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6-year-old Indian girl creates world record by reciting 10 longest English words

Praanvi Gupta displays awesome word power and enters the International Book of Records.

A six-year-old Dubai pupil has not only made her parents and school proud but also her country India because of her amazing word power. Praanvi Gupta, an Indian national, has become the youngest in the world to recite 10 longest English words, along with their spellings. She has bagged the title "Fastest to recite 10 longest English words and their spellings by a kid" and has entered the International Book of Records. She recited the 10 words with their spellings, including the longest word in English language, comprising 45 alphabets, in just 81 seconds.

[Khaleej_Times; Dubai,_AE; 2021-08-09]

Why is the English language so weird and inconsistent?

Blame the printing press.

When I started learning the Irish language, I was quickly blown away by how simple and logical it was. Which sounds weird, because you frequently encounter words like "chomharthaíochta" and "admhálacha." But while those spellings might seem jarring or overwhelming, at least the words are defined by consistent rules. Once you learn the different letter combinations, you find that they're pronounced the same every time.

[Boing_Boing; Mill_Valley,_CA,_US; 2021-08-06]

Why our kids can’t read: it’s the ideology, stupid

English teaching underwent a dramatic and far-reaching revolution in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

It was a progressive, Rousseauian approach based on the assumption that learning to read was as natural as learning to talk. The whole-language model was adopted to teach children to read, and standard English was seen as elitist, obsolete and guilty of ignoring working-class and migrant dialects. As for writing, teachers were told the focus should be on the child’s creation of meaning and that correcting faulty spelling, punctuation and grammar stifled creativity, spontaneity and imagination.

[Australian,_The; Sydney,_NSW,_AU; 2021-07-29]

North-south divide no more!

Scientists reveal how pronunciation of words in south-east England have been slowly replacing those in north for decades... with everyone set to talk the same in 45 years.

The research released today comes after experts from the Universities of Cambridge and Portsmouth built a physics model to determine the future of the English language in England. The model showed the south eastern pronunciation of words has been slowly overtaking northern pronunciations for decades now. As a result, it will continue to do so and within 45 years south eastern English pronunciations will dominate the UK.

[Mail_Online; London,_UK; 2021-07-28]

Typos, tricks and misprints

Why is English spelling so weird and unpredictable? Don’t blame the mix of languages; look to quirks of timing and technology.

The most comprehensive description of its spelling – the Dictionary of the British English Spelling System by Greg Brooks (2015) – runs to more than 450 pages as it enumerates all the ways particular sounds can be represented by letters or combinations of letters, and all the ways particular letters or letter combinations can be read out as sounds.

[Aeon; London,_UK; 2021-07-26]

Phonemic awareness and phonics for learners of every age

Phonological and phonemic awareness and phonics are widely recognized as essential building blocks of early literacy instruction, but they can also eliminate barriers for older students who are struggling with reading and writing.

[Smart_Brief; Washington,_DC,_US; 2021-07-26]

Universities will be forced to deduct marks for poor written English in students' work and will face tough sanctions if they don't

Universities will be required to teach students 'relevant skills under proposals. If 'students not penalised for poor written English' institutions would break rules. It also says that universities may be in breach of their registration conditions.

Lord Wharton, the chair of OfS, said: 'Reliable and effective assessment practices are essential if degrees are to remain credible. Clearly, effective academic writing requires good spelling, punctuation and grammar from all.' 'We are currently consulting on rigorous new requirements designed to drive up quality. Alongside this we are specifically examining the use of 'inclusive' assessment practices. The OfS won't make any excuses for vigorously regulating universities offering low quality courses that do not offer value for money for students and taxpayers.' 'Where quality is low, my message to these institutions is simple. You must improve. And if you do not, the OfS is ready to intervene.'

[Mail_Online; London,_UK; 2021-07-25]

First Black student wins 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee

Dr. Jessica Johnson - Guest Column

When Zaila’s historic victory was announced, many people instantly thought of “Akeelah and the Bee” simply because we have never had a Black American Scripps winner. But Zaila told reporters that she was thinking of a spelling bee trailblazer whose story is not well-known, MacNolia Cox. Cox was a 13-year-old Black girl from Akron, Ohio, who competed in the National Spelling Bee competition in 1936. Racial resentment from the bee’s White, southern judges prevented her from having a fair chance to win. The fact that Zaila had done her research on Cox, in addition to studying over 10,000 complex words seven hours a day, is equally impressive.

[Lima_Ohio; Lima,_OH,_US; 2021-07-23]

The decay of the art of lying, or homonyms and their kin

Here we are interested in one question only, to wit—why so many obviously different words are not distinguished in pronunciation, or, to change the focus of the enquiry, why language, constantly striving for the most economical and most perfect means of expression (or so it seems), has not done enough to get rid of those countless ambiguities.

[OUP_Blog; Oxford,_UK; 2021-07-21]

Salt Spring Literacy Summer Camp Begins July 26

Preparations are in high gear for this year’s staging of the annual Salt Spring Literacy Summer camp, which is being spearheaded by the St. James Police Community Safety and Security Branch (CSSB). Some 100 children between the ages of six and 17 years are expected to benefit from the camp, which will include virtual classes and field trips.

[Jamaica_Information_Service; Kingston,_JM; 2021-07-21]

What a ride it’s been for spelling bee champion Zaila Avant-garde

She traveled cross-country, has been on all the morning shows, to Walt Disney World and in parades.

“It feels really good [to receive so much recognition],” Zaila told The Undefeated. “I’m having a lot of fun. I was a bit surprised. I actually can’t quite figure it out. I didn’t think people were too interested in a spelling bee. I was looking at it like, no one compares it to high-action movies. So, yes, I was surprised.” To prepare for the bee, Zaila practiced spelling for seven hours a day, which she said was made possible by being homeschooled, which keeps her studying six days a week.

[Undefeated,_The; Burbank,_CA,_US; 2021-07-20]

Zaila Avant-garde Talks About How She Came To Her Spelling Success

Zaila Avant-garde, the first African American winner of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, talked about how she got started in competitive spelling and what she has planned for the future.

"The idea of fun is kind of subjective. I sometimes would, like, bore my parents with my (unintelligible). And I found this new root, and it's going to connect perfectly with this word or something like that, which is like super boring to most people or maybe a lot. Oh, who knows? I don't quite know what's boring to who. But the thing that's super exciting to me about spelling is, like, learning language patterns or just rules and also roots. I just love learning about languages and also kind of like a good segway, I should say, into, like, learning about different, which is something I'm super interested in."

[GBP; Atlanta,_GA,_US; 2021-07-18]

I Ran The Classroom Spelling Bee For 20 Years. Here’s What Needs To Change.

Zaila Avant-garde should not be the exception.

The first National Bee was in 1925. This historic win — after only one other Black student, Jamaican-born Jody-Anne Maxwell, in 1998 — highlighted how narrow the road is to this competition and how inequitable the access is for many minorities, especially those without an infrastructure of support.

[Huffington_Post; New_York,_NY,_US; 2021-07-16]

Teach phonics in schools to help students master English

Three generations of citizens have graduated from our high schools with substandard spelling ability and weaknesses in writing ability. By now, most teachers grounded in phonics have retired.

[Letters] The best spellers [...] are those who were taught pure phonics, sounding out words, which was the universal standard until the mid-’50’s when our educational establishment inexplicably abandoned it in favor of the unproven, newfangled notion called “whole word recognition.” Correct spelling was de-emphasized as well. Emphasis was put on “context” and the vague hope that, uncorrected, kids would magically become good spellers over time.

[Chicago_Sun-Times; Chicago,_IL,_US; 2021-07-14]

Zaila Avant-garde – 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee champ – stands where Black children were once kept out

When Zaila Avant-garde, 14, won the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee on July 8, 2021, she became the first Black American to win in the competition’s history. Shalini Shankar, a scholar of spelling bees, breaks down the importance of this historical moment.

In her post-win interview, she noted using commercial word lists from a company called “Spell-Pundit,” created by former elite spellers, which according to them allowed her to study 13,000 words per day. This is the kind of edge that one needs to win a bee today, and it is fantastic that she was able to acquire these products to aid in her successful preparation. Ensuring that others with raw talent like hers have access to paid coaching resources is vital to continued diversity in this field.

[Conversation,_The; London,_UK; 2021-07-11]

The reading framework: teaching the foundations of literacy

Guidance for schools to meet existing expectations for teaching early reading.

This guidance is for: • teachers • school leaders • reading and literacy leads • governing bodies • ITT providers

[Education,_Dept_for; London,_UK; 2021-07-10]

Zaila Avant-garde, 14, becomes first Black US student to win Scripps National Spelling Bee

Zaila also holds three Guinness world records for basketball dribbling, and says ‘spelling is really a side thing I do’

Her interest in competitive spelling came much later in life when she was 12, she says. She had been training for the competition by prepping for at least seven hours a day. Talking about the long prep hours, she said: “I have some suspicions that maybe it’s a bit less than what some spellers do.”

[Independent; London,_UK; 2021-07-09]

First African American spelling bee champ breezes to win

Zaila Avant-garde, 14, from Harvey, Louisiana celebrates with the championship trophy after winning the finals of the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee at Disney World Thursday, July 8, 2021, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Zaila has described spelling as a side hobby, although she routinely practiced for seven hours a day. She is a basketball standout who hopes to play some day in the WNBA and holds three Guinness world records for dribbling multiple balls simultaneously.

[Spectrum_News; Charlotte,_NC,_US; 2021-07-09]

Zaila Avant-garde won the national spelling bee, but that wasn’t her first real victory

The 14-year-old is also a Guinness World Record holder.

