction tools, they no longer feel the need to know how to spell by themselves. Using the corrections but neglecting to practice and acquire a personal skill undermines the learning process. So, in conclusion we must admit that there is no substitute for learning for ourselves. But there is great value in aids, on the condition that they are used sensibly.

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5 Responses to “Spelling Correction and Learning to Spell”

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