Are competitions like Spelling B likely to lose their lustre in the coming years? Probably no, but the way technology is changing life around us, they may come under a serious threat.
Case in point, the auto correct or the intuitive features in most smart phones and tablets today. The minute the kids become older and start sharing or using these devices to communicate with friends and family through text, mails or other apps available in the technological world you’ll discover that 8 year olds are very adept and nimble in figuring out that through this feature they don’t have to concentrate and get the correct spelling. To me this is one of the few instances where technology can be defeating.
While we cannot wish technology away, here are some recommended steps:
1. Switch off the auto spell or intuitive feature in the phones / tablets
2. Encourage the child to spell out the word aloud before they punch it in
3. Reading is a must as it strengthens word formation. Encourage them to read out loud as they pick up reading. It helps in correcting the pronunciation as well.
4. Popular games like ATLAS played with the spelling version. Various renditions of ATLAS can be created depending upon interest. For example Atlas around car models works wonderfully well with boys.
5. Games like Name / Place / Animal / Thing to be played with a piece of pen and paper and extra marks for correct spellings
Critics may question the need for correct spellings as well as the need for traditional writing and a good penmanship, but then again, these are basic fundamentals which we have to help get the child right.
The points above can definitely aid in learning even though there will be a push back after a couple of attempts.