Zaila says that winning the bee is cooler than making it to the WNBA because of her hard work in preparation for the competition. “For spelling,” Zaila said, “I usually try to do about 13,000 words [per day], and that usually takes about seven hours or so.”

[Undefeated,_The; Burbank,_CA,_US; 2021-07-09]

The first African American contestant to win National Spelling Bee is now aiming for Harvard, the NBA and NASA

14-year-old wins spelling bee after only 2 years of practice.

"It felt really good to win because I have been working on it for like two years. So to actually win the whole thing was like a dream come true," she told CNN's "New Day" on Friday. "I felt like in the moment I snapped out of a surreal dream."

[CNN; Atlanta,_GA,_US; 2021-07-09]

Zaila Avant-garde's Spelling Bee win sends exuberant message

14-year-old wins spelling bee after only 2 years of practice.

The roots of the spelling bee are in standardizing American English as part of the settler colonial project of American nation building. Establishing a distinct variety of American English was a central part of this process. Spelling bees were originally classroom exercises to create uniformity of pronunciation as well as spelling, and the latter was regimented through the dictionary publishing industry.

[CNN; Atlanta,_GA,_US; 2021-07-09]

Programming Note: Plano Middle Schooler Is a Finalist in National Spelling Bee

The Scripps Spelling Bee has come down to 11 talented kids, including Dhroov Bharatia, a seventh grader from Wilson Middle School in Plano.

I’m an atrocious speller. Always have been. There was a year in middle school when it became a running joke among my friends that I consistently got three of 10 words wrong on our weekly spelling quizzes. I’ve never really improved. If there is a homophone in anything I write, I will usually use the wrong spelling of the word. If I spell a word wrong, I will sometimes spell it wrong consistently throughout a piece.

[D_Magazine; Dallas,_TX,_US; 2021-07-08]

When pronunciation matters - and when it really doesn't

Language is always evolving. One person’s laziness is another’s efficiency, says Julia de Bres.

While how these are said might cause people to tear their hair out, it’s the notion of ‘‘mispronunciation’’ itself that is likely to trigger linguists. Variation in pronunciation occurs in all varieties of English, both geographically (you say tomayto, I say tomahto) and socially (you say fish, I say fush). No way of pronouncing a word is better than another in linguistic terms. Some pronunciations are simply more socially valued than others.

[Stuff; Wellington,_NZ; 2021-07-06]

Rochester-area speller talks about his experience competing in the Scripps National Spelling Bee

"It was a great opportunity being able to participate in the spelling bee. It also taught me a lot about hard work and how to prepare for things."

I think everyone there was very nervous. I spent a couple hours or several hours a night preparing for it. Just knowing I’d come that far gave me a sense of reassurance.

[Post_Bulletin; Rochester,_MN,_US; 2021-07-06]

Does Andy Murray make a racket or play with a racquet?

Wimbledon is back. It brings with it a chance for me to have another enjoyable argument with a good friend, Bob Seith, former head of English at Morgan Academy.

English is dying because no one cares enough to argue over it. One day soon, there won’t be a spoken language. People, if forced to communicate face to face, will only be able to utter gabbled grunts and mumbled mutterings. Tennis racquets will be referred to as “Uh. Bat-thing. Uh.”

[Courier,_The; Dundee,_UK; 2021-07-04]

How Indian Americans Came to Love the Spelling Bee

Since 2008, a South Asian American child has been named a champion at every Scripps National Spelling Bee.

“It’s not spellers against spellers. It’s spellers against the dictionary,” Ashrita Gandhari, a current finalist, said about the sense of camaraderie and companionship among the contestants. That doesn’t mean she’s not in it to win it. Ashrita, 14, is spending about 10 hours a day practicing, and has three coaches to help her prepare.

[New_York_Times,_The; New_York,_NY,_US; 2021-07-03]

Zynga Celebrates the 2021 Return of the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Hit Mobile Game Franchise, Words With Friends

The Perseverance and Perspicacity of Young Spellers Will Be Honored with Eight-Day ‘Word of the Day’ Takeover in Lead-up to July 8 Finals.

Launched in 2009, Words With Friends has grown from popular mobile game to global pop culture sensation. Since then, the game has expanded to new platforms like Facebook Messenger, launched a hit sequel with Words With Friends 2 and brought innovative new ways to play to people around the world. The game’s success through this decade-long journey has been powered by player connections made through quick and clever wordplay that has become a touchstone in fans’ lives.

[Business_Wire; San_Francisco,_CA,_US; 2021-07-01]

The strange phonetics of language

I have never been able to master another language.

I used to work with a Polish woman who had immigrated to Canada in her early 20’s. When she first heard of a ‘spelling bee’, she couldn’t believe it. She told me she wondered what kind of contest could there be for spelling? To her, it was common sense how to spell a word.

[Orangeville_Citizen; Orangeville,_ON,_CA; 2021-06-30]

Sacramento regional spelling champ cites hard work and confidence for her successes

13-year-old Shireen Abdolmohammadi has qualified for the Scripps National Spelling Bee twice. She credits her success to daily hours of preparation, hard work and confidence on the stage.

To prepare for the spelling bee, Shireen starts months ahead. When the event comes closer, she studies for about four to five hours each day, either in the mornings or in the evenings after homework.

[Sacramento_Bee,_The; Sacramento,_CA,_US; 2021-06-29]

Language Matters: The sound of texts

Speakers sometimes cope with long sequences of consonant sounds by inserting a short unstressed vowel between the consonants.

Across languages, long sequences of consonant sounds are rare – for example, te reo Māori allows only single consonants (remembering that the spellings ng and wh represent single sounds). English is unusual in allowing up to three consonant sounds at the beginning of a word (splicestreet) and up to four at the end (adjunctstwelfths).

[Stuff; Wellington,_NZ; 2021-06-28]

The Inferiority Complex That Put Silent Letters in English Spelling

Arika Okrent holds a PhD in Linguistics and Psychology and writes on language.

English is full of letters we write but don’t pronounce. Silent consonants got into English in a few ways. Most silent consonants belong to one of those groups, but there is another group: silent consonants that were not there when they became English but were added later to emphasize their high class origins. They were consciously added in response to a linguistic inferiority complex.

[History_News_Network; Washington,_DC,_US; 2021-06-27]

Why we must all resist the woke war on written English

Good spelling, grammar and other basic rules of language are now under suspicion at British universities

[subscription] My first essay for English A-level, back in 1998, was atrocious. I had come from a school in the US where I had been taught that my ‘voice’ was the most important aspect of any piece of writing. But my new, English school had different ideas. I got an E, the worst possible mark, because the essay was shoddy. It made no sense, each idea or paragraph failed to follow from another, and it lacked all hint of argument....

[Telegraph,_The; London,_UK; 2021-06-27]

Mispronunciation: why you should stop correcting people’s mistakes

A recent survey of 2,000 adults in the UK identified the top ten “mispronunciations” people find annoying.

So what does all this say about the 35% of people who feel compelled to correct so-called mispronunciations in public? Nothing good, in my opinion. It seems to be a pedantic display of perceived superiority which can only result in the person with the “unacceptable” pronunciation looking stupid.

[Conversation,_The; London,_UK; 2021-06-25]

Queen Bee: Fairfax County Teen Places 21st in National Spelling Contest

Akshita Balaji, 14, won her first spelling bee at age six while visiting family in India.

Akshita made her way from A to Z in an elementary dictionary, learning every word, as well as the roots and origins of English language, her parents said. She developed a routine with her parents, where they’d pepper her with words early in the morning and late at night, working together to help her improve.

[Fairfax_County_Public_Schools; Falls_Church,_VA,_US; 2021-06-25]

Best sight words flashcards

Flashcards can have multiple uses with a little bit of creativity. They add just enough structure to teach children new words while still making learning fun.

Experts suggest exposing children to letters and numbers at a very young age to set the foundation for letters, sounds and phonics. Point out letters on cereal boxes, signs along the highway, and on TV shows and commercials. Keep letter magnets on the refrigerator for play and teaching purposes and bring them on long car rides on a metal baking pan. Ask children to try to spell out things they see along the road, such as a dog or tree.

[Chicago_Tribune; Chicago,_IL,_US; 2021-06-25]

Forum: Educate the young on origins of borrowed terms

Some people may not know that certain phrases in Chinese dialects are borrowed from other languages.

Food names and other borrowed words in signs should revert to their original spelling.

[Straits_Times,_The; Singapore,_SG; 2021-06-25]

The way most of us learn to spell in English makes no sense'

First established in the United Kingdom, THRASS (which stands for "teaching handwriting, reading and spelling skills") is changing young lives from Gauteng to the Eastern Cape, helping learners to quickly become fluent and read with meaning in English.

Asking children to memorise whole words can be tough and often leads to confusion and reading without understanding, says Mojaki Finger, managing director of the SMME Next Level Learning, the distributor for THRASS in South Africa. Finger explains that the programme helps children understand the building blocks of the English language. Because the 26 letters of the English alphabet "don’t make a sound until they are in a word", THRASS focuses on 24 "consonant sounds" and 20 "vowel sounds".

[Parent_24; Cape_Town,_ZA; 2021-06-24]

Why Should We Focus on Tricky Words?

We actually need to teach our children to be code breakers, not to be memorizers of words.

When my son was born, I wanted him to love reading. I wanted him to read Green Eggs and Ham, love going to Tuesday library story time, and enjoy reading books all Sunday afternoon. As a child, I read to him every night before bed. We went to the bookstore and the library and filled his room with books. Then, he went to first grade. On the second week of school, he came home with a Dolch Sight Word List. If he memorized each list by Wednesday, he didn’t have to take a spelling test on Friday. I thought I was helping him read, but I now know, I was teaching him to be a great memorizer.

