Should spelling be made simpler?

should-spelling-be-made-simplerA new initiative aims to make the traditional English spelling system easier.

For any child, learning to spell can be a daunting task – and even more so for pupils with learning difficulties like dyslexia. That’s why a new initiative proposed by the English Spelling Society (ESS) sets out to make it easier to learn to spell.

At a recent conference, the ESS spoke about plans to host the first International Spelling Congress later this year, where delegates will be able to vote on the revised English spelling system.

The idea behind the new move was sparked after a study published last year revealed that 40 per cent of people in the UK rely on the autocorrect function on their computers and smartphones to monitor their spelling.

Working alongside the American Literacy Council, the ESS’s proposed spelling system would make words with silent letters, like those in ‘knee’ and ‘dumb’, a thing of the past.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Stephen Linstead – chairman of the ESS – said: “The intention is that the preferred new system should run alongside traditional spelling as an informal alternative and, if it gains sufficient support among English speakers, would eventually replace it.”

It is thought that changing the way certain difficult words are spelt will enable children to learn to read quickly.

The new initiative is sure to cause some objections, with many parents in favour of the traditional English spelling system that stands today.
However, parents of children with dyslexia may be concerned about the difficulty of certain words in the current system. In this case, a number of supportive teaching methods – such as assistive technologies – are available. These are specially designed to make reading and spelling a fun, easy process through a series of educational games and activities.

(Credit image: Thinkstock/iStock)

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