What is happening to spelling in primary grades?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by TeachCafe, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Jan 17, 2019

    This is definitely true. I even hear adults say that they end up using easier words so they can avoid words they don't know how to spell!! I remember in high school (over 20 years ago) that I spelled the word "grammar" wrong on an assignment. I tended to write very quickly and did not take the time to review my work. I just wanted to get everything written before the bell so I didn't have to take work home. The teacher wrote the correct spelling on my paper (IN BIG RED LETTERS) and told me that now I will never forget how to spell it!! She was right!!! Because she pointed it out so clearly I never forgot!
     
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  2. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Jan 17, 2019

    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
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  3. showmelady

    showmelady Companion

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    Feb 12, 2019

    I remember how it was when I was in elementary school, and the one thing I think is different is that we LEARNED the words. Not so much by 'sounding them out', but by actually seeing the words and remembering how they were spelled.

    I think the English language is said to be one of the hardest to learn, and I think that is because of all the 'tricks' of spelling and pronouncing words that just confuse kids. In some things that students write I do see the phonics working, because they spell words the way they have been taught that the word SOUNDS.

    It is strange to see how some of the kids spell, but what is more weird to me is to read articles and stories in various media (print as well as online) and see the mistakes made by people who are PROFESSIONAL writers. (by professional, I mean that they get paid to write) Spell check has not helped some of those writers at all.

    Unfortunately, I think that spelling is not the only subject to be suffering. Handwriting is awful, most kids cannot read or write cursive. While that is OK in some cases it seems sad that the new generations will not even be able to go to archives and museums and READ the documents that formed our country. As for math, if all the calculators in the world suddenly lost powers, we would be in dire shape! When I see middle school student counting on their FINGERS it makes me cringe!
     
  4. 3Sons

    3Sons Connoisseur

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    Feb 13, 2019

    Phonics combined with a lot of reading (obviously, of writing that's correct) is necessary to improve spelling.

    English is quite difficult, but not so much as Japanese and Chinese. Those require years of very intense study. As far as written language, my favorite is Korean -- a number of years back they created hangul, which corresponds exactly to the sounds in the spoken language and which minimizes the number of characters needed (imagine, for example, if -tion/-sion were a single character made of parts that represented the "sh", "o", and "n" sounds as modules that would remain consistent in all other words).

    Hangul can be learned in one morning. I know, because on a trip to Korea I did it. I spent about 2 hours studying and then took a long walk around Incheon for another few hours practicing. While this was a lot of fun, I realized that since I didn't understand what any of the Korean words actually meant, it would have very limited use. :D
     
  5. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Feb 13, 2019

    English has also become harder for Americans because their pronunciation of words is getting worse and worse. Spelling doesn't reflect those changes.
     
  6. 3Sons

    3Sons Connoisseur

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    Feb 13, 2019

    Hmm. It's possible, I've just never considered that. Is there something specific that leads you to this?
     
  7. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Feb 13, 2019

    No studies, just listening to the pronunciation decline in the community and in media.

    One of my tricks to help with certain words when I was learning to spell was to pronounce certain words differently in my head when I was going to spell them. For example, while I would speak and read Wednesday properly, when I would spell it I would pronounce the 'd' in my head. It was part of my strategy. Another example for proper word usage would be emphasizing the vowel in then and than. That mostly came from my teachers who would emphasize it because they knew it could be a stumbling block. For some it might be a spelling issue, but for others it is a usage issue. These things cross over now.

    Since many kids learn their language from listening and schools don't push accuracy in much of anything anymore, language is degrading.

    BTW, our ESOL students actually get better language instruction than our native speakers. They get explicit grammar and spelling instruction. Our native speakers are expected to pick up grammar and are given words to memorize. I'm not saying all districts are like this, but that is the case in mine.
     
  8. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Feb 13, 2019

    Due to the structure required for my classroom, I am unable to separately teach spelling (I teach mid-elementary grade), although am trying to find ways to incorporate spelling into ELA Rotations.
     

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