[Tennessee_Department_of_Education; Nashville,_TN,_US; 2021-06-24]

Students could be stopped from going to university if they have not passed GCSEs in English and maths

The Education Secretary Gavin Williamson questioned whether it is right for “an 18-year-old who has not yet passed their English or maths GCSEs” to “progress” straight to a university degree.

Students in England could be prevented from studying a degree at university unless they have passed GCSEs in English and maths, the Education Secretary has said. Gavin Williamson also hit out at the “unacceptable practice” of some universities lowering literacy requirements in exams and said the Government would seek to ban so-called “essay mills” to protect standards. Introducing a minimum grade threshold to qualify for a student loan was recommended in a review of higher education by the banker Sir Philip Augar for Theresa May’s Government in May 2019.

[iNews; London,_UK; 2021-06-24]

Students who failed English GCSE could be banned from uni until they pass

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said he couldn’t understand why degree requirements would be lowered for pupils who did not pass key subjects.

School leavers could be barred from going to university if they haven't passed their English and Maths GCSEs, Gavin Williamson has said. The Education Secretary said he couldn’t understand why entry requirements for degrees would be lowered for pupils who failed to pass key subjects. He also called for an end to the "unacceptable" lowering of literacy standards in degree assessments. In a speech to the Higher Education Policy Institute conference, Mr Williamson said: “We expect the same rigour in admissions as we do in every other aspect of higher education. “Is it really in anyone’s interest if entry requirements are relaxed so much that an 18-year-old who has not yet passed their English or maths GCSEs should progress straight to an honours degree?

[Mirror; London,_UK; 2021-06-24]

Universities that value diversity over correct spelling could face investigation

Watchdog launches review into ‘inclusive’ assessment policies that mean students are not marked down for spelling and grammar mistakes.

[subscription] Universities which refuse to mark down students for spelling and grammar mistakes are to be investigated by the regulator....

[Telegraph,_The; London,_UK; 2021-06-23]

Using other spellings is colonial point of view

Letters June 23: An old Fairfield tree falls; pronouncing Indigenous names

[letters] Learn to use the place names of the places where you are living, without complaining and demanding that a colonial present be eternally perpetuated, to the detriment of all wishing to go forward together.

[Times_Colonist; Victoria,_BC,_CA; 2021-06-23]

Loudoun Student Advances in National Spelling Bee

In the quarterfinal competition last week, Gandhari spelled the word “pomfret” correctly.

Preparing for competition takes hours. Her mother, Sirisha Gandhari, said her daughter will practice for ten hours a day. Gandhari’s parents and younger sister help out, quizzing her and going through flash cards.

[Loudoun_Now; Leesburg,_VA,_US; 2021-06-21]

How good is your spelling? DEFINATELY take our test as new study reveals words we’re most likely to misspell

New research has revealed the most commonly made grammatical errors as well as the words most likely to be misspelled in the English language.

“Language has to evolve but it is not at the moment. It is devolving down the way. It is changing for the worse.”

[Courier,_The; Dundee,_UK; 2021-06-20]

English speakers puzzled by traditional Indigenous names

A commentary by a native of Victoria who is professor emeritus of English at the University of British Columbia.

My proposal is that Indigenous toponyms intended for general use be rendered in a script familiar to and readily pronounceable by average English speakers.

[Times_Colonist; Victoria,_BC,_CA; 2021-06-19]

A Word, Please: ‘E’ is the most devilish letter that you’ll ever know

A crowd rallies before a march along the La Jolla coast in support of Black Lives Matter. Such a large gathering of people might also be called a “horde,” but not a “hoard,” as June Casagrande writes this week in her commentary on the letter “E.”

E is the most-used letter in the English alphabet. It’s also the most evil. This seemingly innocent vowel comes up in 11% of words in the dictionary, leaving second-place S in its dust at 8.7%. But in my highly unscientific analysis, E comes up in a hugely disproportionate number of selling errors — like, maybe half of them. And I’m not just talking about typos like “teh” in place of “the.” I’m talking about actual misspellings of words that confound even smart people.

[Daily_Pilot; Los_Angeles,_CA,_US; 2021-06-18]

John Lewis boss says firm has to give new staff basic literacy and numeracy classes because they have been 'completely failed' by education system

Dame Sharon White said young staff hired did not have 'functional literacy' skills.

Dame Sharon said: 'To have done ten years, 11, 12 years of education, and not having, in many cases, functional literacy, certainly, pretty typically not having functional numeracy beyond the age of, I'd say, ten, 11, means that they may then have fabulous people skills and fabulous skills in terms of operating in a team but that's almost outwith the education system.' Dame Sharon, a former Ofcom chief who has been the chair of the John Lewis Partnership since July 2019, made the comments while speaking to the Times Education Commission.

[Mail_Online; London,_UK; 2021-06-16]

Oro Valley eighth-grader competes in Scripps National Spelling Bee

Eighth-grader Tanish Doshi lost in the quarterfinals round in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, incorrectly spelling the word "welkin," which means heaven or sky.

"Learning a different language really helps with spelling because you see how different languages relate to English. And at really high levels for things like the spelling bee. I think you have to learn a lot about the etymology and history of words," Doshi said.

[KGUN; Tucson,_AZ,_US; 2021-06-15]

I was diagnosed with dyslexia as a child but it's not stopped me becoming a journalist and author

To support Learning Disability Week WalesOnline's social affairs editor Will Hayward recounts his dyslexia diagnosis and how it affected him.

I don’t like to brag but at the age of five I was in the Owl reading group with the year above (trust me, that is good). I could smash out Biff, Chip and Kipper books and Diary of the Killer Cat was effortlessly dispatched. And then I picked up a pen. Despite been a great reader (remember, I was in Owl group) as soon as I had to start properly writing and spelling I was suddenly stupid. I would misspell the same word in three different ways in the space of a couple of sentences.

[Wales_Online; Cardiff,_UK; 2021-06-14]

Can't spell 'receive'? Nine other words that trip up students

The study found that spelling mistakes ranked highest among the types of language errors.

Mr Benjamin Wong, a secondary school teacher, has noticed that the word receive is very commonly misspelt as students here tend to switch the positions of the letters i and e. Words like accommodate and convenient are also commonly spelt wrongly. He attributes a regression in the spelling abilities of younger generations, as compared with older ones, to an over-reliance on automatic spelling correction tools in smartphones and word processors like Microsoft Word. "Many do not feel the need to learn the correct spelling by heart because they can always use the predictive text and autocorrect function in their phones and laptops." Mr Wong adds that texting could play a role in causing mistakes, as many people do not have enough practice spelling out difficult words in full.

[Straits_Times,_The; Singapore,_SG; 2021-06-13]

American schools teach reading all wrong

Mississippi, a state not often associated with pioneering reforms, is teaching the rest of the country to read.

[subscription] Phonics, which involves sounding-out words syllable by syllable, is the best way to teach children to read. But in many classrooms, ff-on-ics is a dirty sound. Kymyona Burk, who implemented Mississippi’s statewide literacy programme, says that some teachers have had to sneak phonics teaching materials into the classroom, like some kind of samizdat. Teaching reading any other way is “malpractice”, says Ms Burk. And yet for reasons that include politics, partisanship and personal experience, most American children are taught to read in a way that study after study has found to be wrong. The consequences of this are striking. Less than half (48%) of all American adults were proficient readers in 2017.

[Economist,_The; London,_UK; 2021-06-12]

Former national spelling bee champ explains winning strategy

Few people can say they've won the Scripps National Spelling Bee, except for an Olathe native and her sister.

"Writing the word on my palm helped me visualize it. I've made accidents in the past where I say a letter and didn't mean it and you couldn't back track," Kavya said. "Being able to trace the letters and visualize the word really helped. And the second thing was trying to figure out what questions I wanted to ask next." With the entire world watching, Kavya said her strategy for managing the pressure of the moment involved eliminating distractions.

[KSHB; Kansas_City,_MO,_US; 2021-06-11]

Spelling bee teaches important lessons

The format will be different than it has ever been, and there will be fewer participants than in recent years, but the goal of the Scripps National Spelling Bee remains unchanged: To help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives.

[Herald_Star,_The; Steubenville,_OH,_US; 2021-06-11]

Scripps National Spelling Bee returns, local speller prepares for competition

The bee was canceled last year due to COVID.

Starting Saturday, June 12, over 200 students will compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee to see who has mastered the most words.

[KMTV; Omaha,_NE,_US; 2021-06-09]


Joskin. That was the word eighth grader Jiya Shetty of Columbia spelled correctly to land herself a spot in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Shetty has had her nose in the dictionary to prepare for the competition. “The Merriam Webster dictionary has like about 470,000 entries, I’m pretty sure. So, it is definitely overwhelming,” she says. That is not all she has to know. Participants must be familiar with definitions and homophones – words pronounced the same but they have different meanings. “It’s imperative that we learn both the spelling and the meaning,” says Shetty.

[Missourinet; Jefferson_City,_MO,_US; 2021-06-09]

The Extraordinary Success of Indian Americans At The Spelling Bee

For 12 straight years, Indian-American kids have been winning the Spelling Bee. But what’s behind this success?

A 2015 Times of India article also stresses on the power of Indians to rote learn – an ability which the author argues can be traced back to the importance of oral tradition in the Indian culture. The two of the most important texts – The Ramayana and the Mahabharata – were passed down through oral tradition before being finally written down.

[Quint,_The; New_Delhi,_IN; 2021-06-07]

Bitter France wants to CANCEL English language in French takeover of EU

FRANCE is drawing up plans to eradicate the English language in EU decision-making circles when it takes over the bloc's rotating presidency.

