Wednesday, May 18, 2005

In Defens of Pore Speling

New this week includes stories about the government’s instructions to people marking the national English tests for 14-year olds (the very same test my year 9s took two weeks ago). ‘The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority confirmed that it had asked its examiners not to deduct marks for incorrect spelling in one of the two writing papers which make up the test.’ Further, the story states that across the entire test (two reading papers and two writing papers), spelling accounts for just four marks out of 100 (of which, 50 marks are for the two writing parts). The longer writing paper gives 14 marks for composition and effect, eight for sentence structure and punctuation, and eight for text structure and organisation.

Is it just me, or is it concerning that a topic as important as spelling receives no mention on the mark scheme? Perhaps in a year or so, we can just have kids submit their papers by Instant Messenger or text them in from their mobiles.


Blogger graycie said...

After teaching English (literature, grammar, andwriting) for more years than I care to think about, I learned that there are Them Who Can Spell, and Them Who Can't. The only change I have seen is that the poor spelling of Them Who Can't rubs off on Those Of Us Who Used To Be Able To. Much more important in writing is to construct your piece in a logical and orderly 'flow.' Expressive language contruction (or writier's voice) is next. mechanics would be more important if God hadn't created spell- and grammar- checkers.

1:29 AM  

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