Learning how to spell words is one of the most useful lifelong skills and it builds the basic foundation that all children will need throughout their education and life in general. Learning how to spell is very important for other basic skills, including writing and reading. These skills support children in achieving good results and progressing through various grades. What is more, being good at spelling may have an impact on the future careers of students.
One of the hot topics surrounding the education sector also relates to learning spelling in schools. The introduction of compulsory spelling tests for all key stage 2 pupils in England is expected to improve the literacy of students.
The new spelling tests are justified by making sure the students are prepared for the secondary school. This is expected to eventually improve the standards of learning and to raise England’s position in reading and writing. However, it has caused a number of negative responses in terms of being unnecessary and putting too much pressure on pupils, causing stress or even discriminating against students who might have special learning requirements caused my mental health.
Another point that some people make against spelling tests or even against teaching spelling in school is based on the irrelevance of learning how to spell in the age of technologies.
The rise of different learning technologies causes discussions on how they could be used to support education in schools. Some people see endless opportunities in how modern technologies could benefit education, while others only see the negatives associated with technologies or even believe that technology should be banned in schools. Talking about the relationship between spelling and modern technologies, most of us are familiar with ‘autocorrect’ on our smartphones or other online resources for checking spelling. Does that mean that that it is less important for students to learn spelling at school?
Having good spelling skills is just as important as it was before different technologies were available. Although technologies provide great alternative ways for practicing spelling, it should not be assumed that learning how to spell is less relevant nowadays. Mobile phones correct our spelling and if we are not sure how to spell something, it is easy to check it online. However, different learning technologies should be seen as opportunities for learning and practising spelling and we should not encourage students to view technology as a replacement for their own thinking as there will always be situations where technology might not be available.
It is clear that it is very important to learn how to spell and it should not be considered less important in the age of technology. However, it might be worth focusing more on teaching spelling in many different ways and helping students achieve high standards without causing unnecessary stress by making them take complicated tests for spelling.