Paris wants to fork out money on French lessons for eurocrats and diplomats, as well as hold every Brussels meeting in their native language during the six-month spell. Notes, minutes and preparatory meetings will all be conducted in French, and if a letter arrives from the European Commission in English, it will go unanswered. French is one of the EU’s 24 official languages and one of the three working languages used by the Commission.

[Express; London,_UK; 2021-06-07]

Spelling out a whole load of trouble if we start altering our language

Prince Philip was a former patron of the Simplified Spelling Society (now the English Spelling Society)

If the TSR folks (or should that be “foaks”?) get their way about a fifth of the words in our alphabet [sic] would be changed. What’s taxing the TSR people is the belief that about 200,000 primary school children are expected to emerge this year unable to read and write properly. How are they expected ever to read and write properly if the words they need are trifled with because they might be a bit difficult to take in? The ability to read and write is best served by teaching children to love words and what they do. Ours is such a rich language it needs to be practised, and it needs to be accessible.

Rebuttal: The fact (not "belief") that about 20% of our children will not learn to read and write properly is a scandal, no less because spelling is a tool that we humans have invented. It's not a given like trying to understand cosmology. Why deliberately make it hard? "The ability to read and write is best served by teaching children to love words" is a fine lofty claim, but it is not supported, and no detail is offered as to how you might achieve it in practice. Finally, our "rich language" is not the same as its spelling system.

[Eastern_Daily_Press; Norwich,_UK; 2021-05-23]

Should spellings of some words be made easier?

A new proposal has been put forward by the The English Spelling Society, that the spellings of some words would be made a lot easier.

The society claims would help schools and improve literacy levels, but others believe it os [sic] ''dumbing down.'' As part of the new proposed system, pupils would learn to spell some words - such as rhythm and cough - the way they sound. Instead they would be spelled rithem and coff.

Rebuttal: ITV does not take a position on this but quotes Chris McGovern, from the Campaign for Real Education, who objects to reform and says children should not be 'discriminated' against. The irony of this is that our existing spelling system does just that.

[ITV_News; London,_UK; 2021-05-20]

Shakespeare didn’t need to know the difference between ‘its’ and ‘it’s’

The apostrophe originally indicated a missing letter. Unlike it’s for it isits never had a lost vowel to indicate. Since predictive text programs so often guess what we are about to type, it is annoying when they try to insert errors into what we have got right on our own.

[Spectator,_The; London,_UK; 2021-05-15]

Mountford Manor Primary School launches book vending machine to encourage pupils to read

PUPILS at Mountford Manor Primary School get a treat of a different kind when they use their new vending machine.

The converted sweet machine, installed this week, is packed with titles for a range of ages and is part of a push to encourage children to enjoy reading. It was the idea of head Lee Edmonds who was inspired after seeing another school in the Midlands had done it. “I’ve been looking at ways in which our school can encourage kids to read for pleasure as it helps with fluency and if we encourage them, hopefully it will get them interested so they will want to read,” he said.

[Swindon_Advertiser; Swindon,_UK; 2021-05-15]

I can't read or write, but I can cook'

Thomas left school at 16 and went to catering college because he wanted a vocation that wouldn't need strong literacy skills.

An estimated nine million adults in the UK have low-level literacy skills. That means they find it hard to do things most people take for granted - such as filling out a job application.

[BBC; London,_UK; 2021-05-11]

DK joins forces with learning company Mrs Wordsmith

DK has joined forces with Mrs Wordsmith, “the world's silliest learning company", on a range of curriculum-based publishing.

Nick Perrett, Mrs Wordsmith c.e.o, said: “Everyone at Mrs Wordsmith is absolutely thrilled to begin this partnership with DK, one of the world's largest and most respected publishers. I can't think of anyone better placed to help us inspire kids everywhere to read, write, and create, and to help spread our love of literacy around the world. We're still a young, eager company with lots to learn — and with DK by our side, I'm confident that we'll be learning from the best.”

[Bookseller,_The; London,_UK; 2021-05-11]

You gotta spell proper, argues columnist John Nurden

I have been in this bizness long enough to know that we shouldn't fro stones at greenhouses.

It's like football, swimming or playing the piano. Practice (or should that be practise?) makes purfect. Now the International (Internashunal, surely?) English Spelling Congress has voted for a noo set of rools called Traditional Spelling Revised (TSR) to make life easier for stoodents. Out go silent letters like "w" in "wrong" and "k" in "knee" because 200,000 children leave primary school every year unable to read or rite properly. Sorry, but couldn't that just be because their parents and teachers have failed them? Besides, what does it say to those students who have worked hard to master the language? Lowering the bar is a coward's way to solve any problem. Oh, and we aren't supposed to have problems any more. We just have "challenges." What if we lower the standards for rocket scientists and doctors while we are at it? That will lead to the deaf of all of us.

Rebuttal: I'm not sure what point journalists think they are making with deliberate misspellings. Nurden makes the old claim that the fault is with the parents and teachers, not with the subject matter. And as usual, this claim is not supported by any actual evidence. It does seem slightly odd that not one of the thousands upon thousands of teachers throughout the English-Speaking World are any good at teaching. Finally, comparing spelling to rocket science or medicine is absurd. Spelling is a tool that we humans have invented to make our lives easier and better. If a journalist cannot see the difference between our own inventions and natural sciences, something is amiss.

[Kent_Online; Rochester,_Kent,_UK; 2021-05-07]

Every Spelling Bee Winning Word Since 2000

To identify every Spelling Bee winning word over the last 20 years, 24/7 Tempo consulted the Scripps Bee website. Definitions were also taken from the competition’s official site. For pronunciations, we checked online dictionaries such as Merriam-Webster.

[Microsoft_News; Redmond,_WA,_US; 2021-05-06]

Spelling Bee of Canada expands to Nunavut

‘We’re working really hard to support students to have an equal footing,’ says spokesperson for spelling bee.

For the first time, Nunavut children and teens will be able to join the Spelling Bee of Canada this year, as the COVID-19 pandemic prompts the organization to go virtual. “[School] has been so challenging with the virtual circumstances, with a lot of blended learning models for students,” said Emily Wong, a spokesperson for the bee. “We really want to reach out and help students.” She said the spelling bee helps not only with English spelling and vocabulary skills, but with students’ self-confidence and public speaking abilities.

[Nunatsiaq_News; Quebec,_CA; 2021-05-06]

Sherman freshman is the best speller in Texas

Shomoy Kamal is his name, and spelling is his game.

Shomoy prepares for his competitions at least 30 minutes every day, studying more than just the order of the letters. "I guess I like learning about words and where they come from," he said. "English is composed of so many different languages coming together into just one great big language."

[KTEN; New_York,_NY,_US; 2021-05-05]

How do you spell 'gratitude'?

Correctly, if you had no-nonsense teachers like mine.

Mr. West's determination to make good spellers out of us was legendary. He'd tell us: "Good and poor spelling sends a message." What such messages were was fuzzy to us back then. We were 12. But a "spelling" grade on our report cards was a clear reality. And even as 12-year-olds we could recognize and admire, and would work our tails off for, any teacher who had an authentic passion for a subject. So spelling became a mighty big deal to us.

[Star_Tribune; Minneapolis,_MN,_US; 2021-05-03]

Do spelling and grammar still matter?

Some universities have announced that spelling and grammar (i.e. morphology and syntax) are not all that important, but quality of thought is.

English is only marginally morphological, and its syntax is (of course) derived from linguistic usage, not imposed upon it. So if one’s thought is expressed clearly and precisely, it will almost by definition be syntactical, however occasionally infuriating to (e.g.) we sticklers. QED.

[Spectator,_The; London,_UK; 2021-05-01]

Should we write English as it’s spoken? Or just leave it as it is…

Despite its anti-phonic spelling, English has become the language of many nations — albeit through colonisation and conquest.

I suppose, gentle reader, you’ve got the drift and are, like me, a stick-in-the-mud antideluvian dinosaur, then perhaps I ought to spell it out for you: An outfit called the International English Spelling Congress (IESC) wants to perpetrate a new simplified English spelling. They want to make it as phonic as possible. So, for instance, they want to get rid of the w from wrong. And this in order to make it simpler for the dim to learn. Patronising or what?

Rebuttal: Yet another journalist who confuses deliberate misspellings with an actual argument. Dhondy goes on to say that "one can’t legislate for a change in language, neither in vocabulary nor in spelling." True, at least for English. Which is why the IESC is not aiming to. Any change has to be a grass roots movement. Without that, change cannot happen. With it, change cannot be resisted. Dhondy's second claim is that since he reads by recognising the shapes of entire words (ie not by phonics), it follows that (a) so must everyone else, and (b) phonics are a waste of time. Argument (a) is a common variation of "I'm all right Jack" with no concern for anyone else's difficulties. Argument (b) is that since his mature reading style does not need phonics, they are not needed at all. This is like saying since he can ride a bike, nobody should need stablisers. Phonics are a learning tool; mature readers may not use phonics, but 4-year-olds certainly do.

[Asian_Age,_The; New_Delhi,_IN; 2021-05-01]

Michelle Donelan deplores literacy-lite exams at the University of Hull

The University of Hull is “dumbing down standards” by dropping requirements for good spelling, said Michelle Donelan, the universities minister.

“That will never help disadvantaged students. Instead, the answer is to lift up standards and provide high quality education.”

[Boar,_The; Coventry,_UK; 2021-04-29]

The long and short of language

Why we shorten some syllables and not others, such as in privacy and private.

Linguists call this particular type of alternation between English long and short vowels ‘trisyllabic shortening’ – alluding to the three (or more) syllables of the longer words in pairs like private–privacy. This rule means that word forms which consist of two syllables, and have a long vowel, change the long vowel to the corresponding short vowel when another syllable (or more) is added.

