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The need for good spelling is a controversial topic, but not in the classroom

For many people, the ability to spell accurately is important and of equal importance is teaching children to spell correctly.

[subscription] In fact, the teaching of spelling has a long history, as evidenced by Quintilian the Roman rhetorician, who begins his …

[Education_HQ_Australia; Melbourne,_VIC,_AU; 2021-02-15]

Is spelling the bee-all and end-all of the HSC?

Unsurprisingly, the mechanics of writing have become the latest cudgel to be wielded in the culture wars.

The news this week that NSW students aren't being penalised for spelling errors in HSC English exams was received - and reported - in some quarters with all the panic and sensationalism you might expect.

[Canberra_Times,_The; Canberra,_ACT,_AU; 2021-02-12]


A speller for 100-plus languages in Microsoft.

At Microsoft Bing, our mission is to delight users everywhere with the best search experience. We serve a diverse set of customers all over the planet who issue queries in over 100 languages. In search we’ve found about 15% of queries submitted by customers have misspellings. When queries are misspelled, we match the wrong set of documents and trigger incorrect answers, which can produce a suboptimal results page for our customers.

[Microsoft_Research_Blog; Redmond,_WA,_US; 2021-02-08]

Why bother with the Orthography?

A great advertisement for a product is one that lures you into buying or using the product.

Anyone who has tried to read CHamoru tracts, like novenas and prayers, that were printed before the orthography was established, knows how daunting the pronunciation of words can be when spelling is not standardized. Nor do the major CHamoru dictionaries referenced today reflect a consistent application of the orthographic rules. This has added to our uncertainty about how to spell. People writing in the past have done their best. While not using standardized spelling, such efforts have nonetheless been extremely valuable for documenting the language. Now going forward, we can eliminate confusion by being consistent in our spelling.

[Guam_Daily_Post,_The; Tamuning,_GU,_US; 2021-02-07]

Is this the reason our kids can't spell?

HSC students aren't penalised for making basic grammar and spelling mistakes in their final English exam - and experts are calling for a change.

High school students are not penalised for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors when taking their HSC English exams, outraging experts. Students are currently graded on their understanding of the books, poems and literature they have been studying throughout the year.

[Mail_Online; London,_UK; 2021-02-07]


How do animals get their names?

Some people consider Geoffrey Chaucer the father of English literature. I doubt anyone thinks of him as the father of modern English spelling. He writes of “squyrelis & bestes smale of gentil kynde” in one of the first references to those ubiquitous rodents. Squirrels are native to the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa.

[Aiken_Standard; Aiken,_SC,_US; 2021-02-06]

Spoilt Or Spoiled? Irregular Verbs Explained

For most verbs in the English language, changing to past tense is as simple as adding ‘ed’ on the end. But then there’s a whole host of words that don’t conform to that rule.

It might surprise you to know that what we now call irregular verbs were actually once the common past tense of verbs, which made much more sense in older forms of English. So words like ate, drank and rode are remnants of these times. Other words like clamb (for climb) and chode (for chide) didn’t quite make the cut.

[Lifehacker; Surry_Hills,_NSW,_AU; 2021-02-01]

The books that help children learn to read that also come with helpful guidance for parents and carers

Bishop's Stortford College Prep School librarian Lizzie Hall writes about the magic of storytelling…

If your child is at the stage of learning to read in lockdown, fear not, there are so many materials out there for early readers that also provide guidance to parents and carers. Here are some reading schemes and resources suggestions to support your child as they acquire their reading wings and fly!

[Bishop's_Stortford_Independent; Bishop’s_Stortford,_UK; 2021-01-24]

BCSS crowns AMS 7th-grader as new spelling bee champion

Cartersville Mayor Matt Santini congratulates Adairsville Middle School seventh-grader Ethan Rollax as the event's champion as runner-up Damaya Norwood of Cass Middle School looks on.

Mrs. Sarju said she knows her son "worked hard" because he began practicing the words about a week and a half into the school year and learned one whole section of words and half of a second section. "I wanted him to learn all 4,000 [words], not just part of them," she said. "I told him, 'You don't know which word you're going to get.' He was not prepped for this, really and truly. I had second thoughts, but he told me, 'Don't worry, I'm going to do this, and I'll prove it to you.'"

[Daily_Tribune_News,_The; Cartersville,_GA,_US; 2021-01-24]

The words that went their own ways

How similarly-sounding words can come to have such different meanings.

A word with two or more different meanings is technically a polyseme. An English example is wood, which can refer to wood as a material as well as to a tree-covered area of land. Neck is also polysemous: it refers to the part of the anatomy which joins the head to the rest of the body; a particular part of certain garments; a narrow isthmus of land; and the neck of a bottle.

[New_European,_The; Norwich,_UK; 2021-01-23]

Phonics revolution: War of words over how to teach kids to read

"The answer to New Zealand's declining literacy rates isn't to tinker around the edges, it's to change the way in which reading is taught," Clothier said.

The Government is set to roll out 2.4 million copies of new phonics-based reading material to the nation's schools in an bid to arrest our declining literacy rates. But the move has sparked a war of words between academic experts who disagree whether it's the best way to teach kids to read. One fears the move is simply an "educational fad" and warns there's "no magic bullet".

[New_Zealand_Herald,_The; Auckland,_NZ; 2021-01-22]

McKinney ISD ‘elevating both languages’ at first districtwide Spanish spelling bee

McKinney ISD will host its first Spanish spelling bee this week. Winners will compete at a regional spelling bee in February.

“Spanish is being valued in our district,” Gonzalez said. “We’re elevating both languages. It truly goes hand in hand with what we’re trying to promote.” The students in grades 3 through 5 will verbally wrestle with words such as aizoáceo (aizoaceous), escenificación (staging) and organogénesis (organogenesis). Competitors had to study and memorize the spellings of 1,400 Spanish words for this occasion.

