The first homework assignments are trickling in.  Even more so than last semester, I am amazed at the atrocious spelling skills.

  • deminstrats (demonstrates)
  • rize (rise)
  • strugals (struggles)
  • rapped (raped) –we have even gone over simple phonics.
  •  amotion (emotion)
  • now (know)
  • “didnt rily teach him a hole lowt”
  • biest (biased)
  • semputhetick (Sympathetic, my personal favorite).

I might be okay with the first few if, say, these were 6th graders.  Maybe.  But I teach college credit classes to SENIORS IN HIGH SCHOOL.  Seniors preparing to leave for college in 8 months.  Seniors who have gotten into GOOD schools and can’t spell a GOSH DARN.  It floors me.  A typo is one thing, just plan not being able to spell is a complete other.

Is the computer age to blame?  I was always a decent speller.  I enjoyed those spelling words every week and the consequent test that followed.  In 5th grade, I was in a spelling bee (felled on the word opposite and some major stage fright).  I had a word processor my first two years of high school, and then we got a computer.  So, I suppose I did grow up needing to know how to spell and these students have grown up never really needing to.  And yet…

I can’t quite blame spell check for this disaster because students spell so bad they can’t even USE spell check and don’t even know how to use spell check.  (I can’t count the amount of times that defiantly is used in place of definitely merely because either students are too lazy to pay attention or seriously do NOT KNOW how to spell anything).

These kids don’t even know basic PHONICS rules and I have to fault some bump in our educational system that has let students become this way.   18 year olds should know no from know from now.  17 year olds should be able to know the difference between rapped and raped.  I’m not sure that’s a symptom of the computer age–spell check doesn’t catch that mistake.

I am so close to implementing spelling tests.  Or spell check usage lessons.  Something–anything–to knock some sense into these kids.