[New_European,_The; Norwich,_UK; 2021-04-25]


Scripps Spelling Bee Adds Vocabulary (and Possible Lightning Round) for 2021

The changes come after last year’s event was canceled because of the pandemic and the 2019 bee resulted in an eight-way tie.

In 2019, the last time the Scripps National Spelling Bee was held, the final rounds dragged on for hours before resulting in an eight-way tie, with the champions announced after midnight. Looking to avoid a similar outcome in the future, organizers have announced the addition of new challenges to the competition when it returns this summer, after being canceled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

[New_York_Times,_The; New_York,_NY,_US; 2021-04-23]

Z-O-O-M spelling bee fundraiser supports CMC and Literacy Outreach in Garfield County

The rules will be adjusted this year to coincide with the virtual setting, in what the release refers to as “COVID style.” All teams will have a chance to spell all the words instead of being eliminated after two spelling errors. Every word will be weighted according to difficulty and the team with the most points at the end will be able to boast the honorable title of Garfield County Spelling Champions.

[Post_Independent; Glenwood_Springs,_CO,_US; 2021-04-23]

Tutors told not to dock marks for spelling errors

A number of universities have told tutors not to dock marks for spelling errors because requiring good English could be seen as “homogenous north European, white, male, elite”.

Speaking to the House of Commons on Thursday 15 April, Ms Donelan said: “I am appalled by the decision of some universities to drop literacy standards in assessments. “I think that this is misguided, and, in fact, it is dumbing down standards. That will never help disadvantaged students. “Instead, the answer is to lift up standards and provide high quality education.”

[Boar,_The; Coventry,_UK; 2021-04-21]

As reformers vote to make it easier for children to learn English

These nu, sili speling rools tayk the biskit.

Howz yor speling? An organisation known as the International English Spelling Congress has just voted in favour, or favor, of major reform. Apparently, English takes up to three years longer to master than other languages, and the peculiarities of our spelling sytem are at least partly to blame. The congress is concerned that far too many English words don’t sound the way they are spelt, or, indeed, spelled. Traditional Spelling Revised, or TSR, aims to get rid of silent letters such as ‘w’ in wrong.

[Mail_Online; London,_UK; 2021-04-20]

Unpredictable, archaic English spelling has set kids up to fail: advocate

With three languages already under her belt, 14-year-old Masha Bell didn’t expect to run into too much trouble with English.

[subscription] Like most Lithuanian children, she learnt to read her native language in her first few months of school.

[Education_HQ_Australia; Melbourne,_VIC,_AU; 2021-04-20]

‘Oh no!’ Naga Munchetty interrupts guest in horror at spelling admission on BBC show

NAGA MUNCHETTY interrupted her guest in horror at their spelling admission during the latest edition of her BBC 5Live show.

They were discussing how research has shown many children finish school without adequate spelling, leading to the International Congress of Spelling calling for a new way of spelling. This is reportedly due to some of the difficult spelling of English words as many are not phonetic. As a result, Naga’s guest Stephen Linstead was suggesting spelling may be changed in the future, referencing an example being “enough”. The radio host then interrupted him, asking: “Sorry, Stephen, how is enough going to be spelt?” When he replied, “Probably e-n-u-f-f ”, Naga then voiced her horror, saying: “Oh no! “Oh no! This is what I feared. It just looks wrong. “It reminds me of something that I’d see graffitied on a wall.

[Express; London,_UK; 2021-04-20]

Houston kid spells the longest word in the English language on ‘The Ellen Show’

Saatvik Thatipally makes his TV debut with Ellen DeGeneres.

During his segment, Thatipally spells pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, the longest word in the English language. It refers to a type of lung disease caused by inhaling volcanic ash and sand dust. After that impressive feat, Thatipally agains wows DeGeneres by counting from one trillion to one googol, written as 1 followed by 100 zeroes. DeGeneres rewards him with space gear and toys.

[Houston_Chronicle; Houston,_TX,_US; 2021-04-20]

Don’t stop at spelling, let’s refresh jography too

[subscription] After nearly three years of deliberashuns, the International (Internashunal, surely?) English Spelling Congress has voted for a noo set of spelling rools, called Traditional Spelling Revised (TSR), to “become the new norm”, eliminating silent letters such as the “w” in “wrong” and making changes to up to 18 per cent of words, “making English easier to learn” on the back of news that 200,000 children will leave primary school this year unable to read and write properly. So, yeah, fine, go on, lower the bar. That’s the way they do it in education now. Too many thick kids leaving our schools? Then redefine “thick” and, woohoo, you’ve got a generation of geniuses.

[Times,_The; London,_UK; 2021-04-19]

Grammar, not spelling, is the true impediment to clear expression

Many are those who have wished to simplify English, but their efforts are misguided. Education is the correct answer.

[subscription] Prince Philip’s remarkable range of causes and passions has been exhaustively anatomised in the past week. But one that seems to have been largely overlooked was his interest in language reform. A former patron of the Simplified Spelling Society (now the English Spelling Society), he expressed his views in a 1964 interview: “I would like very much to see a simplified version of spelling introduced for English… as a medium for international communication.”

[Telegraph,_The; London,_UK; 2021-04-18]

English Spelling Society

New rools to make language more predictable for pupils

[subscription] “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the feelds and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surender…” This is how Churchill’s famous speech should be spelt, according to reformers who have voted on a new system after deliberating for nearly three years.

[Times,_The; London,_UK; 2021-04-18]

Readers’ poll: should English spelling be reformed to make it easier to learn?

[subscription] A proposed new system of spelling, called Traditional Spelling Revised (TSR), makes changes to up to 18 per cent of words in the English language. The system has the support of The English Spelling Society and the American Literacy Council. TSR aims to make spelling more consistent and predictable: among many other changes, the word love would be spelt luv, and educate would be edducate. Supporters of the reform say the widespread inconsistencies in English impede children’s learning and prevent many from ever achieving a good standard of spelling. Those opposed say the changes are dumbing down learning and would destroy the richness and beauty of the language.

[Times,_The; London,_UK; 2021-04-18]

Does korrect speling matter?

British universities are being told not to deduct marks for spelling mistakes and only judge students on ideas and knowledge of the subject. Is the ability to spell important?

There’s no denying that English spellings – among other aspects – are notoriously erratic. Many have called for reform. George Bernard Shaw, for example, felt that “consistency is not always a virtue; but spelling becomes a will o' the wisp without it.” And Benjamin Franklin once wrote that “the present bad spelling is only bad because contrary to the present bad rules: under the new rules it would be good.”

[Money_Control; Mumbai,_IN; 2021-04-17]

Student literacy: Minister 'appalled' by move on bad spelling

A minister has said she was "appalled" by a university's decision to ask staff not to dock marks for spelling errors.

Universities Minister Michelle Donelan said dropping the requirement was "dumbing down standards". Earlier this week, it was reported that the University of Hull believed requiring good written and spoken English could be seen as "elite". The university said it was committed to "removing barriers to learning" for students of all backgrounds.

[BBC; London,_UK; 2021-04-16]

Minister deplores literacy-lite exams at the University of Hull

Michelle Donelan told MPs she was “appalled” at the decision by the University of Hull to scrap the need for students to be able to meet literacy standards in assessments.

[subscription] A university is “dumbing down standards” by dropping requirements for good spelling, a minister has said. Michelle Donelan, the universities minister, told MPs she was “appalled” at the decision by the University of Hull to scrap the need for students to be able to meet literacy standards in assessments, and said the government “will act”.

[Sunday_Times,_The_(UK); London,_UK; 2021-04-16]

Christine Hamilton on Good Morning Britain to attack 'astonishing' University of Hull spelling policy

The university said marking students down for mistakes would be 'elitist'

Christine, who is married to former Conservative MP Neil Hamilton, shared her thoughts on the lack of acknowledgement for bad spelling. The author said: "Well I think it matters hugely. And as you said in that quote from me we should be levelling up not levelling down. Universities - frankly I'm astonished that Hull University has said this." She continued: "Universities should be encouraged to raise up, and encouraged to raise their standards, and people should learn to aspire, and sooner or later if you can't spell, if you don't know the difference between two, to, and too, or there and their..."

[Hull_Daily_Mail; Hull,_UK; 2021-04-15]

How to Remember the Correct Spelling of Commonly Misspelled Words

Spelling in the English language can be confusing because there’s at least one exception for every spelling rule (such as the words “neither” and “weird” for the rule “I before E except after C”).

This article provides some tips and tricks for remembering the correct spelling of some of the most commonly misspelled words.

[Programming_Insider; New_York,_NY,_US; 2021-04-15]

Good spelling and grammar isn’t elitist… it’s the key to getting somewhere in life

FOR all their virtue signalling about how they’re on the side of the under-privileged, woke liberals don’t half do a good job at keeping those very same people in their place.

There is no use the Government hatching an emergency plan to improve the literacy skills of disadvantaged children if the educational institutions which are supposed to epitomise those very skills instead deliver the bigotry of low expectations.

[Sun,_The; London,_UK; 2021-04-15]

Dyslexia Canada Supports Alberta's Review of English Language Arts Curriculum

Alberta's proposed update of the K to 3 English Language Arts curriculum is very encouraging.

It is estimated that 99,000 Alberta students struggle with reading, writing and spelling because of dyslexia. Therefore Dyslexia Canada supports the need for the Alberta Language Arts curriculum to be updated to meet their needs.

[PR_Newswire; Chicago,_IL,_US; 2021-04-15]

The Times Diary

Pleyn Inglish is old news.

