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To Spell or Not to Spell? That is the question!

Every year, I have to read many essays as both a private instructor and a public-school English teacher. It amazes me how many students do not spell correctly at the secondary level. I am not talking about a minor error that we all seem to make. I am talking about major spelling errors that should be learned in elementary school. For example, students often misspell the word “friendship.” I’ve seen it spelled “freindship” and “frendship”. It is clear that a simple spelling rule has been missed!

I realize that technology is playing a large part in creating confusion among children. Even now, as I try to type these words the wrong way to demonstrate errors, my computer wants to correct them for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love technology. However, there are educational requirements that can’t be overlooked, and spelling is one of them.

Now, we have arrived at the question. Should spelling be overlooked? NO! Please continue to teach your child to spell. Technology is a tool. It is not a replacement for true understanding. Proper spelling without the use of technology is needed daily. It is hard to believe, but there are times when the computer is wrong, and I have had to rely on my knowledge of spelling, grammar, and capitalization rules to complete tasks. Below is a list of the most common spelling errors that occur in my middle school classroom. Students are never too old to learn something new!

  1. Use i before e, except after c, or when sounding like "a" as in "neighbor" and "weigh."

  2. To make a word plural, if the word ends with a consonant and y, change the y to an i and add es. Example: “baby” plural is “babies”

  3. Drop the final e in a word before adding a suffix beginning with a vowel (a, e, i, o, u) but not before a suffix beginning with a consonant.

  4. X never follows an S such as in the word excided or excellent.

  5. The word “all” when written alone has two L’s. When used as a prefix, only one L is necessary such as in the words almost, also, always. Etc.

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