Re: general topic of spelling

Subject: Re: general topic of spelling
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2005 13:37:55 -0700

Is it just me, or is anyone else disturbed by the renewed interest in
spelling bees for kids? The local paper in Vancouver has been publishing
the results of local, national and international spelling bees in great
detail, and loudly trumpeting its own support of these contests as proof
that it is helping to promote literacy.

A while ago, there was even a movie about spelling bees called (I
believe) Spellbound.

I find this emphasis on spelling a little disturbing. Sure, you can
argue that knowing standard spelling helps you communicate. But I wonder
about the emphasis on this particular aspect of literacy. It seems to me
the same as promoting artistic skills by teaching children how to mix
Pantone colors. In other words, it seems to focus on an easily
quantifiable aspect of literacy while ignoring the more elusive ones.

Instead of a straight spelling bee, I would prefer to see a vocabulary
quiz -- or, better yet, writing or speech-making competitions. It seems
to me that any of these activities would do more to encourage literacy
than a spelling bee.

Bruce Byfield 604-422-7177

"Inspiration and craft plus time and effort minus fear and doubt
multiplied by purpose equals song."
- Ray Wylie Hubbard


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