[subscription] Molesworths of the world unite! This paper reported on Monday that some universities will not mark down those with por speling. While many readers decried this, there have long been efforts to change English so it is written as it is spoken. In 1945, George Bernard Shaw took 17 paragraphs in The Times to explain the time that could be saved if only “bomb” was spelt “bom”.

[Sunday_Times,_The_(UK); London,_UK; 2021-04-14]

Realy good at spelling, or aweful? Either way, it’s not disasterous

Shakespeare and Jane Austen were relaxed about spelling variants. We should be too.

[subscription] Smugness is unappealing, and I acquired it early in life. The reason was that I knew how to spell. Well into adulthood I believed there was something virtuous in knowing that it’s “minuscule” rather than “miniscule” and “supersede” rather than “supercede”. The advent of spellcheckers didn’t curb my complacency. In an office full of professional writers I acquired the reputation of being a go-to authority.

[Sunday_Times,_The_(UK); London,_UK; 2021-04-13]

Revealed: The UK’s most misspelt words from diarrhoea and zucchini to potato and conscience

Even as adults many of us still silently chant ‘I before E except after C,’ but even primary school rhymes can’t always save us from the ’embarrassing’ pit falls of the English language’s most troublesome words to ‘manoeuvre’ around.

According to research from UK training company The Knowledge Academy, ‘diarrhoea’ tops the list of words people which most commonly trip people up. Proving it’s neither fun to experience or spell, it had a whopping 189,000 failed Google searches, with 171,000 of those believing it should read ‘diarrea’.

[Press_and_Journal,_The; Aberdeen,_UK; 2021-04-13]

Putting the ‘fun’ in ‘phonetics’

I took my son Miles to get his hair cut this past weekend. Miles’ barber has recently moved into a new salon down the road. The new spot is inside a larger salon called Phenix Salon Suites, a national chain of salons. Although California-based Phenix Salon Suites has a growing nationwide presence, I can’t help but cringe at the business’ spelling: Phenix. It should be “Phoenix,” shouldn’t it?

[Journal_Review; Crawfordsville,_IN,_US; 2021-04-13]

Good spelling isn’t elitist - clear language is the great leveller

To say kids from poor backgrounds can't learn grammar is the soft bigotry of low expectations.

[subscription] When I was a critic for the student paper, I met the chief sub-editor at team-building drinks at a pub. He said he knew me by my copy. “You use long words and you spell them wrong.” Twelve years on and my cheeks still burn. So they should....

[Telegraph,_The; London,_UK; 2021-04-12]

Top 20 hardest words to spell in the English language

In honour of the #KZNLastKidStanding spelling bee, we've all decided to brush up on our spelling - and you can too!

According to a worldwide survey published on Statista.com, English is the most common language spoken worldwide in the year 2021 (natively or as a second language). It was still only a few million more than Mandarin Chinese, with Hindi and Spanish coming in third and fourth, respectively.

[East_Coast_Radio; Durban,_ZA; 2021-04-12]

An evidence‐based synthesis of instructional reading and spelling procedures using telepractice

A rapid review in the context of COVID‐19.

The evidence base for telepractice delivery of reading and spelling procedures is in its infancy in terms of both the quantity and the quality of the evidence. Insufficient evidence exists to draw clear conclusions about its efficacy, and therefore practitioners should proceed cautiously.

[Wiley_Online_Library; Hoboken,_NJ,_US; 2021-04-12]

Marking down students for spelling mistakes is ‘elitist’, says university

Lecturers at Hull University told to overlook grammatical blunders as part of inclusive marking policy that aims to ‘decolonise curriculum.’

[subscription] Marking down incorrect spelling, punctuation and grammar could be seen as “elitist”, a university policy says....

[Telegraph,_The; London,_UK; 2021-04-11]

Letters to the Editor

Don’t blame Covid for illiteracy crisis.

[subscription] Surely, if children reach the age of 11 without being able to read properly, it is more likely to be the fault of inadequate teaching in previous years than the lack of tuition in their last primary year (“Johnson’s fears over lockdown illiteracy surge”, News, last week). Of course this year will have affected children, and some who were already struggling may need extra support, but if that many children still cannot read by the age of 11, there is something seriously wrong with our education system. Susan Hopkins, Harrogate

[Sunday_Times,_The_(UK); London,_UK; 2021-04-11]

Suburban spellers to participate in Scripps National Spelling Bee

Suburban spellers Sahasrad Sathish and Tejas Katira are among 13 regional spelling bee champions from Illinois who will compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee this summer.

Tejas started participating in spelling bees in fourth grade and is fascinated by words and their origins. He spends two to three hours a day training for nationals.

[Daily_Herald; Chicago,_IL,_US; 2021-04-11]

University students will not be marked down for bad spelling because it would be ELITIST

Academics have been told that insisting on good written English discriminates. Some universities have been adopting so-called 'inclusive assessment' systems. Regulator wants to reduce gap between white and black student attainment rate.

At the University of the Arts London, guidelines on marking written work say staff should 'actively accept spelling, grammar or other language mistakes that do not significantly impede communication unless the brief states that formally accurate language is a requirement'.

[Daily_Mail; London,_UK; 2021-04-11]

Why it’s so hard to fix maddening spelling systems

Those who have mastered the old ones hold all the power.

[subscription] “Keeping schools closed has DEVESTATING effects” on children, America’s Republican Party tweeted from its official account, before hastily deleting the post amid mockery. It’s not just American conservatives who stumble with their spelling even when writing about education.

[Economist,_The; London,_UK; 2021-04-10]

2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee season to launch June 12

The official competition schedule will include three live telecasts of virtual rounds in lead-up to July 8 in-person finals.

The final rounds of this year's Bee will be hosted in person at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida, on July 8. The finals, featuring 10-12 accomplished spellers, will be broadcast live in primetime on ESPN2.

[Cision; Cleveland,_OH,_US; 2021-04-06]

Bloomington sixth-grader wins IU spelling bee again, spills secret to victory

Sixth grade student Yena has won the IU spelling bee three years in a row.

Park said that her secret to victory is systematically reviewing the Scripps yearly list with her dad, Seongin Park. Since the first grade when she started participating, they have always made sure to drill every word that could challenge her. “There was lots of stumbling along the way,” Park said. She particularly remembers that the word gyttja, which is a type of mud, gave her trouble. Over time she began to recognize patterns in spelling and pronunciation and memorized the words with greater ease. Hyun Kwon, Park’s mother, said she thinks Park’s affinity for math gave her an extra edge in the spelling bee because of her ability to recognize patterns.

[Indiana_Daily_Student; Bloomington,_IN,_US; 2021-04-01]

Meet 14-year-old entrepreneurs who work to popularise the spelling bee

The Chennai-based twins now have over 1,000 registrations from 10 countries in their website.

At the age of eight, the siblings participated in the Victoria County Spelling Bee, a State-level competition. And while Harpita won the title, Harpith was the first runner-up. “This encouraged us to participate in the Great Australian Spelling Bee. It was a tight competition with over 18,000 contestants. We emerged in the top 10,” she recalls.

[Hindu,_The; Madras,_IN; 2021-04-01]

Validation of systematic synthetic phonics programmes: supporting documentation

Since 2010, the government has sought to embed the effective teaching of phonics. We are committed to continuing to raise literacy standards ensuring all children, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, can read fluently and with understanding.

Validation will indicate that a programme has been self assessed by its publisher and assessed by a small panel with relevant expertise, and that both consider it to meet all of the most recent Department for Education (DfE) criteria for an effective systematic synthetic phonics (SPP) programme.

[Department_for_Education; London,_UK; 2021-04-01]

Why Spelling Mistakes In Google Searches Are Actually A Good Thing

Accidental typos and guestimated spellings actually train Google's spelling algorithm. Find out how.

Have you ever wondered how Google magically knows what you are looking for, even when your search query has typos? With one in ten search queries misspelled and new words being constantly flagged, Google has an entire algorithm dedicated to navigating spelling mistakes.

[Search_Engine_Journal; Boca_Raton,_FL,_US; 2021-03-30]

How do you pronounce “Among Us” in Japanese?

Simple question has linguistically deep answer.

The first thing we need to do is break down the actual English pronunciation of the word “among.” English spelling is notoriously silly, and nowhere is it more ridiculous than its vowels. English has between 14 and 20 vowel sounds depending on the dialect. Just for an example, the letter “a” pronounced wildly different in words like “apple,” “comma,” “father,” and “face.” Because of this, linguists use the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) to spell out words accurately.

[Sora_News_24; Tokyo,_JP; 2021-03-21]

Readers reply: how were the small words in English created?

The long-running series in which readers answer other readers’ questions on subjects ranging from trivial flights of fancy to profound scientific and philosophical concepts.

Basic pronouns, articles, and connectives exist in virtually every natural language. They certainly existed in Proto-Indo-European, the oldest ancestor language of English that we know about, which was probably spoken about 6000 years ago in the Pontic steppe (north of the Black Sea).

[Guardian,_The; London,_UK; 2021-03-21]

The word most Aussies can’t spell

It's official, our spelling has gone to ..... well, diarrhoea.

Literacy expert Dr Jennifer Buckingham said the English language was full of traps for unwary spellers and it was no wonder we needed help. "Double letters are the things that catch people out. They often don't look wrong when you write them, so they often catch people out," Dr Buckingham said. She said Australian spellers also had to contend with different US and UK spellings, as well as changing spelling conventions over time, such as the trend to remove the first "a" from encyclopaedia.

[Queensland_Times,_The; Sydney,_NSW,_AU; 2021-03-20]

QuillBot's New Grammar Checker Uses Cutting-Edge AI to Perfect Your Writing

The AI writing platform now has an arsenal of productivity-enhancing tools that are already changing the way the world writes.

