Dispelling Spelling Assumptions

Technology and Spelling, Present and Future

Authored by: Shane Templeton

International Handbook of Literacy and Technology

Print publication date:  April  2006
Online publication date:  January  2013

Print ISBN: 9780805850871
eBook ISBN: 9780203929131
Adobe ISBN: 9781135609580

10.4324/9780203929131.ch23

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Abstract

A broad perspective on literacy and language in the 21st century suggests increasingly sophisticated spell checkers, grammar checkers, voice recognition software, and the reality of multiple literacies that cross all manner of contexts and formats. One might wonder if we are at last on the cusp of a new age in which those who are literate in English or who aspire to literacy might finally be released from the need to master what many believe is an illogical, inconsistent, and irrational spelling system. The first assertion is most certainly true; the second, almost certainly, is not. In order to effectively ground an investigation of spelling and technology, two common assumptions about spelling need to be dispelled: First, because the spelling system is illogical, it can only be mastered through drill and rote memorization; second, spelling is primarily a skill for writing (Templeton, 2003).

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