How Important is Spelling?

Do your students think spell-check will do all of the work? How important is spelling in the real world compared to in the classroom?
This article by BBC: Spelling Mistakes Cost Millions in Online Sales is fascinating: “An online entrepreneur says that poor spelling is costing the UK millions of pounds in lost revenue for internet businesses.” Like any of our “Something to Talk About” suggestions, you don’t need to use the whole article to talk about this issue in class. You can share the first few paragraphs or even just the quote above. You can also spin the topic after introducing it. Instead of sales and buyers, what about grades and teachers? How important is spelling to teachers? What about employers? If your students don’t pay enough attention to spelling, this statistic might convince them of its importance.

Here are some ideas to get the conversation started after introducing the topic:

  • How important is spelling in your native language?
  • Do you double check your spelling?
  • Do you think employers should be concerned about poor spelling?
  • How much do you rely on spellcheckers?
  • Has SMS caused people to care less about spelling and formatting? What is the future of spelling?
  • Is it important to learn spelling differences in British/American/Canadian/Australian English?

While our Something to Talk About suggestions are useful for getting your students involved in a group or pair discussion or debate, the topics, articles, and videos can also be used if you are looking for something for your students to blog/Skype/or write an opinion essay about.

Thanks to twitter friend @sandymillan for tweeting a link to this article today!


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