QuillBot announced the release of its highly anticipated grammar checker today. QuillBot's AI-based writing platform now hosts a variety of time-saving tools that help make writing painless for 5 million global monthly active users. This new tool combines spelling, grammar, and punctuation correction tactics backed by powerful AI models, flagging errors and suggesting edits.

[PR_Newswire; Chicago,_IL,_US; 2021-03-18]

Kiang West holds LBS spelling bee contest

The Kuteh Jumbulu Kafoo of Tankular in the Kiang West District recently held a spelling bee competition for pupils in the Lower Basic Schools in Region Four.

Contestants from Tankular, Joli, Kuyang, Karantaba and Gissay impressed educational authorities in Lower River Region and communities in the western Kiang with their skills in calculation of syllables and pronunciation of words from the English dictionary.

[Point,_The; Banjul,_GM; 2021-03-17]

Spelling bee buzz for BOP students

Teachers and educators in the Bay of Plenty can now enter their schools into New Zealand’s national spelling bee competition.

Students in Years 9 and 10 will start learning the 2021 spelling list from March, sit a test mid-year, and the top 200 spellers from throughout the country will work their way through the semi-finals to culminate in the national final later in the year.

[Sun_Live; Tauranga,_NZ; 2021-03-17]

Has a gap in old-school handwriting and spelling tuition contributed to NZ’s declining literacy scores?

The recently reported decline in student performance in international tests for literacy, science and maths confirmed a view in some quarters that New Zealand’s curriculum is in need of an overhaul.

The teaching of spelling has been undervalued, too. Teachers have been guided to help children work out spelling rules but the complex code of English spellings needs explicit teaching. As with handwriting, spelling may seem unimportant in an age of digital spellcheckers. But spelling ability reflects what children know about words, including word meanings. Children I speak to report that difficulty with spelling puts them off wanting to write at all.

[Conversation,_The; London,_UK; 2021-03-17]

Wheeler’s Kim wins 2021 State Spelling Bee

Seoyon Kim is Rhode Island’s top speller.

Kim was given the championship word “bout,” which she also nailed, securing her spot as the first-place winner in this year’s R.I. State Spelling Bee.

[Valley_Breeze,_The; Lincoln,_RI,_US; 2021-03-16]

"Finna," "Chile," & Other AAVE Words Added To Dictionary.com

The inclusion of these words is a step toward acceptance of African American Vernacular English as a legitimate dialect.

According to a recent update from Dictionary.com, hundreds of new words, including finna and chile, have been added as legitimate entries. These words originated from AAVE, also known as African American Vernacular English, and have been a part of the dialect for decades. Dictionary.com describes finna as “a phonetic spelling representing the African American Vernacular English variant of fixing to, a phrase commonly used in Southern U.S. dialects to mark the immediate future while indicating preparation or planning already in progress.”

[Hot_New_Hip_Hop; 0; 2021-03-13]

Pinkston Middle School student heads to state spelling bee

Declan Whitlock can spell the word "arrondissement."

"The English language is incredibly stupid," he said. "All the rules about words being I-E or E-I — some words having apostrophes and some words don't — that messes people up. Some words sounds the same, but are spelled different. It's all really stupid, if you ask me."

[Baxter_Bulletin; Pittsford,_NY,_US; 2021-03-12]

Now Here

The Papa Files

English is a perplexing language. Writers praise its wealth of words and flexibility, but I’m not impressed, though I grew up with it. My home language is a conglomeration of many languages, as any advanced language must be. But I have never liked the similarities of spelling, and the annoyance of similar pronunciation.

[Hernando_Sun; Hernando,_FL,_US; 2021-03-12]

10 Popular APIs for Words

With all the changes in technology in the last half century, a main form of communication remains relevant: the written or spoken word.

[Software] Developers may want to create applications that offer word definitions, synonyms, word data, word translations, quotes, word visualizations, grammar and spelling corrections, pronunciations, NSFW word detection, cyberbulling word detection, words for games, keywords, semantic functions, and many other word-related functions. To get the most suitable words functions into applications, developers need Words APIs.

[Programmable_Web; San_Francisco,_CA,_US; 2021-03-12]

Newark students competing in Regional Spelling Bee

Two seventh graders from Newark Middle School will compete in the regional leg of the annual Scripps Spelling Bee on March 20 at the Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES Conference Center in Newark.

[Wayne_Post; Pittsford,_NY,_US; 2021-03-11]

A video game makes math and English classes a full-body experience

An online platform lets kids learn critical math and English skills through playground skills.

The games can also be customized to meet several state and Common Core standards. Early grade students may practice math vocabulary and learning to count, while older students practice math operations, language and vocabulary skills, and sentence structures and spelling.

[Hechinger_Report,_The; New_York,_NY,_US; 2021-03-11]

How to boost your little brainboxes

They've finally gone back to school after months at home, but even the brightest children need help to catch up. Now read our indispensable guide for parents and grandparents.

This week marked a return to school like no other. After months of homeschooling, there is concern that many children have fallen so behind in their learning it will take months — or even years — to catch up. The Government is focusing on plans to enable teachers to bridge the gap — with Mail Force's Computers for Kids campaign helping deliver the much-needed laptops to children who might otherwise have no access to online learning tools. But there are many ways parents and grandparents can help, too, stresses teacher Lorrae Jaderberg, joint founder of London-based education consultancy, JK Educate.

[Mail_Online; London,_UK; 2021-03-10]

Printer William Caxton was born in Hadlow, or perhaps Tenterden, or maybe even Sevenoaks Weald

That we can all understand written English today might be said to be the result of the work of one Kentish man - William Caxton.

Prior to Caxton's times, the country was a mess of different dialects giving rise not just differences in spelling, but with actual different words being used from one region to the next.

[Kent_Online; Rochester,_Kent,_UK; 2021-03-10]

When was the spelling of the English written language codified, and what was happening before?

English developed from the West Germanic languages of the Angles, Saxons and Jutes. Germanic languages had a writing system based on runes - an ancient alphabetic writing system, partly related to the early Phoenician and Etruscan writing systems, but which developed separately.

[Quora; Mountain_View,_CA,_US; 2021-03-09]

6 features that make English difficult language to learn

English is considered a relatively easy language to learn by many language learners, but it is not that easy after all.

Even English native speakers know that English spelling is a mess. There are many different causes for this mess like the influence of Latin and French languages, gradual vowel changes, etc. As the result, we see a language with so many irregular spelling cases that you have to learn the spelling of each word one by one.

[Mehr_News; Tehran,_IR; 2021-03-07]

Brexit means … Euro-English?

An academic argues it’s time for the EU to develop its own version of the language of Shakespeare.

“It’s time for the people in mainland Europe who have English as a second language to determine the future of English for the European Union,” Marko Modiano, a professor of English at the University of Gävle in Sweden, told POLITICO’s EU Confidential podcast. Modiano proposes that the EU should take the lead in defining and promoting what he calls Euro-English, complete with its own “punctuation, spelling, some grammar, and some vocabulary.”

[Politico; Brussels,_BE; 2021-02-27]

Scripps National Spelling Bee returns this summer

Finals to be held July 8 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando.

"Since its beginnings nearly 100 years ago, the Scripps National Spelling Bee and its spellers have inspired audiences across the globe with a compelling combination of academic excellence and engaging entertainment," said Adam Symson, president and chief executive officer of The E.W. Scripps Company.

[Cision; Cleveland,_OH,_US; 2021-02-22]

Gyles Brandreth heads to High Wycombe with new live show

Break a Leg! is the title of the latest show from Gyles Brandreth – and it’s coming to High Wycombe next year.

A star of Celebrity Gogglebox, a veteran of QI and Have I Got News For You, a reporter on The One Show and a regular on Just a Minute, he has written many books. These include The Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries and three recent bestsellers: The 7 Secrets of Happiness; his celebration of good English, punctuation, spelling and grammar, Have You Eaten Grandma?; and his anthology of poetry to learn by heart, Dancing by the Light of the Moon.

[Bucks_Free_Press; High_Wycombe,_UK; 2021-02-20]

The need for good spelling is a controversial topic, but not in the classroom

For many people, the ability to spell accurately is important and of equal importance is teaching children to spell correctly.

[subscription] In fact, the teaching of spelling has a long history, as evidenced by Quintilian the Roman rhetorician, who begins his …

[Education_HQ_Australia; Melbourne,_VIC,_AU; 2021-02-15]

Is spelling the bee-all and end-all of the HSC?

Unsurprisingly, the mechanics of writing have become the latest cudgel to be wielded in the culture wars.

The news this week that NSW students aren't being penalised for spelling errors in HSC English exams was received - and reported - in some quarters with all the panic and sensationalism you might expect.

[Canberra_Times,_The; Canberra,_ACT,_AU; 2021-02-12]


A speller for 100-plus languages in Microsoft.

At Microsoft Bing, our mission is to delight users everywhere with the best search experience. We serve a diverse set of customers all over the planet who issue queries in over 100 languages. In search we’ve found about 15% of queries submitted by customers have misspellings. When queries are misspelled, we match the wrong set of documents and trigger incorrect answers, which can produce a suboptimal results page for our customers.

[Microsoft_Research_Blog; Redmond,_WA,_US; 2021-02-08]

Why bother with the Orthography?

A great advertisement for a product is one that lures you into buying or using the product.

Anyone who has tried to read CHamoru tracts, like novenas and prayers, that were printed before the orthography was established, knows how daunting the pronunciation of words can be when spelling is not standardized. Nor do the major CHamoru dictionaries referenced today reflect a consistent application of the orthographic rules. This has added to our uncertainty about how to spell. People writing in the past have done their best. While not using standardized spelling, such efforts have nonetheless been extremely valuable for documenting the language. Now going forward, we can eliminate confusion by being consistent in our spelling.

