Saturday, May 07, 2011

Using Spell-checkers

Should spell-checkers be allowed in tests? is not just about tests but offers sound general principals for using spell-check programs. At the The Spelling Blog, Johanna Stirling writes about,

You have to be a halfway decent speller anyway to be able to use a spell-checker. Your attempt has to be close enough to be recognised by the software and where there is an option, you have to be able to choose the right one. You also have to cope with homophones and other real-word errors on your own. See Spell checkers, how useful are they? for more on spell-checkers and an activity to train learners to use them well.
Autocorrect is more of a problem for both learning and meaning. This "corrects" your spelling automatically without you noticing it. So there is no opportunity to learn. Autocorrect may even turn it into the wrong word - not the meaning you intend - but it will be spelled correctly!

For fun and examples of spell-check correction problems, read Ode to a Spell Checker. Can you find and correct all the mistakes spell check made?

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