With the prevalence of mobile devices and their predictive text and auto-spelling correct capabilities, we have all started to become more dependent on artificial intelligence to help us construct our words and even string our sentences.
I am guilty of it myself.
I almost never get to complete typing most words on my mobile devices because the letters are always filled in for me. One day when I wanted to write a note to my children’s teacher instead of sending an email, I froze for a few seconds because I could not remember how to spell ‘inconvenience’! From that day on, I remembered to make an effort to spell out the words, whether it was on the laptop or on my mobile devices.
Are the children also experiencing a similar problem?
As a school teacher, I’ve noticed how much spelling has deteriorated among our younger children. My most recent Primary Three English classes, one average-ability and one high-ability, both appeared to have problems with spelling. Despite being able to identify, explain and use a wider vocabulary when compared to their average peers, my high-ability students had problems spelling those words correctly. They also had problems spelling very commonly used words correctly. Some of these common words include – library, receive, important, attracted, address, disappear.
How can I help my child?
Using a quick search online, you will be able to find many suggestions on how to help children improve their spelling. One of the most common one it the ‘Look, Cover, Write, Check’ (LCWC) technique. It is also called the ‘Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check’ (LSCWC) technique. This is a very effective strategy, frequently used to teach spelling to children with dyslexia. As its name implies, the technique requires the learner to activate short-term memory to study the given word, cover it to try to recall. Then, write it down and check for mistakes. I prefer the second version of the technique as it requires the child to read out the word first. Some children are auditory learners i.e. their learning is stimulated by sound. Reading and hearing the words can aid in remembering. Do read the words out and let your child repeat after you if they are still weak in word recognition.
At I Can Write Too, the teaching of spelling will be incorporated into the curriculum, especially for the mid-primary levels. This is to ensure that the children will have a stronger foundation in the language before stepping into the even more rigorous and demanding stage of their primary school education.