[Guam_Daily_Post,_The; Tamuning,_GU,_US; 2021-02-07]

Is this the reason our kids can't spell?

HSC students aren't penalised for making basic grammar and spelling mistakes in their final English exam - and experts are calling for a change.

High school students are not penalised for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors when taking their HSC English exams, outraging experts. Students are currently graded on their understanding of the books, poems and literature they have been studying throughout the year.

[Mail_Online; London,_UK; 2021-02-07]


How do animals get their names?

Some people consider Geoffrey Chaucer the father of English literature. I doubt anyone thinks of him as the father of modern English spelling. He writes of “squyrelis & bestes smale of gentil kynde” in one of the first references to those ubiquitous rodents. Squirrels are native to the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa.

[Aiken_Standard; Aiken,_SC,_US; 2021-02-06]

Spoilt Or Spoiled? Irregular Verbs Explained

For most verbs in the English language, changing to past tense is as simple as adding ‘ed’ on the end. But then there’s a whole host of words that don’t conform to that rule.

It might surprise you to know that what we now call irregular verbs were actually once the common past tense of verbs, which made much more sense in older forms of English. So words like ate, drank and rode are remnants of these times. Other words like clamb (for climb) and chode (for chide) didn’t quite make the cut.

[Lifehacker; Surry_Hills,_NSW,_AU; 2021-02-01]

The books that help children learn to read that also come with helpful guidance for parents and carers

Bishop's Stortford College Prep School librarian Lizzie Hall writes about the magic of storytelling…

If your child is at the stage of learning to read in lockdown, fear not, there are so many materials out there for early readers that also provide guidance to parents and carers. Here are some reading schemes and resources suggestions to support your child as they acquire their reading wings and fly!

[Bishop's_Stortford_Independent; Bishop’s_Stortford,_UK; 2021-01-24]

BCSS crowns AMS 7th-grader as new spelling bee champion

Cartersville Mayor Matt Santini congratulates Adairsville Middle School seventh-grader Ethan Rollax as the event's champion as runner-up Damaya Norwood of Cass Middle School looks on.

Mrs. Sarju said she knows her son "worked hard" because he began practicing the words about a week and a half into the school year and learned one whole section of words and half of a second section. "I wanted him to learn all 4,000 [words], not just part of them," she said. "I told him, 'You don't know which word you're going to get.' He was not prepped for this, really and truly. I had second thoughts, but he told me, 'Don't worry, I'm going to do this, and I'll prove it to you.'"

[Daily_Tribune_News,_The; Cartersville,_GA,_US; 2021-01-24]

The words that went their own ways

How similarly-sounding words can come to have such different meanings.

A word with two or more different meanings is technically a polyseme. An English example is wood, which can refer to wood as a material as well as to a tree-covered area of land. Neck is also polysemous: it refers to the part of the anatomy which joins the head to the rest of the body; a particular part of certain garments; a narrow isthmus of land; and the neck of a bottle.

[New_European,_The; Norwich,_UK; 2021-01-23]

Phonics revolution: War of words over how to teach kids to read

"The answer to New Zealand's declining literacy rates isn't to tinker around the edges, it's to change the way in which reading is taught," Clothier said.

The Government is set to roll out 2.4 million copies of new phonics-based reading material to the nation's schools in an bid to arrest our declining literacy rates. But the move has sparked a war of words between academic experts who disagree whether it's the best way to teach kids to read. One fears the move is simply an "educational fad" and warns there's "no magic bullet".

[New_Zealand_Herald,_The; Auckland,_NZ; 2021-01-22]

McKinney ISD ‘elevating both languages’ at first districtwide Spanish spelling bee

McKinney ISD will host its first Spanish spelling bee this week. Winners will compete at a regional spelling bee in February.

“Spanish is being valued in our district,” Gonzalez said. “We’re elevating both languages. It truly goes hand in hand with what we’re trying to promote.” The students in grades 3 through 5 will verbally wrestle with words such as aizoáceo (aizoaceous), escenificación (staging) and organogénesis (organogenesis). Competitors had to study and memorize the spellings of 1,400 Spanish words for this occasion.

[Community_Impact; Pflugerville,_TX,_US; 2021-01-19]

Same Spelling, Different Meaning

Katherine Shurlds offers examples of how complicated the English language can be.

[audio] Some of the most difficult languages to learn include: Chinese, Finnish and Arabic. Although English isn’t on the list, it is still no cake-walk to learn. Languages can become difficult to learn for grammatical reasons, because of colloquial terms

[KUAF; Fayetteville,_AR,_US; 2021-01-19]

Ebenezer Middle School student wins spelling bee

Wren Pratt from Ebenezer Middle School won the Effingham County school district spelling bee and will represent the county at the region spelling bee to be held on Feb. 27.

[Savannah_Morning_News; Savannah,_GA,_US; 2021-01-18]

Among Us Impostor vs. Imposter: Why InnerSloth Spells It Different [sic]

In Among Us, the killer in the game is known as the Impostor. So, why does InnerSloth spell it that way, instead of spelling it as Imposter?

The reason for InnerSloth's Impostor spelling is actually pretty simple. That's the correct way to spell the word. Whether using it to explain why someone feels like a fraud (Impostor syndrome) to using it plurally to describe several wolves-in-sheep's-clothing (impostors), the word is typically spelled with an "o-r" at the end. The other spelling, "imposter," is technically an incorrect spelling that's been used so often for hundreds of years that it's now just an excepted [sic] variation. This is actually quite common in the English language.

[ScreenRant; St_Laurent,_Quebec,_CA; 2021-01-18]

Spelling matters!

Standardized spelling is essential, especially since our children are learning to speak, read and write our Mother Tongue as a second language in school.

“Do you really think that changing the spelling of a word with one or two letters can transform its meaning and change a person’s perspective?” My response is yes, absolutely. The words we use and the way we spell them create context and influence meaning.

[Guam_Daily_Post,_The; Tamuning,_GU,_US; 2021-01-17]

How the English language slipped up when it came to spaghetti

Like most British people of my age, I first encountered spaghetti in a tin, in tomato sauce.

When I was a child, spaghetti on toast was one of my favourite breakfasts.I write was here rather than were, because English speakers decided long before I was born that the word spaghetti was singular. We say “this spaghetti is good”, not “these spaghetti are good”. This is in spite of the fact that the pasta itself – and so the word – first came to Britain from Italy, and that in Italian spaghetti is plural.

[New_European,_The; Norwich,_UK; 2021-01-15]

Our year of pandemic words

THOUGH THESE FIRST FEW DAYS have already given us quite a year, let us not forget 2020 and the words that categorized it.

Oxford [University Press] listed forty-seven WOTYs. The top sixteen, arranged chronologically by when each spiked in lookups, were “bushfire,” “impeachment,” “acquittal,” “coronavirus,” “covid-19,” “lockdown,” “social distancing,” “reopening” (if only), “Black Lives Matter,” “cancel culture,” “bipoc,” “mail-in,” “Belarusian,” “moonshot,” “superspeader,” and “net zero.”

[Columbia_Journalism_Review; New_York,_NY,_US; 2021-01-14]

The best electronic dictionary

Considerations when choosing electronic dictionaries

[review] Electronic dictionaries have an extensive database and an array of tools to make searches and learning easier. Our top pick, the Franklin Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus, has phonetic spell correction, entertaining word games, a crossword solver, and a number of other impressive extras.

[Chicago_Tribune; Chicago,_IL,_US; 2021-01-13]

A Word, Please

The word ‘manakin’ [sic] crosses this editor’s eyes

This happened to me recently while I was reading an article about a study on the efficacy of cloth masks for COVID-19 protection. Researchers tested masks by putting them on mannequins, the article reported. Except the illustration that accompanied the article didn’t call them mannequins. In the images, the dummies were referred to multiple times as “manikins.”

[Los_Angeles_Times; Los_Angeles,_CA,_US; 2021-01-12]

50 of the Most Commonly Misspelled Words in English

We all make spelling mistakes from time to time — in fact, “misspelled” is itself often misspelled as “mispelled.”

It’s easy to get many words wrong, particularly homophones. These are words that sound the same but have different spellings. For example, “there,” “their,” and “they’re” are all pronounced the same way but have different meanings and are often confused.

[24/7_Wall_St; New_York,_NY,_US; 2021-01-10]

English learning at home trend with Monkey Stories app in Southeast Asia

Monkey Stories is the optimal solution for Indonesian parents with children aged 2-10, which helps their children learn English at home and comprehensively develop 4 skills of Listening - Speaking - Reading - Writing.

"Monkey Stories" is an application that proudly helps children excel in English before the age of 10; the app is developed by Early Start, an English-software-for-children publishing company based in the U.S. Having been in the market for more than 6 years, with the Monkey brand, Early Start has won a number of international awards: First Prize of Global Innovation through Science and Technology in the US, First Prize of Design at Asian Entrepreneurship Award in Japan, Gold ICT Award in Brunei. Additionally, the company apps have, multiple times, been on the top-trending list on Play Store and App Store.

[PR_Newswire; Chicago,_IL,_US; 2021-01-07]

Homeschool essentials: The best learning resources for teaching English, history and geography

With the stay at home order in place, these are the educational tools you need to make teaching from home a breeze.

For younger children, Fun Phonics has made its digital products free for home learning which includes lettering, flashcards, word searches, objectives, name labels and spelling cards. It ranges from children who are just developing key speaking words and vocabulary up until kids who can identify words using a digraph – when two letters put together to make a sound such as "ph".

[Independent; London,_UK; 2021-01-05]

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