[Community_Impact; Pflugerville,_TX,_US; 2021-01-19]

Same Spelling, Different Meaning

Katherine Shurlds offers examples of how complicated the English language can be.

[audio] Some of the most difficult languages to learn include: Chinese, Finnish and Arabic. Although English isn’t on the list, it is still no cake-walk to learn. Languages can become difficult to learn for grammatical reasons, because of colloquial terms

[KUAF; Fayetteville,_AR,_US; 2021-01-19]

Ebenezer Middle School student wins spelling bee

Wren Pratt from Ebenezer Middle School won the Effingham County school district spelling bee and will represent the county at the region spelling bee to be held on Feb. 27.

[Savannah_Morning_News; Savannah,_GA,_US; 2021-01-18]

Among Us Impostor vs. Imposter: Why InnerSloth Spells It Different [sic]

In Among Us, the killer in the game is known as the Impostor. So, why does InnerSloth spell it that way, instead of spelling it as Imposter?

The reason for InnerSloth's Impostor spelling is actually pretty simple. That's the correct way to spell the word. Whether using it to explain why someone feels like a fraud (Impostor syndrome) to using it plurally to describe several wolves-in-sheep's-clothing (impostors), the word is typically spelled with an "o-r" at the end. The other spelling, "imposter," is technically an incorrect spelling that's been used so often for hundreds of years that it's now just an excepted [sic] variation. This is actually quite common in the English language.

[ScreenRant; St_Laurent,_Quebec,_CA; 2021-01-18]

Spelling matters!

Standardized spelling is essential, especially since our children are learning to speak, read and write our Mother Tongue as a second language in school.

“Do you really think that changing the spelling of a word with one or two letters can transform its meaning and change a person’s perspective?” My response is yes, absolutely. The words we use and the way we spell them create context and influence meaning.

[Guam_Daily_Post,_The; Tamuning,_GU,_US; 2021-01-17]

How the English language slipped up when it came to spaghetti

Like most British people of my age, I first encountered spaghetti in a tin, in tomato sauce.

When I was a child, spaghetti on toast was one of my favourite breakfasts.I write was here rather than were, because English speakers decided long before I was born that the word spaghetti was singular. We say “this spaghetti is good”, not “these spaghetti are good”. This is in spite of the fact that the pasta itself – and so the word – first came to Britain from Italy, and that in Italian spaghetti is plural.

[New_European,_The; Norwich,_UK; 2021-01-15]

Our year of pandemic words

THOUGH THESE FIRST FEW DAYS have already given us quite a year, let us not forget 2020 and the words that categorized it.

Oxford [University Press] listed forty-seven WOTYs. The top sixteen, arranged chronologically by when each spiked in lookups, were “bushfire,” “impeachment,” “acquittal,” “coronavirus,” “covid-19,” “lockdown,” “social distancing,” “reopening” (if only), “Black Lives Matter,” “cancel culture,” “bipoc,” “mail-in,” “Belarusian,” “moonshot,” “superspeader,” and “net zero.”

[Columbia_Journalism_Review; New_York,_NY,_US; 2021-01-14]

The best electronic dictionary

Considerations when choosing electronic dictionaries

[review] Electronic dictionaries have an extensive database and an array of tools to make searches and learning easier. Our top pick, the Franklin Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus, has phonetic spell correction, entertaining word games, a crossword solver, and a number of other impressive extras.

[Chicago_Tribune; Chicago,_IL,_US; 2021-01-13]

A Word, Please

The word ‘manakin’ [sic] crosses this editor’s eyes

This happened to me recently while I was reading an article about a study on the efficacy of cloth masks for COVID-19 protection. Researchers tested masks by putting them on mannequins, the article reported. Except the illustration that accompanied the article didn’t call them mannequins. In the images, the dummies were referred to multiple times as “manikins.”

[Los_Angeles_Times; Los_Angeles,_CA,_US; 2021-01-12]

50 of the Most Commonly Misspelled Words in English

We all make spelling mistakes from time to time — in fact, “misspelled” is itself often misspelled as “mispelled.”

It’s easy to get many words wrong, particularly homophones. These are words that sound the same but have different spellings. For example, “there,” “their,” and “they’re” are all pronounced the same way but have different meanings and are often confused.

[24/7_Wall_St; New_York,_NY,_US; 2021-01-10]

English learning at home trend with Monkey Stories app in Southeast Asia

Monkey Stories is the optimal solution for Indonesian parents with children aged 2-10, which helps their children learn English at home and comprehensively develop 4 skills of Listening - Speaking - Reading - Writing.

"Monkey Stories" is an application that proudly helps children excel in English before the age of 10; the app is developed by Early Start, an English-software-for-children publishing company based in the U.S. Having been in the market for more than 6 years, with the Monkey brand, Early Start has won a number of international awards: First Prize of Global Innovation through Science and Technology in the US, First Prize of Design at Asian Entrepreneurship Award in Japan, Gold ICT Award in Brunei. Additionally, the company apps have, multiple times, been on the top-trending list on Play Store and App Store.

[PR_Newswire; Chicago,_IL,_US; 2021-01-07]

Homeschool essentials: The best learning resources for teaching English, history and geography

With the stay at home order in place, these are the educational tools you need to make teaching from home a breeze.

For younger children, Fun Phonics has made its digital products free for home learning which includes lettering, flashcards, word searches, objectives, name labels and spelling cards. It ranges from children who are just developing key speaking words and vocabulary up until kids who can identify words using a digraph – when two letters put together to make a sound such as "ph".

[Independent; London,_UK; 2021-01-05]

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