Is it OK to leave bad spelling un-checked?

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 17th, 2012 at 11:15 AM

I was a little surprised at an idea put forward by a teacher on BBC Breakfast the other morning. He was being interviewed because he believes we shouldn’t get too heavy on children’s spelling mistakes.

His reasoning is that a child could write an excellent essay, but it may be littered with spelling mistakes, and if they get it back covered in red corrections, their confidence will be undermined. I find it particularly baffling given the concern about literacy levels in the UK.

While I understand his point I’d argue that children who leave school with poor spelling will most certainly have their confidence undermined when they start to apply for jobs, or even when they land one.

According to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) the UK youth unemployment rate for March 2012 stood at 21.9%. As in France, Sweden, Poland, Ireland, and Italy, one in five young people is out of work in the UK.

Competition for jobs at any age is tough but getting doors to open when you have no work experience is increasing difficult.

According to TheLadders research, recruiters spend an average of six seconds before making a decision about a candidate. *

Imagine if someone sends you a CV and a covering letter riddled with spelling mistakes, what are you going to think?

Most likely you’ll assume the applicant lacks attention to detail, they didn’t care enough about getting the job to check their application  before submitting it, or that they are poorly educated.

Whether you assume one or all of those things, it’s hardly going to inspire you to invite them for interview is it? And you wouldn’t be alone.

So what happens to their confidence and self-worth as each rejection letter flops through their letter box?

However well intended, I think that leaving bad spelling unchecked is unfair and doesn’t set children up to have the best possible chances in later life.

*source: Business Insider 




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Hello. I'm Elaine, I'm a copywriter and this is my blog.

It's mostly about words and writing - things that inspire me, entertain me, and make me smile. Sometimes it's about things that horrify me so much I want to scream and shout!

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